THE SOURCE Information for BRP Students - Massey University School of People, Environment and Planning

THE SOURCE Information for BRP Students - Massey University School of People, Environment and Planning
          Information for
           BRP Students

                Photo: Christine Cheyne

              Massey University
  School of People, Environment and Planning
Resource and Environmental Planning Programme

PART ONE:        INFORMATION                                          Page

       Purpose of The Source                                              1
       Location of the Programme Office and Staff Offices                 2
       Staff Consulting Times                                             2
       Plan your Programme                                                3
       Selecting Elective Papers                                          5
       Selecting Minor Papers                                             6
       Clashes                                                            7
       Course Costs                                                       8
       Assignment Types                                                   8
       Student Membership of NZPI                                         9
       Student Life in the Programme                                      9
       FAQ ....                                                          11

PART TWO:        POLICIES AND REQUIREMENTS                               13

       Rights and Obligations of Students and Staff                      13
       Unprofessional or Discriminatory Conduct                          14
       Formal Assessment and Grades                                      15
       Deadlines and Extensions of Time for Assignments                  15
       Return of Coursework                                              16
       Eligibility for Honours                                           16
       Other Acts                                                        17
       Field Trip Safety Procedures                                      18

PART THREE: ADVICE FOR STUDENTS                                          20

       Help Yourself                                                     20
                 Self Organisation                                       20
                 Basic Principles of Learning                            20
                 Preparation of a Timetable                              21
                 Self Evaluation for Effective Study                     22
           Assignment Preparation
                 Obtaining Information                                   23
                 Referencing                                             24
                 Special Needs                                           24
                 Preparation of Reports                                  25
                 Preparation of Essays                                   26
                 Using Massey University Services to Enhance Skills      27
       Scholarships, Bursaries and Awards                                28
       Getting Holiday Employment                                        29
       Preparation for the Workplace                                     30
       Preparation for Interviews                                        31

Attachment 1 - Plan Your BRP Programme
Attachment 2 - NZPI Code of Ethics
Attachment 3 – College Guidelines for Grade Distribution
Attachment 3 - Management of Muscular Skeletal Discomfort
Schedule A Planning Papers
Schedule B Minors
Schedule C Planning Related Papers

                             PURPOSE OF THE SOURCE

The purpose of The Source is to provide you with information about our programme
procedures, course work, and other matters which should enable you to effectively plan your
programme and work patterns. The Source also contains useful information which will help
you cope well at University. There is a Stream community site for students enrolled in the
BRP. Please ensure you read The Source and the BRP community site in the first instance if
you have any queries about the BRP. As well there is important information on the main
university website at the following:


One advantage of Massey University’s semester system of learning is that internal students
are able to take a welcome break in the middle of winter, with benefits for health and morale.
Another is that each paper is condensed into one semester of intense, focused learning, which
is favoured by most planning students. However, the main implication of this is that students
must organise and plan the use of their time as effectively as possible.


Without that organisation at the start and throughout the semester, you will find that you quickly
lose any benefits of the semester system.


The Source does not replace or override the Massey University Calendar or other
University publications detailing regulations and procedures.        If there are
inconsistencies between publications, please advise the Programme. You must ensure
you meet University requirements for your degree.

See for more information.


The Administration Office and most academic staff offices are located in the Social Sciences
Tower, Level 3 or Level 5.

                                    SUPPORT STAFF

Faye Sherriff is the School Academic Administrator. She should be your first point of contact
for queries and problems regarding the undergraduate papers. Office Hours are Mon - Fri from
8.30-4.00pm – Social Science Tower Level 3, SST3.08.

Contact details:

       Telephone              06 350 4343

                               STAFF CONSULTING TIMES

All academic staff have specified consulting times in which they are prepared to meet
individual students or groups to discuss concerns about individual papers. Those times are
usually outlined in the notice posted on individual staff member doors. Times may be altered.
Staff may not always be in their offices. Ideally, you should ring or email to book a time if you
wish to meet a staff member. In addition to teaching and research activities, planning staff are
often involved in professional activities for the NZPI or other organisations. Sometimes those
other commitments mean staff are not available during a consulting hour.

Current planning staff are listed in the table below. Check out their research profiles and
contact details on the School Website

    Ms April Bennett                        Dr Jeff McNeill

    Ms Marilyn Bramley                      Dr Caroline Miller

    A/Prof Christine Cheyne                 Dr Imran Muhammad

    Prof Bruce Glavovic                     Prof Murray Patterson

    Dr Matt Henry                           Ms Jo Ross
    (Programme Coordinator)

    Mr Ian Luxmoore                         Miss Rachel Summers


Paper outlines are available on the College of Humanities and Social Science web page
Follow the links to Paper Offerings. The paper outline provides information about learning
outcomes and broad focus, as well as assessment (with due dates).

If you are unsure about paper requirements and deadlines please consult the Paper
Coordinator. If you have clashes of assignment dates, you will need to plan your study time
around this. If you have examination clashes, consult the Paper Coordinator.

The Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning Degree Structure
Massey Regulations are available on the website:
Studying for the BRP degree takes place through eighteen compulsory planning papers, with
the balance of the degree made up of Minor papers and Elective papers.
The BRP is covered in
Course of Study
1.     The Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning consists of four parts, each
       containing 120 credits of study including field trips, studios, workshops and laboratories.
2.     (a)    Pass the Planning papers required in the four parts of the course of study set
              out in Schedule A (285 credits).
       (b)    Complete a minor subject comprising 135 credits, with at least 105 credits
              above 100-level and including at least 45 credits above 200-level from papers
              listed in Schedule B. The minor subjects available are:
              Māori Studies
              Property Management
              Soil/Earth Science
       (c)    Pass papers to the value of 30 credits from Schedule C, during Part I of the
       (d)    Pass elective papers to the value of 30 credits from papers offered for other
              Bachelor degrees.
       (e)    Attend field trips, studios, workshops and laboratories as required.

The following table enables you to plan your programme over the four years.

         Year 1                     Year 2                    Year 3                      Year 4
132.106:                   132.212:
                                                     Natural Resource Policy
Introduction to GIS        Professional Practice I                              132.403
                                                     and Planning
                                                                                Planning Project
132.111:                   132.213:                                             (30 credits)
Planning and the           Policy Analysis &
                                                     Planning Theory
Environment                Evaluation
132.112:                   132.217:                  132.312:
Planning for Sustainable   Hazard -Resilient         Environmental & Planning
                                                                                Professional Practice II
Development                Communities               Law
                           132.218:                  132.313:                   132.414:
Minor                      Building Collaborative    Advanced Planning          Urban Planning and
                           Communities               Techniques                 Design
                           150.201:                                             132.415
Minor                                                Transport and Urban
                           Treaty of Waitangi                                   Environmental Planning
                                                     Planning I
Planning-Related Paper     Minor                     Minor                      Professional Practice

Planning-Related Paper     Minor                     Minor                      Minor

General Elective           Minor                     Minor                      General Elective

Anyone enrolled in the BRP has to complete the compulsory papers at each level of your
degree, that is, the papers that are highlighted in blue above. Those papers make up the core
Planning part of your degree; these are your most important papers. As you can see in the
diagram above the number of Planning papers make up more of your papers the further you
go through your degree. You need to pass all the planning papers to go to the next level. For
instance, you must pass all the second year core Planning papers before you can do the third
year papers.
If you have any questions about your Planning papers make an appointment to see the
Planning Programme Coordinator.

These papers are intended to provide you with some general knowledge that will help you to
widen your perspectives on the world and introduce you to new areas of study that might not
have been available at school. These papers give you the opportunity to explore some new
areas which at the same time complement the knowledge and skills you are developing in your
core Planning and Minor papers. You can also use these papers to build another potential
Minor so that you still have some choices open to you at the end of your first year. To do that,
please make sure you do the two first year papers that are required for your chosen Minor.
You can choose any paper as your general elective papers, which is a great chance to try
something new. Unless you know that you have very good skills in relation to writing, you
should consider taking 230.100 Introduction to Academic Writing as one of your Planning-
related Papers.
The papers listed for the first year of any Minor including those listed below are all approved
Planning-related Papers.
115.103       Legal and Social Environment of Business
115.105       Fundamentals of Finance
115.106       Economics
115.108       Organisations and Management
117.152       Animals and Agriculture
119.180       Introduction to Agribusiness
120.101       Biology of Plants
121.103       New Zealand Environments
145.111       Society, Environment and Place
145.121       Introduction to Physical Geography
150.110       Te Reo Whakahoahoa: Socialising in Māori
150.111       Te Reo Konakinaki: Developing the Language
150.114       He Tirohanga o Mua: Māori Custom, lore and Economics
158.100       Computer Applications and the Information Age
160.101       Calculus I
176.102       New Zealand Society
178.100       Principles of Macroeconomics
189.151       Soil Properties and Processes
199.101       Biology of Animals
200.161       Introduction to Politics
219.101       Media Skills
230.100       Introduction to Academic Writing
233.101       Introductory Earth Science
279.101       Social Policy: An Introduction
283.101       Plants in Agriculture

If you have any questions about your Planning-related and Elective Papers please make an
appointment to see the Planning Programme Coordinator.
When you are selecting papers from the recommended papers for your chosen Minor please
use the Paper search function under the Learning button on the Massey homepage to obtain
information on offerings of each paper.
The Minor papers are intended to provide knowledge and skills in an area which is
complementary to your Planning paper and which employers consider will help you when you
are a practicing planner. Some of the Minor options that we have developed are taught in
other Colleges and can change with little consultation with our Programme, so please review
the options every year and seek advice from the programme Coordinator if you are not clear
what to do.
The Massey University Calendar contains regulations governing Minors which normally
comprise nine (9) papers in total, of which at least 105 credits are above 100 level and
including at least 45 credits above 200 level from papers listed in Schedule B. The minor
subjects available are:
       Agriculture                    Ecology                        Economics
       Geography                      Management                     Māori Studies
       Property Management            Soil/Earth Science

To ensure a smooth progression, students need to check and meet the prerequisite
requirements for papers in any minor.

How do I choose my Minor?
There is no single way to decide on your Minor but here are a few hints
       What subjects did you do at school that you enjoyed and would like to continue? Many of our
       students enjoyed geography at school and like doing the wider variety of papers that you can
       do at university. Similarly, a background in economics or accounting could lead to a Minor in
       Economics and those who did sciences or biology might enjoy an Ecology or Agriculture Minor.
       Does the business or property development world fascinate you? In that case a Property
       Management or Management Minor is the way to go.
       Do you come from a rural background and would like to eventually work again with famers? If
       that is the case, then look at doing an Agriculture Minor.
   •   Review the requirements for next year
   •   Select your papers for the next year
   •   Seek help from planning programme staff

Lecture Clashes
Lecture clashes should be avoided as they make it difficult for you to obtain necessary
information, participate in required activities, and manage assignments. If you have a potential
clash then please consider the following:

1.   Core planning papers should be given a priority in your studies.

2.   Lectures are a vital part of the teaching/learning process and therefore you should
     attend all classes.

3.   Where there is the choice of internal and distance education modes, it may be
     possible to complete the paper via enrolment in distance education mode. We do not
     recommend that internal first year students take distance education papers unless it
     is absolutely necessary.

4.   It is often possible to plan to enroll in a minor or elective paper in another semester
     than the one where the clash occurs.

Exam Clashes
Exam clashes are only allowed in papers that are compulsory for your degree.

Exam clashes may not be as inconvenient as lecture clashes. However, the prospect of
sitting two exams in one day can be daunting. Some points to remember are:

1.   Try to maximise your internal assessment grades for both papers. This will reduce
     exam pressure. However, this is only possible if you are well organised during the

2.   Make sure you keep up with study throughout the semester. Again, this reduces
     exam pressure. It also ensures more effective revision before the exam period.

4.   If there is a seminar/workshop offered on campus to assist in exam preparation,
     make sure you enroll and discuss exam techniques with the organiser.

     If you have timetable problems see the relevant Paper Coordinator

During the four years of the Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning degree, you
are likely to incur costs related to purchasing course materials, attending field trips, and using
university computers. All students are expected to maintain an up-to-date copy (incorporating
all amendments) of the Resource Management Act 1991. An updated version is available on The university website gives details of fees for individual papers and paper
outlines often give details of course texts that are required or recommended. You may find you
can purchase books more cheaply by buying on line or at other bookstores than the campus

                            FORMAL ASSIGNMENT TYPES
There are various types of formal assessment throughout the course. The following sections
provide information about assessment types, obtaining information, assignment writing and
seminar preparation. Individual lecturers may also require you to undertake studio work,
attend workshops, participate in group projects and carry out practicals. In most papers,
detailed information is provided about assessment requirements. Generally, we try to vary
assessment techniques each year to ensure you develop a range of skills while acquiring
knowledge. Table 1 refers to the range of assessment used. The mix changes from year to
year and with e-learning (Stream) new types of assessment (e.g. forum postings, quizzes, etc)
are being used.

Table 1: A Typical Assessment Matrix

 Assessment Type                           Year 1         Year 2        Year 3        Year 4
                                           (2 papers)     (2 papers)    (4 papers)    (4 papers)
 Essay                                     2              2             2             4
 Report                                    2              2             2             2
 Seminar paper                             -                            2             1+
 - presentation                            -              +             2             1
 Field trip participation                  2              1             1             5
 Practical exercises                                      1             1             4
 - studio (maps)                           6
 - computer lab                                           10                          1
 - group project/report
 Test                                      3              2             2

 Examination                               2              2             4             2

+ Presentation associated with assessment


The New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI) offers student planners a special membership
package in which you receive the following:

  • job Information
  • discounts for attendance at NZPI functions, and some workshops and seminars organised
    by regional branches

The cost of student membership is $45.00 p.a. (reduced if paid before 31 March). This
membership fee is heavily subsidised by full members. Subscription to Planning Quarterly is
extra. You may be sponsored by Dr Caroline Miller, Dr Imran Muhammad, Ms Jo Ross or Prof
Bruce Glavovic who are full members of the Institute. Forms are available from the NZPI
Office (PO Box 52046, Kingsland, Auckland; email: or telephone 09 815
2086). A copy of the New Zealand Planning Institute Code of Ethics (see Attachment 2)
should also guide your work in general throughout the four years of your degree. For further
information about NZPI go to

The NZPI has established a Young Planners Group (NZYPG) to provide services and support
for student and recently graduated members of NZPI. Some of the functions of NZYPG
include: producing regular newsletters; providing a workshop for young planners at the annual
NZPI conference; organising social and networking opportunities at branch level; and bringing
issues facing young planners to employers and the NZPI National Council.

Massey University has a Young Planners Representative and contact details are on the Young
Planners Group Page on the NZPI webpage. To join the database to receive Young Planners
Group news, contact Genevieve Doube, the NZPI Central North Island Branch Young Planner
representative (

                      STUDENT LIFE IN THE PROGRAMME
Social Club
One of the features of the BRP is that students organise and enjoy numerous social activities
over the year designed to let students get to know the other students in your year group and
also students from other years. Social events include the Planning Ball, quiz nights, flat crawls,
and the annual indoor netball competition for the Miller Plate. Check out our yearbook on the
website for previous years’ activities and be sure to attend lectures because that’s where you’ll
find out about upcoming social events. Students are also encouraged to help organise
activities by joining the social club committee which you’ll hear about early each semester.

The Massey University Students Association is also concerned about the education and
welfare of students. MUSA also organises and co-ordinates many University wide student
activities. Radio Massey and Chaff (student newspaper) are excellent sources of information
and entertainment. Become involved in student life!

An annual review of the BRP is published each year with contributions from staff and students.
The      most    recent    yearbook     is    available    on      the    School      website:

If you need help….
     It is not always appropriate for staff to assist with personal problems that students may
     have. The Massey PN Health & Counseling Service (ext. 5935) is the best place on
     campus to receive assistance. However, staff may be able to assist you in making an
     appointment if you feel unsure about what action you should take. See also

     A/Prof Christine Cheyne and Dr Caroline Miller are the Programme contacts if you have
     any health problems that are affecting your course work. Caroline is also the Disability
     Coordinator for the Programme.

     If you are having problems in an individual paper, your first contact should be with the
     Paper Coordinator. If you feel that the matter is still unresolved, you can then speak to
     the Programme Coordinator, who will usually discuss the matter with the student
     involved and the staff member. Ultimately, you are still able to use the University
     complaints procedure if you feel that your problem remains unresolved.

       Problems may include an inability to understand connections between readings or
       between lectures and readings. You may not be satisfied with your mark in an
       assignment and request reconsideration. You may feel you have been unfairly treated
       by an individual staff member.


Where do I go for information?
There are 3 key places:
•      Massey website
•      Massey website
•      Massey website

Just about everything you need is on the web!

See, in particular, the information about the BRP and other information about staff and their
contact details on the School of People, Environment & Planning webpages:

Read the information for Undergraduate students (button near top left).
For information about BRP papers see the College of Humanities and Social Sciences
About your individual papers under Paper Outlines (button near top right).

When do I need to decide my Minor?
As soon as you start enrolling for BRP you should think about your Minor by reading this
booklet and starting to plan the papers that you will do as your Planning-related papers to give
you the necessary pre-requisites for the 200-level (second year) papers that you need to do for
your Minor. Talk to the Programme Coordinator if you are unsure about the Minor but in the
end we can’t make the decision for you.

What if I don’t like the Minor I have chosen?
If necessary it will be possible for you to change your Minor during the first year.

When do I need to enrol?
See the enrolment information on the Massey homepage at:
This is updated each semester. Please avoid enrolling close to the deadlines. Even if you
enrol on-line, it can take many days for your enrolment to be processed especially if we have a
deluge of last minute enrolments. Please note there are different deadlines for new and
returning students.

How do I know what papers I should take?
The website has good information on what papers make up a standard package in each year
of the BRP. See
There will be variations on this if a student fails a paper or does not enrol in 120 credits each

Can I do Minor papers outside the semesters in which they are listed in that BRP
Yes in some cases students can complete Minor and Elective papers at any time that the
papers fit in with their timetable (including summer semester). The main thing to know is that
you need to complete BRP 1 before you can proceed to BRP 2, which you need to complete
before you progress to BRP 3 etc.

What if I have papers that I completed at another university?
Massey has a process for students to apply for transfer of credits for papers completed at other
universities towards incomplete qualifications. You can apply for transfer of credit for up to
25% of a qualification - that would be papers to the value of 120 credits as the BRP is 480

You can be granted specified or unspecified credits. As you can see from the BRP Structure
on the website.

You need to complete four Planning-related / Minor papers in year 1 of the BRP and 1 elective.
There is also a requirement to do a second elective later in the degree. Often papers
completed at other universities will count as electives and some may count as specified
Massey Planning or Planning-related papers.

You need to go through the formal process of applying for transfer of credit which you should
do as soon as possible. Please make sure you are familiar with deadlines for enrolment (this
info is available online by clicking on Enrolment on the Massey home page).
The application form for transfer of credit and accompanying information are on pp21-22 of the
Enrolment forms book on the Enrolment website:
You can also read about the regulations for transfer of credits at:

If I started another degree at Massey can the papers I passed be used for the BRP?
Yes, if papers haven't been used for a completed qualification, and are at 100 level or higher
these can be used for the BRP if they are Planning-related papers or Minor papers or Elective
papers. You don't need to apply for transfer of credit since they are Massey papers. However,
when you enrol you need to make sure you indicate your new programme of study (BRP) on
your enrolment.

The Resource and Environmental Planning Programme has developed policies to ensure there
is consistency in dealing with issues important to students, such as rights and obligations of
students and staff, extensions of time for assignments, and field trip safety procedures. The
staff/student liaison committee has contributed to the development of policies.

The purpose of this Policy is to assist students and staff to work together in an environment
which facilitates a professional approach to both learning about and teaching planning. The
aim is to ensure everybody gets a ‘fair deal’ during their time with the Programme, so that
everybody can work towards achieving their own goals, in a supportive and professional

‘Planning’ involves the ‘public interest’ and therefore carries with it certain responsibilities.
These responsibilities are articulated in the New Zealand Planning Institute's ‘Code of Ethics’,
which practising planners are expected to adhere to (see Attachment 2). This ‘Code of Ethics’
is an important component of professional planning conduct, as well as the conduct of this

Academic obligations of lecturers
Lecturers are responsible for preparing, administering and delivering courses. Lecturers also
have a responsibility to the University to undertake research and to keep up to date with
progress within their particular specialist areas so that they can pass on this expertise and
knowledge to students. All academic staff have dedicated times when they are available to
meet with students. These consulting times are usually posted on staff office doors.

Academic obligations of the student
Vital to student learning and understanding of the material covered in courses are the
assignments, exercises, tests and in some cases formal examinations.

(a)   Work submitted for assessment as a course progresses provides an opportunity for
      feedback and is intended to assist you to build up your skills and knowledge. Ultimately,
      you will be granted a degree for the work you personally do. Thus, it is a requirement of
      the University that the work submitted must be your own. From time to time in specific
      situations, a lecturer may prescribe group work or authorise the writing of assignments on
      related topics for different papers. The exchange of ideas and the ability to work
      collaboratively are seen as desirable and necessary.

      Academic dishonesty is unacceptable. This involves failure to acknowledge the source of
      material used and/or to present others’ work as your own. Sometimes this constitutes

      The following issues are important when considering implications of academic dishonesty.

1.    Where identical or nearly identical material is submitted, all students involved will be
      required to give an explanation, and all may be penalised.

2.    Co-operative work is not discouraged, but evidence of the individual's own effort must be
      shown (unless otherwise stated for a particular assignment). A statement indicating joint
      as opposed to individual work should accompany such material.

3.    Material copies from books, journals, or any source other than the student's own unaided
      research, must be acknowledged.

4.    When topics overlap between courses within the subject, or between subjects, reference
      material and sources of information may be parallel.

5.    Lecturers generally require you to submit written assignments electronically via Stream or
      Turnitin (see

6.    Advice on academic dishonesty and how to acknowledge sources used in assignments is
      available on myMassey (use the link to OWLL) and from Student Learning Development

      Handing in the same assignment for credit in more than one paper is not only
      academically inadvisable, but it is regarded by the University as an absolutely
      unacceptable practice. Students are required to hand in separate and distinctively
      different assignments for each paper.

      The Programme and the University regard dishonest practice in such matters as very
      serious. Minor cases may be treated by reprimand and a substantial marks penalty, but
      serious cases will be referred to the Vice-Chancellor.

(b)   Attendance at Lectures

      Attendance at lectures is essential except in situations of illness or bereavement. It is in
      the interest of students to attend. Academic staff will not be prepared to spend extra time
      answering queries and/or tutoring students who are absent from lectures for reasons
      other than illness or bereavement.

(c)   Attendance at Tutorials, Laboratory, Workshop or Studio Sessions & Fieldtrips

      Unless special circumstances approved by a staff member apply, attendance at tutorial,
      laboratory, workshop or studio sessions and on fieldtrips is compulsory. As planning is an
      interactive activity, students will be required to actively participate in these sessions and a
      roll may be taken.

It is our wish that all students and staff should be free to pursue their scholarly and cultural
interest without fear of discrimination, in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.

The University supports the position espoused by the Human Rights Commission, i.e. that
discrimination on the basis of sex, race, marital status, religious or ethnic belief is
unacceptable, and has formally adopted a policy on 'harassment'. In accordance with this
policy, the University has a number of trained 'mediators' who are available to assist students
and staff who experience harassment. Names of these mediators are posted on notice boards
around the campus.

Lecturers will use the following marking scale in assessment of student work in papers at all
levels unless you are notified to the contrary in the course outline:

      A+    85+
      A     80-84
      A-    75-79
      B+    70-74
      B     65-69
      B-    60-64
      C+    55-59
      C     50-54
      R     47-49
      D     40-46
(d)   Unless otherwise indicated in the course outline, written work submitted after the
      deadline, without prior approval of a staff member, may not be accepted and, where
      accepted, will automatically receive a penalty.

(f)   Notwithstanding the provisions under (c) and (d) above, written work will not be accepted
      for marking after the return of marked scripts on the same or similar subject matter to any
      other students taking that paper.

                            RETURN OF COURSE WORK
Students should ensure they complete all coursework requirements.

Staff will endeavor to mark and return written work to students within three (3) weeks of the
assignment deadline. This goal may be difficult to achieve with large classes, but staff will
keep you informed of when work will be marked and returned.

Assignments not returned in class are likely to be available from School reception (SST 3.09)
during office hours. You’ll need to show your student ID when collecting work.

The Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning may be awarded with or without
Honours. A candidate who has fulfilled the requirements prescribed in the Regulations and
whose work has been of a sufficiently high standard may be recommended by the Academic
Board for admission to the degree with First or Second Class Honours. Candidates awarded
Second Class Honours shall be listed in Division I or Division II.

Students are eligible to graduate with Honours if they obtain a B- average in their core planning
papers in Parts 2, 3 and 4 (including 132.403 Honours Research Project) of the BRP.

Level of Honours depends on the GPA achieved. The GPA is the average of all the GPA units
of the relevant papers. Each letter grade has a GPA unit value as outlined in the table below.
The table also outlines the cut-off points for different levels of Honours. Please note, all grades
including DNC, are used in the calculation of the average.

Grade                   GPA Unit Value of     Class of Honours        GPA Cutting
                        Grade                                         Points
A+                      9                     1st Class Honours       7.00 - 9.00
A                       8
A-                      7
B+                      6                     2nd Class Division I    5.50 - 6.99
B                       5                     2nd Class Division II   4.00 - 5.49
B-                      4
C+                      3                     Pass                    less than 4.00
C                       2
D                       0                     Fail
E                       0                     Fail
DNC                     0                     Fail


Health and Safety in Employment Act 1993
The University is required to comply with the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1993.
The Programme is therefore conscious of its responsibility to provide safe conditions for
students involved in field trips. Students are therefore asked to refer to policies about Field
Trips and General Safety Procedures.
The University is also concerned about injuries related to Occupational Overuse Syndrome
(OOS). The University provides computer areas with adequate spaces and adjustable chairs.
Students are able to obtain information about OOS management and gain assistance from
Student Health. Information from Massey's Health and Safety Coordinator about OOS
management is contained in Attachment 4.

Privacy Act 1993
The objective of the Privacy Act 1993 is "To provide protection for individual privacy in relation
to the collection, use, access, correction and disclosure of personal information held".

The implication of the Privacy Act for students and staff of the Programme is that assignments
must be handed back individually to the student concerned. Lecturers will therefore endeavour
to hand back assignments during allocated lecture times. Students who do not receive their
assignments during these times must collect them, in person, from the School Reception

The Resource and Environmental Planning staff are dedicated to providing a safe and healthy
environment within which learning can take place. We aim to ensure that all activities are conducted in a
safe manner so as to prevent harm to people, damage to property, or disruption of programmes or
processes. Effective safety management requires the involvement of everyone and while it is the
School’s responsibility to ensure that the physical environment is a safe place to be, under the Health
and Safety in Employment Act (1992) we all have a responsibility for our own health and safety. We
must also ensure that our actions (or inactions) do not harm others.

Its intended that all students and staff behave in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Act.
In general, keep your mind on what you are doing and think ahead for possible problems you might
encounter. If you have any doubts about any aspect of your work, ask staff before you proceed and
remember there is no substitute for common sense!

Disability Disclosure
Any student with a mental or physical problem which may affect their performance during a course or
during an activity within a course is encouraged to inform the Course Controller, or, if preferred, the
Head of Programme. Where work beyond the classroom is involved and/or overnight stays with catering
are involved then students should inform their supervisor if they have allergies or special food
requirements. The provision of this information is voluntary but it is important that you make known any
health conditions which may affect your safety or the safety of others. Students will be required to
participate in all aspects of the course that they are studying

General Behaviour
Field work or field courses are vital parts of many papers offered and there is a variety of procedures
and precautions that you must be aware of so that field work is safe and enjoyable.

Field work is an activity involving some inherent special risks and hazards, eg, coastal sections, farms,
river sections, areas of bush, mountains, quarries etc, or changeable and severe weather conditions.
Leaders will take safety precautions, however, the potential dangers make it imperative that students
use common sense, co-operate with others in the group, and behave responsibly in order to reduce the

All persons taking part in activities beyond the lecture room, or internal laboratory, are asked to observe
suitable standards of behaviour, to conduct themselves with good manners and consideration for others
and not to damage property in any way For example, students must observe Marae protocol at all times
during their stay on a Marae. No alcohol or drugs are permitted on a Marae, and students are asked not
to return to the Marae if under the influence of either. Climbing over fences, leaving gates as you find
them, trampling crops or disturbing animals). Remember that usually you are visiting or joining someone
else’s “patch” and that other groups will probably follow you in later years.

    •   Do not disturb the environment more than necessary.
    •   Do not disturb living communities (plant or animals) unnecessarily.
    •   Do not remove material from National Parks without formal permission.
    •   Do not leave litter.
    •   Do observe conservation regulations and guidelines.

Disciplinary Measures
Students not complying with Marae protocol or exhibiting unacceptable behaviour in any field
trip venue will be asked to leave and the matter may be taken to the University Disciplinary
Committee who will take it forward to a disciplinary hearing as being prejudicial to the
University and its reputation.

A student will, while attending field courses:

1.    Comply with the University Disciplinary Regulations as laid down in the Massey University
2.    Comply promptly with any directive issued by a person in authority
      eg, bus drivers, members of University staff, land owners etc.
3.    Take all practicable steps to ensure:
      (a) the student’s own safety, and
      (b) that no action or inaction of the student causes harm to any other person.
4.    Act always in a professional manner, upholding the reputation of the University.
5.    Neither consume, purchase or possess any alcoholic beverages without the trip controller being
      aware of this.
6.    Stay with the party, except by clear arrangements with the leaders.
7.    Report any personal injury, illness or special personal circumstances to a staff member.
8.    Eat adequately, given the activities that are to be undertaken.
9.    Wear adequate clothing and footwear for the type of weather and terrain likely to be encountered.
        Outdoor shirt, loose fitting trousers, warm sweater, brightly coloured raincoat with hood, are all
        desirable as are water-proof trousers in wet weather. Jeans are NOT suitable in wet
        conditions because they permit chilling. Hats and sunscreen should be worn in hot sunny
        weather. Shoes with strong durable soles are desirable.
        Leaders may refuse to allow ill equipped students on fieldwork courses.
10.   Avoid leaving rubbish on premises (including buses).
11.   Avoid wearing muddy footwear/clothing on buses.
12.   Treat all information obtained from invited presenters/hosts as confidential (unless informed
      otherwise) and abide by the Privacy Act (1993).
13.   Take all reasonable steps to be punctual and inform staff as soon as changes to arrangements
      have been made (or are required).
14.   Always treat your hosts or “local” people with decency and respect.
15.   Refrain from taking any action which could destroy or damage in any way property belonging to
      any other person or business, eg, close gates, cross fences at strainers or posts etc.
16.   Avoid steep slopes, quarries, cliff edges etc., especially in strong winds. Ensure that rock faces
      are stable before venturing below them. Do not work directly above another person unless both
      are aware of each other. Do not run down steep slopes. Avoid wet or soft areas of mire.
17    Do not climb cliffs or rock faces unless this has been approved.
18.   Take great care when walking or climbing over slippery rocks below high water mark.
19.   Be aware of changing tide levels and larger than normal waves when you are working around a
20.   Be aware of changing river levels when there is prolonged rain in its headwaters.
21.   Be aware of traffic when you are leaving or joining a bus and walk on the right hand side of the
      road, so as to face oncoming traffic.
22.   Keep away from stock and machinery or hazardous equipment.
23.   Do not climb cliffs, rock faces or crags unless this has been approved as an essential part of the
      fieldwork. Take great care when walking or climbing over slippery rocks below high water mark on
      rocky shores. Keep to identified paths
24.   Always obtain permission to enter private property.
25.   If possible, carry a cell phone.

                                    HELP YOURSELF

The Programme aims to offer a range of knowledge and specific skills which provide you with a
good education, and meet most of the basics required to begin your career as a planner.
However, the capacity of students to make the most of papers, and to excel, may sometimes
be limited by specific difficulties they may have.

Self Organisation

How can you best organise your time in order to cope with the demands of gaining a tertiary

Our experience shows that, with the apparent freedom at University, the major problem for
students is that they do not know how to make the best possible use of their time. Students
may not have to conform to a rigorous timetable or schedule of activities, and consequently
they may not know how to manage their time.

When you study at an advanced level you are expected to work independently. Therefore, it is
vitally important that you understand some of the basic principles of learning so that you can
organise your time and type of study to the best advantage.

Basic Principles of Learning
1.   Effective study and learning are largely dependent on your desire to learn.
     However, a generalised determination to succeed is not enough. You must know what
     you want to learn.

2.   Rates of learning differ between individuals as well as between tasks or areas. Do
     not be too despondent or too complacent if you are either behind or ahead of your group
     at any particular time.

3.   Spaced learning is more effective than massed learning. This means that if you are
     studying four papers, it is better to work at each paper every day than to spend a whole
     day on one paper, the next on another, and so on.

4.   Concentration and efficiency tend to decrease over a period of time. To overcome
     this it is wise to allow a few minutes for relaxation after about one hour of study. Get up,
     relax your muscles and if possible have a breath of fresh air. Do not extend this
     relaxation for too long or you will have to spend further time re-orientating yourself to the
     work in hand.

5.   The learning of one skill may help or interfere with the learning of another. Learning
     about development planning in New Zealand immediately after learning about
     comparative planning systems in other countries may lead to confusion.

     It would be much better to allow for a neutral period before moving on to development
     planning. Make use of the principle of reinforcement by relating, comparing and unifying
     your knowledge within and between particular fields.
6.   Memory or retention of knowledge is much better tested by recall than by
     recognition. When studying use frequent tests of recall. After a lecture, test your
     memory by recalling the main points made, then check with your notes and fill in the
     gaps. A similar technique in reading will be profitable - read a chapter or section, jot
     down main points and then re-read the material to check for any omissions.

7.   Learning is improved and increased by repetition. Therefore, allow time to learn and

Source: Anderson, J. et al, Study Methods. McGraw-Hill, New York.

                             HOW MUCH TIME PER PAPER?

     Schedule your study so that you allocate appropriate time for one paper. For
      example, you would need to spend 15 hours per week on a 15 credit paper -
         including contact time in lectures, studio workshops and seminars.

Your Timetable
Work out, in pencil, a trial timetable of activities for yourself over the semester. Use the
University Academic Timetable. Here are some suggestions for filling the periods available for

       1. Apportion time to each paper according to your needs.
       2. Do not concentrate on one paper at the expense of others. Paradoxically
          students spend more time on papers they are best in and neglect the papers
          needing most time. You must avoid this temptation.
       3. Intersperse study periods with recreation.
       4. Provide for assignment preparation in your schedule, so you do not leave
          assignments until the last moment. Also allow time to test learning at
          frequent intervals.
       5. Have study periods for a paper as close as possible to lectures in that paper.
          A study period before and after a lecture is ideal.
       6. Allocate the time between lectures to suitable study activities. Much of this
          time is wasted by students.
       7. Allow time at the end of each day for a review of the day's learning in each
       8. Allot your difficult papers to time when you are most alert.

Organising Study Time
Study time will also vary depending on the semester stage. Talk to lecturers if you have
problems with types of study.

 Semester Stage                       Type of Study
                                      • Note all deadlines
                                      • Familiarise yourself with new definitions,
 Semester - Start                       vocabulary, techniques
                                      • Listening and reading about lecture topics
                                        increases understanding
                                      • Continue the above
 Semester - Middle                    • Begin reviewing and organising previous learned
                                        material with current topics
                                      • Emphasise revision and consolidation of your
 Semester - End (preparing for          acquired knowledge
 examinations)                        • Make amendments to timetable to cope with order
                                        of exams and intense review

Self Evaluation
For your timetable to be effective, you should constantly check and evaluate your actual
behaviour with the ideal behaviour of the timetable. At least once a week review and evaluate
your academic activities. Record these evaluations on a Self-Evaluation Check List. By
recording these evaluations you will have a better idea of how you are faring and you should
therefore avoid last-minute panic and examination jitters.

The following questions may be useful in your self-evaluation. This list is not exhaustive and
you may want to add more. Questions you should ask yourself:

             1.     Did I attend all my lectures and other classes?
             2.     Did I hand in my assignments on time?
             3.     Did I review and organise my lecture notes for each paper?
             4.     Did I read any of the references given in the lectures?
             5.     Did I seek help with any problems in my work?
             6.     Did I do the necessary preparation for tutorials and/or studio work?
             7.     Did I neglect any papers because I was catching up on others?
             8.     Am I satisfied with the amount of work I have done this week?
             9.     Would the lecturers be satisfied with my efforts this week?

Where your answers to these questions indicate unsatisfactory performance, it would be in
your interests to ask yourself why? In the long run, you are the one who has to do something
about any problems. Discuss problems with relevant lecturers. This assessment should not
take more than a few minutes each week. If you are honest with yourself, you should find it an
invaluable guide.

Assignment Preparation

ORGANISE YOUR WORK TOWARDS ASSIGNMENTS. It is important to begin work as early
as possible. This allows for unforeseen delays, perhaps due to sickness, or difficulties in
obtaining references. A late assignment will lose marks and may be handed back without
comments, thus affecting preparation for tests and exams.

By Third Year in particular, you are expected to adopt an analytical approach to your
assignments. Overuse of definitions and descriptive material will be penalised.

What does this mean?

  • Be clear about the type of assignment required. Is it a report, essay, or seminar
     report? Check if you are unsure of lecturer's requirements about presentation.
  • You should not give your personal opinions about the topic, unsupported by
     authoritative sources. Authoritative source include authors in refereed or professional
     journals, government reports, statistical or other secondary information, submissions
     from individuals to agencies concerning issues, and personal communication if you
     have retained a record of the interview.
  • You must show you understand the issues relevant to the topic - but do not just report
     arguments, be able to evaluate the argument of others based on your reading.
  • You are expected to be critical by determining whether the evidence available justifies
     the conclusions which different authors have drawn from it. Are basic assumptions

Obtaining Information
In preparing assignments, you will use information from the material provided in lectures,
Stream and the Library. Lecturers will obtain information from regional councils, territorial
authorities and government departments where applicable, as external organizations prefer not
to have numerous similar requests for information from students.

If you feel you need additional material to complete an assignment, make your request to those
organisations through your lecturer. We have a good relationship with most local authorities in
New Zealand. They provide us with a lot of material for teaching and research. If individual
students make unreasonable requests, our relationship is affected and benefits for future
students are lost.

             Please do not request information directly from
        external organisations, unless approved by your lecturer!

There are a number of appropriate methods for referencing. It does not matter which
referencing convention you choose as long as you are consistent throughout the assignment in
the text and in the reference list. Hacker (2008) provides useful information about referencing
within the text of your assignment and compiling a reference list. The University Library and
SLDS have many other resources for academic writing. All students are advised to refer to the
SLDS publication available on line: Academic Writing: A Guide to Tertiary Level Writing

We also strongly encourage students to purchase the following:

       Hacker, Diana (2008) A Pocket Style Manual (5th ed), Bedford/St Martin’s, Boston.

This publication is an excellent source of practical advice about grammar and referencing, and
will be useful in all your papers throughout your degree.

There are also online resources listed on the Library webpage and also myMassey (OWLL –
Online Writing and Learning Link).

In addition, information and advice is available from Student Learning Development Services
on the ground floor of the Geography Block – see


If you have special needs or require assistance because of a disability, make sure you have
advised the University and have received the booklet "A Guide for Students with a Disability"
from the Registry. The School is also happy to discuss your individual arrangements where
you need special consideration.

Contact either A/Prof Christine Cheyne or Dr Caroline Miller early in each semester so we can
assist you in developing your work programme for each paper.

If you suffer a sudden illness or have an accident, have a friend or family member contact the
lecturers concerned urgently, so we can help you plan the rest of the semester. If you don't
plan, you may lose a significant part of the semester’s assessment.

If you feel your performance is impaired by illness or disability you should complete an aegrotat
application. Be aware that if a medical practitioner or counselor does not support your
application you will lose all the marks for a piece of work (assignment, test, score etc) that you
do not complete. If you have a minor ailment (e.g. cold) it is unwise to use it as grounds for an

Checklist: Report


Covering Note       Do I need to include a covering note?
                    Have I used the appropriate format?
                    Is it professionally presented?

Title Page          Is my title brief and descriptive?
                    Have I formatted this page correctly?

Executive Summary   Is an executive summary required?
                    Does my executive summary stand alone (i.e. without referring)
                    Does it outline the key objective and findings?

Table of Contents   Is a table of contents required? (i.e. is the report 2,000 words)
                    Is it formatted professionally?
                    Have I used an appropriate numbering system and descriptive

Introduction        Have I included: context, purpose, and objectives?

Discussion          Have I fully analysed the present context?
                    Have I prepared the ground for my recommendations?
                    Have I supported my analysis with appropriate theory?
                    Have I divided my discussion into useful subsections?

Conclusions         Have I listed my key findings in order of importance?
                    Are my conclusions grounded in the present?

Recommendations     Are they:    practicable    action oriented
                                 specific       clear?

 References         Are my references formatted in a consistent way according to a
                    recognised convention?
                    Is my reference list complete?

Appendices          Has each appendix been given a clear title and numbered?

Style               Have I written in a style which is accessible to my audience?
                    Have I written with my reader's needs in mind?
                    Have I explained theoretical terms?
                    Have I proofread my work carefully?

Presentation        Is my report professionally presented?

Checklist: Essay


Introduction     Is my opening interesting and eye-catching?
                 Is there too much detail here?
                 Have I stated my proposition clearly?

Body             Does each paragraph have a topic sentence?
                 Have I kept to one idea per paragraph?
                 Are my paragraphs fully developed?
                 Have I used transitions to connect my ideas?

Conclusion       Have I summed up my argument effectively?
                 Is there a clear restatement of my proposition?
                 Have I given the essay a sense of completion?

Style            Have I varied the length and structure of my sentences?
                 Can I cut out any unnecessary words?
                 Is there anything I could write more clearly, more simply?

Referencing      Are quotations introduced smoothly?
                 Are quotations relevant and accurate?
                 Have I commented on each quote?
                 Are my references formatted in a consistent way according to a
                 recognised convention?

Grammar          Have I checked my habitual errors?
                 Check:      sentence fragments

Presentation     Is my essay professionally presented?

There are additional ways in which you can help yourself improve some skills and achieve
additional skills while you are at University. The following list has been prepared following
discussions with the Planning Programme's former students and MUSA.

  • Enrol in a university paper on academic writing.
  • Contact the writing consultants at the Student Learning Development Services (SLDS) ext. 2251
    for an appointment.
  • Take advantage of seminars and workshops offered by SLDS (e.g. examination techniques).

  • From the beginning, learn to use a word processor for assignments. Typed assignments are
    preferred and you learn computer skills, which you will need in the workplace.
  • Become familiar with the facilities available to you (e.g. library information commons and
    undergraduate computing labs), restrictions on use, and the hours of operation.
  • During holiday periods, extramural students have priority access to labs. The Labs close for the
    year at the end of the spring semester study week.
  • During the summer vacation, undergraduate students needing access to computer labs should
    report to the IT Services Reception, where you will be directed to an appropriate computer.

  • Help yourself develop your verbal skills and overcome shyness by joining community groups
    (e.g. Toastmasters) which give you an opportunity to practice public speaking.
  • Attend council meetings and committee meetings. Observe the operating styles of councilors
    and the officers and applicants who address councilors on various issues. Council websites have
    details of the times, venues and agendas of Council and Council committee meetings.

  • Planners must read a lot of material and be able to understand and communicate information.
  • Consider doing a speed reading course or use community library facilities which assist
    development of reading skills.
  • Read the DominionPost or New Zealand Herald every day (available on the ground floor of the
    library, near the entrance).
  • Read the Planning Quarterly and National Business Review to be familiar with current issues.
  • Read general magazines such as the Listener and Metro, to understand how people think about
    issues in New Zealand.

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