About Us

We are a boutique consultancy that is big enough to handle all scales of projects,
but small enough to ensure all our clients receive a personalised solution towards their desired results


With decades of experience in both the public and private sector, Avant Planning and Urban Design are leading specialists in delivering resource consents of all varieties. We can do this through our strong understanding of both technical information and council processes. We pride ourselves on our ability to pursue creative, efficient, and customised solutions for clients to ensure a successful project outcomes.

What Makes Us Different


Most importantly, engaging with Avant Planning and Urban Design differs from the conventional corporate consultancies as there are not multiple layers of “middle” management. We are a boutique consultancy that is big enough to handle projects of any scale, but small enough to ensure all our clients receive a personalised solution towards their desired results —resulting in a service that is intimate, personal, and effective.


Sunny Kan  (MUrbDes, BPlan (hons), Int.NZPI)


Beginning his professional career as a planner for the local Council in Wellington, and later for Auckland Council, he has a comprehensive understanding of the planning process and the inner workings of Council consenting practices. Sunny has developed a holistic approach to understanding what Council wants and finding a solution to achieving what the client needs.

Sunny is also a qualified urban design specialist and has experience both working for Auckland Council as an urban designer and privately providing urban design assessments for development projects. He has successfully assisted clients in the resource consenting process while achieving good urban design outcomes.

Mike Yu  (BPlan,MNZPI)


Mike covers all aspects of planning, ranging from project inception to delivery with a keen eye for detail. Skills he has acquired through a multitude of professional experiences both within New Zealand and the UK. Before Avant Planning and Urban Design, Mike held a senior managerial position in a multi-disciplinary company where his work performance gave confidence and security to his wide range of clients.


Mike’s overall ambition is to address all his client needs through thoughtful execution.

Gyanendra Datt

Principal Planner

Gyanendra is our principal consultant with extensive knowledge and experience, having worked in both the public and private sectors in New Zealand and the UK. Gyanendra has been involved in all facets of planning, with experience in resource consenting and policy planning. Gyanendra manages our most complex projects as well as our public sector work; he also provides our internal and external staff training programmes.

Shilpa Maharaj

Planning Consultant

Shilpa has extensive experience in the private sector, managing the resource consenting processes for a variety of applications ranging from infill subdivisions to apartment buildings. She also prepared submissions for the Auckland Unitary Plan on behalf of clients during its notification process. Shilpa is pragmatic with a keen eye for detail which ensures that projects are delivered to a very high standard.

Fei Hua

Planning Consultant

Fei comes from a consultancy background and specialises in all subdivision related matters ranging from cross-lease updates to multi-lot freehold subdivisions. She has developed a skill-set in identifying the most efficient use of a site while balancing that with on and offsite residential amenity values, which is immensely beneficial for clients during this Unitary Plan era.

Emily Vandy

Planning Consultant

Emily has experience in both the public and private sectors, providing a well-rounded approach to urban development and the planning process. She is solution-focused and builds strong rapport with our clients and partners, which is critical in achieving the best outcome for all parties.

Tara Chemis

Planning Consultant

Tara was previously an intern for a local authority and is currently building on this experience with Avant Planning. Tara provides support for the whole team assisting with site reviews and less complex projects.

Duncan Gibson

Planning Consultant

Duncan has a unique background, having had a career in Architecture and Urban Design prior to joining Avant as a Planning Consultant. He is an expert in feasibility studies and offers invaluable advice to our clients for multi-unit residential developments, drawing on his diverse background in design.

Eimear Clancy

Office Manager

Eimear (pronounced “Aim-Er”, like a person who aims) is our resident administrative powerhouse. With 5 years of experience as an administrator in the hospitality sector, Eimear is used to a fast-paced environment and delivers a quick turnaround for our clients & team.

Alex Wierzbicki

Planning Consultant

Alex is a planner and urban designer currently completing his Masters at the University of Auckland. He comes from internships at infrastructure and consultancy firms and brings an analytical perspective to planning processes.