David Fox – FNZIS, Christchurch
It was announced at the recent Annual General Meeting of the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors that it’s members having considered the eminent service that David had provided in promoting professional surveying both in Christchurch and nationally, together with his overseas experience in Borneo (Malaysia) had conferred upon David the status of a “Fellow” of the Institute.
Prior to establishing his consultancy firm in Christchurch David had spent six years in Sarawak under the auspices of British Overseas Aid and two years in Sabah under New Zealand Foreign Affairs, providing advice and implementing a wide range of State development projects, the creation of land titles for landless people and jungle trekking to produce maps covering large tracts of remote jungle.
David established the firm of Fox & Associates in 1981 and has since then been actively involved as a consultant in a wide range of surveying and land development activities. In particular the firm has established a reputation for designing and constructing residential hillside house sites, including the Broad Oaks Development. In 1997 David won the Institutes premier award for the concept and design of that 280 section hillside development.
From 2000-2003 David served as a Councillor on the Institutes national Body. In 2004 David says he was honoured to be invited by the Ministry for the Environment to be a member of the working party charged with producing “Urban Design Protocol”, a document that now features strongly in Environmental case law.
David was introduced at the Awards dinner by Mark Smith, the MC for the evening, as “the enigma from the South”. David presumed this was a compliment as he thinks that there is nothing wrong with being different (is there?).
Anyhow David, required to make an acceptance speech, then had the floor and apparently he was there for some time. He says surveyors remember their field experiences and because his big adventure was in the jungle and rivers of Sarawak his acceptance speech included a lot of Borneo tales. Yvonne, David’s lovely wife (who incidentally and rather usefully speaks both Indonesian and Malay) said “David was obviously buoyed by the laughter as he spoke and so he told a few more of his Borneo stories”.
A couple of comments that David treasured from the Awards night were the ex-Surveyor General, Tony Beaven, saying “it’s about time you were given the status of Fellow”. The other comment was from Professor Brent Hall, the head of the Survey School in Otago, who said “thank you for entertaining me last night”. This clearly was of some relief to David who had fielded a few comments about the length and humanistic nature of his acceptance speech.