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Cassie Horton

Invercargill City Council

Senior Open Spaces Planner



Cassie is a Senior Open Spaces Planner with the Invercargill City Council which involves providing advice and support that ensures the effective development and future planning for the Parks, Cemeteries and Open Spaces portfolio to achieve Council’s strategic goals.

As a professional in the recreation industry, Cassie is deeply committed to supporting emergent leaders, and is an active member of the Generate NZ Steering Committee. She is eager to help up & coming professionals develop their careers further through scholarship opportunities and mentoring resources (Tuakana-Teina) for Generate NZ and Recreation Aotearoa members.

Cassie developed the award winning ICC 2020 Tree Plan in partnership with Te Ao Marama, Council departments and external agencies and organisations and is proud to see the plan being implemented around Aotearoa.

Cassie's hobbies include trail running, mountain biking and spending time with her husband, two sons and dog.


Trees are our Taonga – A Tatou Rākao: Invercargill’s approach to a better management of their tree network


Invercargill City Council (ICC) looks after some of our most important natural assets, with more than 6,000 street trees across the City and trees located in approximately 3,000 hectares across our parks and cemeteries.

Prior to ICC’s Tree Plan being developed, there was very little documented about our tree network, with maintenance and forward planning being reactive. A tree falling on cars parked in a public car park was the trigger for some urgent planning to ensure the team were confident this would not happen again or, if it did, a process was in place to ensure effective and efficient actions were undertaken.

Understanding the City’s tree network is essential for planning ongoing maintenance, and planning for future tree diversity and development.

With an ageing tree network (with many in a state of deterioration), increasing environmental challenges, and financial constraints, it is important that our trees are managed proactively and in the best way possible into the future.

Our long term priority is to have an appealing, sustainable network of diverse tree species and tree maturity to deliver high quality public spaces and aesthetically pleasing neighbourhoods.

The ICC Tree Plan 2020 Our Trees – A Tatou Rākau plays a key part in achieving all of this!

A tree network that inspires the vision of Tane!

He whatunga rakau e whakaaweoho ana i te tirohanga a Tane!

Connectivity to earth, sky and everything surrounding them.

Te hono ki te whenua, te rangi me nga mea katoa e karapoti ana ia ratou.

A Tatou Rākau is our one stop shop, as it brings together our vision, inventory, policy guidance and action plan into one cohesive story.

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