We work hard to provide sustainable outcomes for our clients. We know they share our belief that making a positive difference to the communities we live and work in is important.


Sustainability principles are always incorporated into projects we manage.

It’s part of our culture and we are aware that future generations should thank us for what we are creating. We do analyse what impact on the wider environment a project could have and then we do our best to develop effective solutions.

Our team-based approach to problem solving means a wide range of specialist expertise is always on hand to deal with any problems we encounter on projects.

We know that our founding partners, Ralph Tonkin and Don Taylor were pioneers in caring for the environment. It’s part of our legacy and is be ingrained in our culture

With specialists and senior staff in all of our offices, we offer innovative and pragmatic solutions. These are jointly developed by our experts, and use the latest technologies.

Some examples of projects which were transformed by this approach:

  • The Waterview motorway tunnel project, networking Auckland’s roads and enhancing neighbourhood quality

  • Redeveloping Auckland’s industrial waterfront to be the new centre of urban living and engagement

  • Rebuilding Christchurch to withstand natures future challenges. We work to minimise our impact on the environment, in a way that is consistent with providing specialist consulting services.

Our principles include:

  • Educating, informing and empowering our people to embed sustainability concepts in all our work

  • Incorporating active waste reduction and recycling programmes into our everyday work practices

  • Progressively reducing our fleet fuel consumption by replacing vehicles with more efficient models

  • Implementing office next door information technology to reduce our travel-related carbon footprint

  • Buying Environmental Choice New Zealand licensed products wherever possible.

  • In 2015 our Hamilton office was one of the first to be licensed by New Zealand’s official environmental label programme, Environmental Choice New Zealand (ECNZ). This confirmed we successfully met ECNZ’s demanding specifications for preferable environmental Office Activities.


We are an employee-owned company with strong mechanisms to sustain our business into the future. We have strong intergenerational equity principles and we are committed to developing our people. We also support secondary school and tertiary education (see Community).

Our staff often partner with companies to provide targeted and practical advice on business sustainability. This includes strategic advice, corporate sustainability reporting, sustainable supply chain management, and training.

Some examples of the activities we become involved in include:

  • Government level advice on environmental compliance management and performance for major transport infrastructure projects

  • Environmental management plans and systems support to a wide range of manufacturing and construction operations

  • Developing environmental management systems for organisations operating throughout New Zealand.


Our community includes professional and world organizations that support and sustain our profession, and where we choose to live and work. We believe that making a positive difference to both of these communities is important.

The many ways in which we, and our staff contribute include:

  • Our young professionals talk about technology jobs to school age children

  • We provide the University of Canterbury-Geomechanics prize-Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering prize

  • We provide Auckland University-Scholarship for second to fourth years of engineering studies, and summer holiday work-Geomechanics prize

  • We provide technical advice to Tamaki College students. One of our staff is on the school Board providing governance advice

  • We participate in various IPENZ branch and technical groups, including: Geotechnical Society Hydrological Society NZ Coastal Society Rivers Group

  • Work on conference organising committees, including: 6th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, Wellington 2015 Australasian Coasts and Ports Conference, Auckland WaterNZ Stormwater Conference, Auckland

  • Tonkin + Taylor/ ACENZ prizes for Best Practical Work Report

  • We assist in a project steering committee to develop national guidance on rainfall-runoff assessments

  • Provide industry mentors for University of Canterbury design studio projects.

  • Support membership initiatives for young planners with the New Zealand Planning Institute

  • Provide venues for Engineers Without Borders NZ meetings and speakers’ events

  • Fundraise for Shine (Violence free homes charity) via The Taniwha (Mountain Bike & Trail Run/ Walk)

  • Donate to the New Zealand Blood Service.

  • Assist Habitat for Humanity-House building in New Zealand and Nepal

  • Transpower Neighbourhood awards, in which we support a school to complete an engineering project.

  • Tonkin + Taylor is a proud sponsor of Oxfam Trailwalker, one of New Zealand’s biggest and longest running charity events. We also raise funds, hellp organise and participate in Trailwalker

  • We support Workchoice Teachers' Day in Auckland and Christchurch

  • Cook for Ronald McDonald House family meals.