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Jill Rice

Landscape Architect

Get Outside Ltd

GradNZILA , ProfAccredGDSNZ
Grad Dip LA, Grad Dip Tching, B Hort Sc(Env)

Mairangi Bay, Auckland and Mangatawhiri, Waikato, New Zealand




Jill Rice has been designing nature-rich, wonder-filled outdoor play environments for nearly 30 years.
Landscape architect and director of her own company, Get Outside, Jill is well-known for her
specialist area of design for children. Jill works collaboratively with educators to design spaces that
reflect the particular aspirations of their learning communities and the unique qualities of their site,
in order to achieve the best outcomes for children. As current chairperson of the International Play
Association (IPA) Aotearoa/ New Zealand, Jill takes every opportunity to advocate for the right of all
children to experience quality play environments. Her designs and presentations reflect her
conviction that the environments we provide for children hugely impact their play and learning
experiences, their delight in and respect for the world around them, and their well-being.

Passionate about good quality landscape design, Jill also represents accredited members of the
Garden Design Society of NZ on the GDSNZ Accreditation Board. She worked part-time as a
landscape design lecturer and tutor at Unitec for 10 years, served on School Boards of Trustees for 9
years and is a long-term member of both the NZ Institute of Landscape Architects and the NZ
Recreation Association.

Jill and her company have won design awards for several of their projects for children, including the
Rangitoto College Tranquil Garden, the Mt Eden Kindergarten Playspace and the Potter Children’s
Garden at the Auckland Botanic Gardens. The Rangitoto College and Mt Eden Kindergarten projects
received recognition as landscapes of distinction from the NZILA. The Potter Children’s Garden was
named Outstanding Park of the Year by the NZRA in 2010 for its sustainability focus, and part of this
garden known as the Mythological Maze of Maui won Gold for Jill at the Ellerslie Flower show. The
“Zero Waste Future” Experience Trail at the Waitakere Transfer Station that Jill designed for
Auckland Council, constructed out of repurposed “waste”, was a finalist in both the NZILA
Sustainability Awards and the Ministry for the Environment Green Ribbon Awards in 2015.

As well as several large public spaces, Jill has worked with hundreds of early childhood centres and
schools throughout NZ developing creative, nature-rich environments to support student learning
outdoors. Her “play gardens” are sometimes story-telling gardens, responding to and revealing what
may be less known about the history and meaning of a place. Recent projects include new inclusive
and accessible outdoor learning environments for the Blind and Low Vision Education Network’s
Homai campus in Auckland, the Hearing House (Joyce Fisher Centre) in Greenlane, large childcare
centres at both Waitakere and Auckland hospitals, an outdoor amphitheatre for Mairangi Bay School
and four outdoor learning/recreation spaces for Rangitoto College.

Jill understands that encountering acceptable risk and exploring natural environments is important
for the development of children of all abilities. A firm believer in the Reggio Emilia concept that “the
environment is the third teacher”, Jill considers that children’s spaces should be less about
entertainment and more about engagement, with nature, with people and with the unique place in
which they are located.
Through offices in Mangatawhiri, Waikato District and in Hauraki Corner, North Shore, Auckland,
Jill’s company, Get Outside, offers a full landscape architectural service specialising in play space
design, from concept design through detailed documentation to contract management and
overseeing the implementation of the plans.
Jill can be contacted by email jill@getoutside.co.nz, or phone Jill on +64 211825002.


IPA Aotearoa/NZ  – Current Chairperson, founding member of National Committee, conference presenter, advocating for the fundamental rights of children everywhere to play in quality environments Website - ipaworld.org

NZILA – graduate member since 1998, former member of Auckland Branch committee, promoting the role of landscape architecture in the thoughtful and professional design of the outdoor spaces in which we live, previous member of Auckland branch committee. Website - nzila.co.nz

GDSNZ -  Accredited member, Member of Accreditation Board, long-serving National Committee member and Chairperson 2015-2017, promoting quality and professional service in the field of garden design.  Click here for profile.

Early Childhood Outdoor Environment Reference Group, MIT – long-serving member advocating for optimal outdoor play environments for children through numerous presentations, contributions to publications and administration of active Facebook group. Facebook page here.

UNITEC – part-time lecturer 2000-2010 in Landscape Design Diploma, regular presenter in Short course re Children’s Environments, recipient of scholarship to pursue study in Masters of Landscape Architecture programme, current student of Te Reo in Kura Po. Website - www.unitec.ac.nz

NZRA - member since 2017, conference presenter, championing high quality recreation in New Zealand

NZ School Trustees Association – previous elected member of establishment Board of Trustees for Kohia Terrace School, previous elected member of Mairangi Bay School Board of Trustees, responsible for school property portfolio, conference speaker and recipient of Lockwood Crombie award for further study related to School Outdoor Environments in 2000. Website - www.nzsta.org.nz