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Jill Rice

Landscape Architect

Get Outside Ltd

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

Hauraki Corner, North Shore, Auckland and Mangatawhiri, Waikato, New Zealand




Jill Rice has been designing nature-rich, wonder-filled outdoor play environments for nearly 30 years.
In 2004 she established her own company, Get Outside, and since then Jill and her company have received recognition for several of their projects for children, including the “Zero Waste Future” Experience Trail at the Waitakere Transfer Station, Rangitoto College Tranquil Garden, the Mt Eden Kindergarten Play space and the Potter Children’s Garden at the Auckland Botanic Gardens.
The Rangitoto College and Mt Eden Kindergarten projects received landscapes of distinction awards from the NZILA. 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 Experience Trail that Jill designed for Auckland Council to support their aspirational goal of zero waste by 2040 was constructed almost entirely out of repurposed “waste” and 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 nearly 400 early childhood centres and 
schools throughout NZ developing creative, nature-rich environments to support student learning outdoors. 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 children need play spaces and opportunities that are child-scale and age/ability-appropriate, and that like all of us, children respond to beauty and good design. 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 place. 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. Jill is a people person, and enjoys working collaboratively with educators, community representatives, her clients and contractors achieve spaces that are unique, special and functional.

As current chairperson of the International Play Association (IPA) Aotearoa NZ, 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 enjoyment of 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, was a member of an Early Childhood Outdoor Play reference group 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 Recreation Aotearoa.

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