Principal Policy Advisor
Benno has joined LGNZ in April 2020 following his work at the Treasury and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development focused on urban economics, infrastructure funding and financing and inclusive economic and political institutions, to advance the intervention logic of the government’s Urban Growth Agenda.
Prior to public service and falling in love with urban economics, Benno spent eleven years in academia across philosophy, neuroscience and religious studies, which culminated into doctoral research in contemplative studies. He worked with Tibetan Buddhist and Catholic Trappist monks and practitioners on how their practices restructure consciousness and alter the sense of self.
At LGNZ, Benno is focused on housing affordability and three waters reform. He will be taking forward his previous engagement with how market forces shape cities, establishing sound price signals in land and housing markets, creating new funding and financing mechanisms to respond to growth pressures, and creating necessary institutional settings and tools, to help empower communities to champion and fund local urban development and climate change resilience projects.
Benno is primarily concerned with influencing system reform to better balance existing interests (the right to quiet enjoyment of one’s own property) with overall prosperity (overall price levels in the market, quality of life and business, cheap and fast transport and moving costs, and sustaining these over time) to negotiate present interests with the needs of future generations.