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Cassino Edwards photo resized 2017

Cassino Doyle – BSc (Land planning and Development)

(Whakatohea, Te Rawara)

Cassino Doyle wasn’t that engaged at school but that was okay … he was pretty good at sport, and knew some influential people so he thought his career would just fall into place. Sure enough, after leaving school Cassino got a chance to play rugby league professionally in the UK. Then at 23 he had a series of head knocks that changed his focus … he needed to reprioritise his sporting career and re-assess things.

“I decided to study construction management at tech and really enjoyed that, but discovered I had an interest in creating subdivisions, so I came to Otago to study Land Planning and Development. The degree covered all the practical skillsets I needed to get into the industry, including design, construction management, contract and project management as well as the consent planning side of things. There was also quite a large Māori land component, which I found very appealing…”

After completing his Land Planning and Development degree Cassino went into the construction industry for a time, but decided he wanted to complete the extra papers that would equate to the equivalent of a Bachelor of Surveying. This would develop additional skillsets, and the Diploma for Graduates structure allowed him to study part time while working as a graduate resource planner. “

Cassino soon found fulltime employment with an international engineering and infrastructure consultancy based in Dunedin where he found that the broad exposure he gained in the Land Planning and Development programme was immediately applicable in the industry. His experience in construction management, added to his planning and surveying skills allowed him to have input in a wide range of civil construction projects from development of the concept, through to completion of construction. Projects ranged in scale from installation of bus shelters, safety and beautification works on the state highway at the railway station, seawall construction, to the SH88 and south Dunedin shared cycle paths. These local experiences provided the basis for Cassino to take up a two and a half year secondment in Fiji, helping the Fijian Government undertake a $500M/year infrastructure upgrade programme.” It was an opportunity that only came about because I had developed a broad baseline skillset and was adaptable, which started during my undergrad.”

“I grew up thinking that sport was my chance, and that tertiary education wasn’t even an option because I mucked around at school and didn’t achieve academically. In hindsight, that was a risky situation to be in.. Fortunately, I enrolled at Otago and found that with the many support networks available, actually, getting a degree was achievable, provided I put the work in consistently”…

Cassino is now completing a Master of Planning at Otago, covering topics such as urban form, planning policy, environmental and resource management law. “It’s all related, and I suppose I’ve never lost sight of my initial interest in land planning and development issues. This latest phase just seems like a natural extension”