Penny Cliffin

Team Profile

Penny worked as a landscape designer from 1985–1992, and then as a Senior Lecturer, Department of Landscape Architecture, Unitec Institute of Technology until April 2016. She now co-runs HIKOI Garden Tours, a small landscape tourism venture offering inspirational journeys for garden enthusiasts and landscape professionals, overseas and in NZ.

Her Masters degree focused on the biodiversity and management of tree collections in Auckland, and her ongoing research into Auckland’s urban forest has seen her convene an RNZIH conference titled “Plants as Green Infrastructure” in 2006. She also established the Unitec Arboretum through documentation and labeling of campus trees.

Penny is the current chair of the Auckland Branch Committee of the RNZIH, which organises branch newsletter and trips, administers the James McPherson award and has commissioned tree registrations of Auckland trees on the Notable Trees Trust register.


  • BHortSc
  • MApSc
  • GDipHE

Associations & Society Memberships

  • Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture (Executive Member and NZ Notable Trees Trust representative)
  • RNZIH Auckland Branch Committee – Chairperson
  • Garden Design Society of New Zealand – accredited member and Accreditation Board member
  • Member of Landscaping New Zealand
  • Member of the Friends of the Auckland Botanic Gardens
  • Member of New Zealand Botanical Society
  • Member of the NZ Plant Conservation Network

Awards & Recognition

  • Fellow – RNZIH (2007)