Robert Terence Kennedy (1903-1997) was the foundation professor of town planning at the University of Auckland from 1957 until his retirement in 1969. During these years and into the 1980s he also practiced as a design consultant as well as advising governments on various planning matters. Kennedy had no tertiary qualifications but brought a wealth of experience from his time in the UK. He began his working life as an architectural assistant in Manchester and by the early 1940s was working with William Holford. This propelled him into a key role in the UK wartime planning bureaucracy alongside Holford and Gordon Stephenson. From 1943-55 he was Chief Planning Officer of UK Ministry of Housing and Local Government. He thus brought to New Zealand knowledge and expertise steeped in the British town and country planning tradition. Apart from establishing the first university planning qualification, his NZ career is also marked by high profile engagements in various design projects: waterfronts, civic centres, and motorways. This biographical paper stitches together the main lineaments of his professional life. It revisits his planning ideas, the firm moral compass guiding his work, his achievements and frustrations.