5 March e-News

The focus, both locally and globally on Covid-19 (AKA Coronavirus) has ramped up over the last week, particularly with the announcement of New Zealand's first confirmed case.

In short, it's here, but there's no need to panic. However, it's sensible for us all to make a plan. Hopefully, we won't have to use it, but we are prepared if the situation worsens.

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I've spoken to many member firms, and how they're responding depends on size and geography. For example, some firms with offices throughout Asia are taking a risk-based approach. This means:

  • Ensuring remote working options are in place
  • Staff self-quarantining where risk factors exist
  • Delay or cancellation of non-essential travel to China, surrounding regions and hotspots (our first diagnosed case came via Iran)
  • Monitoring import restrictions and the economic situation to ascertain their impacts on programmes and projects

Business continuity challenges aren't unusual in New Zealand. We saw them on a major scale following the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes. And to a lesser extent following the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

We learned a lot from this experience. But, as Matt Bishop Managing Director of BVT Engineering Professional Services put it

"as a sector, one of the most important things we learned was the importance of collaboration."

To that end, Matt, Ceinwen and the team at BVT have kindly shared their Covid-19 plan, which is a good guide more most small to medium-size firms. Thanks, Matt and Ceinwen.

Read BVT's plan

What's on

A reminder about our upcoming events.

Time-saving tips & tricks

Tuesday 17 March, 5.30pm, Auckland

The 'Queen of Productivity' Debbie Mayo-Smith shares her time-saving tips and tricks to boost your efficiency and maximise time and workload management. Organised by the ACE New Zealand Young Professionals Committee.

More details and register

Producer Statements, Site Observations & Reports

Wednesday 18 March, 2pm, Whakatane

Whakatane District Council manager of building and environmental services, Christine Watkinson shares her insights into what documentation is required for producer statements and site observations.

More details and register

Ballet and bullrush, princesses and pornography

Thursday 19 March, 12pm, Wellington

After the success of the Christchurch event, The Diversity Agenda is bringing this event to Wellington. Hear from Suran Dickson, a leading expert on diversity and inclusion on why the bar hasn't moved much when it comes to diversity in our sectors.

More details and register

Strategic Leaders Masterclass with Alicia McKay

Friday 20 March, 9am, Auckland

We're running a one-day masterclass on how to lift your leadership game from operational to strategic. Facilitator Alicia McKay teaches the basics of strategy and strategic leadership, challenging your perspective and stretching thinking with new tools and techniques.

More details and purchase tickets

Where are we now, where are we going, and what should we plan for?

Wednesday 1 April, 5.30pm, Christchurch

We all know our sector is changing rapidly - hear from key speakers on the key changes, risks and challenges when it comes to contracts, risk and insurance.

More details and register

Work-life balance & mental resilience 

Tuesday 7 April, 5.30pm, Napier 

We give our work full focus and dedication, so why do we struggle to give our wellbeing the same? Hear speaker and engineer Tony Harrison's own experience adjusting his work-life balance for his mental, physical, and family's health.

More details and register

Inadequate research into tsunami risk

New research shows that most East Coast councils are placing too little emphasis on tsunami risk when developing land, future-proofing infrastructure, and issuing building consents.

Too hard

Concerns over new powers for Kāinga Ora

Auckland Council’s submission on the Urban Development Bill is seeking an assurance that local government will have input into Kāinga Ora’s housing projects.

Collaborative development

Why is water in such a mess?

The Auditor General’s report on our water management has found that we don’t have enough data on water assets and Councils are ill-prepared for climate change.

Disorganised system

Wellington water concerns

There is growing anger at the capital's water infrastructure as a third of the city's wastewater pipes are now considered to be in poor or very poor condition.

Systemic issues

Calls for better cycling infrastructure

The death of a cyclist on SH2 between Wellington and Lower Hutt has led to a call for greater government investment in safer cycling infrastructure.

Safe infrastructure

Testing wall cladding

A new purpose-built rig will enable full-scale facade fire tests, which will help determine the fire safety of wall cladding used in high-rise buildings.

Flammable cladding

Skills for engineers

While engineers are generally recognised for their problem-solving skills, this article argues that companies often look for non-technical skills when hiring recruits.

Soft skills

New arrivals area for international travellers

Auckland airport has unveiled a $350 million, three-year project that will add around 30,000 sqm to the international arrivals area.

Greater capacity

New members for ACE New Zealand

At the ACE New Zealand board meeting on 19 February, the board approved three new members:

  1. Gaia Engineers Limited
  2. Hazcom Limited
  3. Shorewise Engineering Consultants Limited

We warmly welcome these members to the ACE New Zealand whanau. It’s positive to see the organisation’s membership continuing to grow, with 218 members. For a full list of our members check out our member directory

Kia pai tō rā, Paul and the ACE New Zealand team