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.
Want to receive our weekly email newsletters in your inbox each Thursday? Sign up here
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New members for ACE New Zealand
At the ACE New Zealand board meeting on 19 February, the board approved three new members:
- Gaia Engineers Limited
- Hazcom Limited
- 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