Waldo Posthumus

Company: Aurecon

Job title: Senior Civil Engineer  

About Waldo

I am a Senior Civil Engineer at Aurecon based in Tāmaki Makaurau. I am experienced in traffic and transport engineering and have worked in Aotearoa and South Africa. I'm passionate about sustainability, climate action, and diversity and inclusion. I'm a member of Engineering New Zealand, a transport project leader, a climate action and sustainability advocate, as well as an industry leader for diversity and inclusion. I have demonstrated the diverse skill range required by the governing board through my roles on a variety of committees, as well as in my technical background on various projects. I represent New Zealand on the Future Leader Climate Action working group within the World Federation of Engineering Organisations, and I am the inaugural Chair of the Rainbow Special Interest Group, which is the official pride group for the sector representing Engineering New Zealand and the Diversity Agenda. In these groups, I advocate and push the boundaries for our sector to encourage a better future for us all, both within Aotearoa and globally.

Pepeha or whakapapa/family history

Ko Magalies te Maunga
Ko Mildersdrift te awa
Nō South Africa ahau
Ko Posthumus tōku whānau
Ko Waldo tōku ingoa

I am from South Africa where I grew up, completed my studies and started my career. My partner and I immigrated to Aotearoa in 2019. We lived in Tauranga for three years and moved to Tāmaki Makaurau at the end of 2022. My whānau whakapapa go back to Greece and Germany. My grandparents from both sides of my family moved to South Africa, and I am a second-generation immigrant to South Africa. I still have family ties back to both countries.

What is your strategic vision for ACE New Zealand?

Our sector is facing significant challenges at the moment and ACE New Zealand will play a critical role in navigating the sector for both large and smaller enterprises to get opportunities as funding is released after the budget announcement. The current government is seeking businesses to lead the way and work with them to get the economy back on track. It is within this setting where ACE will be critical to build the appropriate links to government departments for these conversations to happen, as well as building and strengthening trust within the consultancy sector. Therefore, the vision will be to solidify these interdepartmental connections for the sector and set up conversation links, especially for smaller and medium consultancies that do not have the same reach. This will allow the industry to flourish, with an emphasis on productivity and getting more for the budgets available.

What strengths would you bring to the ACE Board?

My passion for improvement, relentless dedication to achieving what I set out to achieve, and enthusiasm to innovate along the way will be an asset to ACE. This is shown through my work in a variety of settings, including setting up the Te Wharekura o Mauao partnership with Aurecon, establishing the Rainbow Special Interest Group with industry-wide backing from both private and public sectors, and the global advocacy on climate action through the World Federation of Engineering Organisations and FIDIC over the past two years.

What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

As an out gay man, diversity and inclusion (D&I) is more than just a policy to me. D&I affects me personally and I have firsthand experience of how it feels to feel unwelcome in your workplace from when I lived in South Africa. Since moving to Aotearoa, I have realised the impact that D&I can have on your mental health and productivity at work. I found a workplace where I could be my full self and did not have to check every word I said before it left my mouth in case of accidently outing myself. This opened my eyes and activated my passion to advocate for D&I in every form possible. It has seen me taking on pride leadership roles at Aurecon, as well as the ANZ D&I council for Aurecon; establish the Te Wharekura o Mauao partnership with Aurecon, which allows Māori high school students to learn about and find a career path into engineering - with a successful cadet entering Aurecon in 2023; and the establishment of an industry-wide pride group to further improve D&I for the sector, especially small and medium firms that do not have the same access to D&I programmes.

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