Hon Nanaia Mahuta

The Hon Nanaia Mahuta is a constituent MP for the Hauraki-Waikato seat with 20 plus years’ experience in ‘flax-root’ politics.

Nanaia Mahuta is: Minister for Local Govt and Min for Maori Development, and Associate Min for Environment.

Nanaia is  married and has  two children and  lives close to her home marae Turangawaewae at Ngaruawahia.  She has  strong links to the Māori King Movement.

Nanaia is a tribal member of Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Manu and her  parliamentary experience has enabled her to contribute to the collective aspirations of Maori and all New Zealanders.


Keynote Finding a new level: The UK’s Utilities Journey. David Smith

The UK has been a hot bed of innovation and change in the way utilities are owned, operated, organized, and regulated to deliver their duties and service.   Looking particularly at the UK water industry, but also other utilities, there are many lessons to learn from things that went well and things that didn’t go so well, and also the many different approaches that have been tried by various utility companies.  David will explore the drivers, challenges, and key learnings on the journey to improve the UK water sector and reach a new level of service and performance.  David will also look at other UK utilities and also share some insights from utility arrangements around the world.

David is the Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Stantec with over 40 years’ experience predominantly in the UK water market. He has a proven ability to drive business growth, manage operations, and lead large-scale consulting assignments and infrastructure delivery programmes. Specifically, David has first-hand knowledge of the UK water reform journey and the different investment and delivery approaches of various suppliers in their attempt to deliver the programmes of work required by the water regulator (OFWAT). He holds a number of board director positions, and is a passionate leader on Health & Safety, undertaking site audits to positively reinforce H&S culture.

David holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) Civil Engineering, a Master of Business Administration, and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Programme, Harvard Business School. He is a Fellow of the UK’s Institution of Civil Engineers.

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Hynds Pipe Systems Finalists




The impacts of climate change on our stormwater and wastewater systems
Author & Presenter: James Hughes, Tonkin + Taylor

What will climate change mean for our stormwater and wastewater systems? This study presents findings from Deep South Science Challenge funded research into this important issue.

Much of New Zealand’s stormwater and wastewater infrastructure is vulnerable to the risks associated with a changing climate, including sea-level rise or increasing extremes of rainfall and/or drought. The nature of existing stormwater and wastewater systems mean that they will be significantly impacted in a wide variety of ways including the increasing occurrence of compounding hazards. For example, many discharge to low lying areas, and it is these coastal and riverine locations that are most at risk to flooding associated with increasing rainfall intensity compounded with rising sea levels and changing groundwater levels.

This paper presents findings from Deep South Science Challenge – funded research on the economic, environmental, cultural and social impacts and implications of climate change on New Zealand’s stormwater and wastewater systems. In addition to identifying impacts and implications, the study identifies regional priority areas, and develops a series of guiding principles for managers.

Intuitive decision making for infrastructure strategists

Author & Presenter: James Thorne, WSP Opus
Co-author: Dr Eric Scheepbouwer, University of Canterbury

Who can we trust to make the strategic infrastructure decisions that our country desperately needs? Wisdom tells us to first look to the industry experts. But how well are we cultivating this intuitive expert knowledge? Does the decision making process hold up to scrutiny and is it conducted in a framework of continuous improvement?

This paper follows on from my 2016 IPWEA presentation and showcases the results of my master’s thesis research examining “Intuitive Decision Making for Wastewater Pipe Networks”.

I’ve pilot tested a method for documenting wastewater network renewal decision making with the aim of supporting continuous improvement in this strategic infrastructure focal point. The research method includes a survey capturing the intuitive insights of over 40 industry experts to document the collective importance of the various factors considered during the wastewater network renewal planning process. The ideas presented within apply beyond wastewater networks and hold relevance wherever decision makers are faced with the challenge of complex socio technical infrastructure systems. In other words, just about everywhere…


Quality assurance in pavement construction – our legacy
Author & Presenter: William Gray, WSP Opus

The principles supporting pavement construction Quality Assurance in New Zealand are known.

How often however, when as-built pavement performance does not meet our expectations, do we find that Quality Assurance has not been effective and largely administrative?

With input from the industry, the authors developed the Quality Right initiative in pavements for the New Zealand Transport Agency. Quality Right aims to positively influence all stages of pavement delivery including: procurement; pavement design; material supply; pavement construction, including subgrade and pavement layer preparation and surfacing.

In this paper the authors discuss how Quality Right in pavement construction means the Principal, Contractor and Engineer share and use current, explicit information about the works to support informed, collaborative decision making, delivering sustainable, resilient pavements.

Update from the Interim Climate Change Committee – David Prentice

David is currently the Chair of the Interim Committee for Climate Change – an independent organisation tasked with providing analysis and recommendations to Government regarding emissions from agriculture and electricity generation.

Prior to this, David was Chief Executive and Managing Director of Opus International Consultants, an NZX listed global infrastructure professional services company employing around 3000 people in 80 offices.  He had a number of other senior roles including General Manager, Business Development and Director of Opus’ UK operations before his appointment as CEO in 2010 saw him return to New Zealand.  He also served on the Board of Directors for Opus as a non-independent and executive board member.  David also worked in the IT sector for four years in a variety of roles.

He graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) degree and a PhD in Engineering and came to New Zealand as a Civil Engineer in 1997.

David was Chairman of Business New Zealand’s Infrastructure sub-group for five years, is a member of the Institute of Directors, and a Fellow of Engineering New Zealand.

IPWEA Australasia Update

The IPWEA Group continues to grow around the world. This provides our members with increased opportunities to share, learn and leverage international exposure, and build peer relationships. IPWEA NZ is a key partner of the IPWEA Group. We are proud to have New Zealand represented on the Australasian Board. Together we are stronger for our members.

He tangata, he tangata, he tanagata.

Myles Lind is member of the Institute of Directors and Chartered Professional Engineer who is a director of IPWEA Australasia. He is also the vice-president of IPWEA NZ and is a non-executive director on a number of Boards including NAMS Canada. Myles sits on the Audit and Risk committees of both IPWEA New Zealand and Australasia. Myles brings to the IPWEA Board expertise in risk management, strategic planning and asset management.

Ben Balov is the Acting Chief Executive Officer of IPWEA based in Sydney, Australia. With a background in finance and local government, Ben has been with IPWEA for over 9 years in the role of Chief Operating Officer. Ben is an experienced executive with key strengths in facilitating sector collaboration and delivering operational effectiveness.


The Road Asset Management Plan – Make it, test it and sell it. Mike Holeszko

Asset management by definition is the practice of managing the entire lifecycle of an asset. For a road, the purist engineer designs a pavement for an expected 20 year life taking into account many factors such as; subgrade resilience, expected commercial traffic loading, and environmental effects such as underground water or rainfall. Classic failure is defined as a 20mm rut due to repetitive loading over the design life.

In truth many existing pavements have well and truly exceeded their design life but are still in service. They have suffered the ravages of time including failure of the seal coat (oxidisation, poor design, stripping, gone fatty etc.), prolonged periods between reseals, too narrow for modern traffic volume and size, poorly maintained drainage systems, poor shoulder maintenance, and a lack of funding to keep them in serviceable condition. Typically they may exhibit conditions such as; cracking, rutting, roughness, poor seal texture, or resemble a patch work quilt through extensive patching.

Through technology we have arrived at a point in time where road managers can move from empirical funding allocations based on intuitive and experience based knowledge in one’s head to high speed detailed pavement condition capture via a survey vehicle and sophisticated analytical financial software. Additionally maintenance defect software allows collection, logging and pricing of defects to create defect backlog lists.

The perennial problem still exists of convincing those potentially non-technical, financial controlling folk as to an appropriate level of funding to adequately service the needs of the desired asset lifecycle.

This paper recognises the role of salesmanship, of pitching and selling a product or concept to a selected audience. The selected audience needs to feel a connection to the concepts presented, feel there is truth in the data and feel compelled to, in this case, fund (or buy) the proposal (or product).

The author presented a paper in 2004 about Road Condition Indices following the achievement of a successful pitch convincing the regional management team of where funds should be allocated. These indices were presented in a graphic format with various columns stacked upon each other (affectionately known as Chimney Stacks).

  • The road network was split into groupings by road function/category and compared road features within that subset (apples with apples).
  • Deficiencies only appeared graphically if they were below an indicative state of acceptable condition.
  • Road importance was graphically represented by Equivalent Standard Axles (ESAs).
  • The maximum value used to calculate an index was in some cases a statistical maximum just to eliminate very high isolated results. This provided better graphic representation of the population.

In the 13 years from 2004 the author has become acutely aware that selling the idea or any idea requires a pitch that may differ depending on your customer. For example engineers can be heavily swayed by a detailed engineering data and calculations rather than a fluffy concept. Politicians from a non-technical background could be driven by a different pitch. This paper elaborates on the RCI concept and how to orientate your pitch to gain maximum purchase of your argument.

Mike commenced with Queensland Department of Main Roads in 1985 and worked with them for 28 years in all facets of engineering within District operations.  For the last 5 years Mike has been the Maintenance Engineering Coordinator for Southern Downs Regional Council.

Career highlights

  • 22 years as an Registered Professional Engineer Queensland,
  • Being a mentor and coach for junior engineers
  • 2016/17 submitted and awarded 15 out of 15 Black Spot Projects for Southern Downs Regional Council.
  • Main Roads District Representative to Black Spot and Safer Roads Sooner State Technical Committee for 4 years,
  • Winner 2007 Roads Alliance Excellence Awards
  • Leadership Excellence Winner 2005 Roads Alliance Excellence Awards – “Innovation in joint purchasing and/or resource sharing”
  • Merit Award 2006 Main Roads Excellence Awards Business – Innovation and Improvement
  • Winner 2006 Australian Safer Communities Award – Pre disaster Winner 2006 Queensland Safer Communities Awards – Pre disaster Winner 2005 Queensland Road Safety Awards – State Government Initiatives
  • Winner Geoff Wilmoth Award 2004 and again 2017 – Best Paper IPWEAQ Conference
  • Personal Interests include: Grain feeding cattle, gardening, fishing, Sci-Fi movies, being in the great outdoors, and last but not least spending quality time with my family.

Keynote: The criticality of people in the sustainability of infrastructure management service delivery in New Zealand. Ross Waugh

Everyone in public works service delivery knows about the skills shortage.  It is about to get a lot worse.  The problem and the solution are found in the Maori phrase He tangata, it is the people.

It is increasingly recognised that we are facing a major Engineering skills shortage in NZ.  The reality is that this skills shortage is much wider than just engineering skills and is across the whole stack of skills needed to deliver public works services to our communities.  This is becoming a core issue in our ability to sustainably deliver public works service levels in NZ, and is projected to get progressively worse over the next decade.

This presentation and accompanying paper will review the size and breadth of the skills shortage.  An overview will be provided of the current range of education, industry and government initiatives in place to address the skills shortage.

The infrastructure management and service delivery impacts of the skills shortage will be unpacked including impacts on risks, quality, sustainability, procurement and service delivery cost. The adequacy of current responses to the industry skills shortage, the role of technology, expert systems, artificial intelligence and examination of possible additional industry responses will conclude the presentation.

Ross Waugh is the founder of Waugh Infrastructure Management and is an asset management and systems integration specialist with over 30 years’ experience in municipal infrastructure asset management and engineering.  Ross has been consulting in infrastructure management for 20 years this year, in the areas of transportation, utilities, community facilities, buildings and property.
Ross has contributed to a number of New Zealand national data capture, research, advisory, government enquiry, and infrastructure standard setting projects, and is a section author of the International Infrastructure Management Manual 2011 and 2015.
Ross has experience of seven cycles of integrating infrastructure asset management planning with long term financial planning within the New Zealand context.  He has also completed infrastructure asset management assignments in Australia and the Pacific.

Young IPWEA NZ Presenters

Flood risk asset management and asset performance in the Greater Wellington Region, George Bowman, Greater Wellington Regional Council

As part of its strategic asset management and continuous improvement, the Flood Protection Department of the Greater Wellington Regional Council has advanced its processes in flood risk asset management. This paper discusses a comprehensive, risk-based framework that has been developed to assess the overall performance of flood protection assets, in relation to required service levels and standards, whilst considering the potential risks posed to the community. Methodologies used and outputs achieved are discussed and presented, respectively, whilst insight is offered into continual improvement moving forward.

George Bowman, Member of Engineering New Zealand currently working towards Chartered status. Currently a Project Engineer for the Flood Protection department of Greater Wellington Regional Council, focusing on flood risk asset management improvements.
George has 3 years experience, having previously worked in the UK as a Flood Risk Management Officer.

 Behaviour – a key challenge for our infrastructure
Hayley Tregoweth, WSP Opus

A key way to change people’s behaviour is to change what motivates them. This presentation discusses how our personal views affect our decisions and gives examples of processes already in place at an industry level that help to align our behaviour with community goals, including NZTA Greenroads certification, MauriOmeter and the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s IS rating tool. It introduces an idea of a new model called PRISE which considers People, Resilience, Innovation, Sustainability, Environment, with the aim to encourage fundamental changes in behaviours, at every level of society, including the individual, to benefit our communities

Hayley has 6 years full time experience. She joined Opus as a cadet in 2010 completing the NZDE while working full time for three years. Since 2013 she has completed a Bachelor of Civil Engineering while working part time with Opus.Her experience includes working overseas designing gravity sewer systems in Fiji. More recently she has been involved in a large pump station and rising main design for a New Zealand Prison, and three waters investigation and design for a number of other correctional facilities.

Advances in concrete product technology
Ali Mobeen, Hynds Pipe Systems

In recent years manufacturing of concrete products has been affected by alternative materials. To combat this concrete product and manufacturing technology needs to advance.

Restructuring of the concrete product industry has continued at pace in many countries, largely accompanied by the increase of production capacity; in many cases market players with substandard product quality have been forced out of the market. However, this consolidation of markets has led more to price competition on a company level than to quality competition on a product level. These conditions would tend not to support the growth of the industry and potentially favour suppliers of alternative materials.

For concrete products to retain growth in the market, it needs to evolve using new technology and cost-effective manufacturing processes.

This paper illustrates how Hynds are using new technology to increase efficiency and quality of concrete products and how they will be introducing this in New Zealand.

Mobeen Ali is the Concrete Drainage Products Engineer for Hynds Pipe Systems Ltd and has been working for Hynds for over 4 years. Starting in the Graduate program, he has gained experience working in many parts of the business and has progressed to manage the Hynds Drainage product range.
For the last three years Mobeen has spent the majority of his time educating the drain laying industry on the correct installation of Concrete Pipe. So far, he has helped to train over 750 people nationwide from Whangarei to Invercargill.
In the last year Mobeenâs time has been spent on the new Hynds Concrete Factory located in Pokeno where he has been working with key council members to promote the new technology and products that will be available in the upcoming years.

What does wastewater system resilience look like?
Behrooz (Bruce) Balaei, WSP Opus

Failure of wastewater systems not only causes difficulties for the residents and critical users, it but also can have adverse impact on the environment. This paper outlines a framework to address wastewater resilience based on its robustness, rapidity, and contingency measures. A case study is presented discussing the application of this framework to Wellington’s wastewater system. Wellington’s wastewater system vulnerability was assessed. Pipes and pumpstations were ranked based on the combination of their vulnerability and criticality in terms of the number of user being served. Contingency measures were proposed for critical pipes and pump stations to minimise the adverse impact of wastewater overflow on the community’s health and environment. The framework provided an insight into the resilience of existing network and enabled Wellington Water to prioritise their renewal projects to enhance resilience cost-effectively. This framework can be utilised by other local authorities to foster their 3-water resilience under limited budget.

Behrooz is a Water Asset Management & Resilience Engineer at WSP-Opus. He has 9 years of experience in the disaster management field focusing on infrastructure resilience, damage estimation, mitigation planning, risk reduction, and asset management. He studied his M.S in Disaster Management at the University of Tehran in Iran. Having worked at the Tehran Disaster Mitigation and Management Organization (TDMMO), he has been to several disasters and gained a wealth of experience. Behrooz has been working on water supply systems resilience to determine the technical, organisational, social, economic, and environmental factors which affect water system functionality after an earthquake in his PhD journey.

Learning from our past to navigate our future
Pam Wilson, Calibre

There are many different perspectives on what reform means for the communities that we live and work within.  Collectively we are navigating a pathway through reform in a manner that is not dissimilar to the pathways that we may navigate individually in our own careers.  We identify goals to strive towards and we adapt our career paths as we develop and react to the challenges and uncertainties of what the future of our industry looks like.

We each have different perspectives that may shape how we adapt to future reform.  Should we be connecting the dots of our own pasts in order to put new perspectives on how we collectively move forward on the journey of reform?

 Pam is a Water Engineer at Calibre and has over eight years’ previous experience working for contractors and local councils throughout New Zealand.  Pam has experience in the three waters sector across operations, maintenance, contract management and high level design. 

An update on the economy. Tony Alexander

Tony will provide us with an update on the economy.

Tony has been employed as Chief Economist at the Bank of New Zealand, since 1994 with responsibilities including informing senior management about economic developments and prospects, risks and opportunities, and provision of services for the bank’s staff and client base. He is an accomplished public speaker much in demand and each year delivers between 80 and 130 presentations at bank seminars, conferences, and client functions around the country and offshore. He writes and distributes material directly to 15,000 email recipients with extensive links from other websites. www.tonyalexander.co.nz

Prior to joining the BNZ Tony worked as principal economist at a stock broking firm in Wellington and before that as Research Officer then Treasury Economist with Westpac Bank initially in Sydney, Australia, then New Zealand from 1987. He holds a Master of Arts degree (first class honours) from the University of Canterbury.

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A keynote presentation by Tim Grafton, Chief Executive, Insurance Council

This presentation will focus on where insurance and engineering/infrastructure intersect to manage risk. It will give reference to climate change challenges and how the insurance market can work with the engineering sector to meet these challenges. The presentation will include reference to the types of insurance cover that helps support construction of infrastructure, and the post-construction maintenance environment. Will also cover the “rezealiance” project.

Tim Grafton became Chief Executive of the Insurance Council in November 2012. Tim has extensive experience in providing strategic, policy and communications advice to public and private sector leaders. He was an executive director of a leading market research company prior to taking up his position with ICNZ.
Tim has a strong understanding of the machinery of government, having been an adviser to former Prime Ministers and Ministers of Finance as well as leading private companies. He has extensive knowledge of post-disaster recovery issues and insurance regulation.
He is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors and holds several governance roles. He is on the Executive Committee of the Global Federation of Insurance Associations, Chairs the Code Compliance Committee of the Fair Insurance Code, Chairs the Representative Users Group of the Deep South Science Challenge which focuses on research to adapt to climate change, and is on the New Zealand Advisory Board of the Australia and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance and the Advisory Board of Victoria University, Wellington’s Chair in the Economics of Disasters.

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