Inspire : Public Works Mar Apr 2014
39 council staff at PNCC, and an annual budgeted turnover of $40 million. HOW MUCH DOES THE EVER-PRESENT RISK OF EARTHQUAKES INFLUENCE YOUR WORK? One of the divisions of the City Enterprises unit is the Civil Defence and Emergency Management Division, which I head as the Civil Defence Controller. Part of the rationale behind allocating this role within City Enterprises was that, in the event of an emergency such as an earthquake, we decided we should take the asset managers out of the civil defence response coordination, so they can focus on looking after their assets and make decisions about their assets during recovery. So, I am involved heavily with the response on behalf of the whole community, not just the council. A big part is risk assessment and making sure we understand what the lifelines are, building resilience into the major bridges and pipelines, building in duplication and redundancy, and so on. For example, up to about fve years ago PNCC only had a single pipeline from our storage dam. It crossed one bridge and if that snapped off in an earthquake, we would have been without water for some time. We now have two pipelines coming down from the dam, and we also have redundancy built through bores down into aquifers. If the recent earthquake [6.2-magnitude, 20 January 2014] had damaged that pipe, we would have still had the ability to supply out of the bores – assuming, of course, that the earthquake didn’t affect them too! ARE YOU WORKING THROUGH ANY PARTICULAR CHALLENGES AT COUNCIL AT THE MOMENT? We’re an inland city, so we discharge our wastewater from the sewage treatment plant into the river. We upgraded the treatment plant to tertiary-level and phosphorous removal in 2006–08, but the effects on the river were a bit more than we’d expected. We’re working through that at the moment, including whether we’ll need to change the conditions of our resource consent to discharge into the river. We were experiencing a one-in-200-year drought at the time, so the effects of the discharge had a bigger impact on the river than we’d predicted. We’re now going to put a treatment plant in there to remove the phosphorous at slightly higher fows. CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PERIOD AS PRESIDENT OF INGENIUM (2009--11), AND YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE IPWEA MERGER LAST YEAR? I got a great deal of personal satisfaction out of that period as President of INGENIUM, in terms of actually being able to put something back into the profession. I’ve had a very rewarding career in public works engineering, so it’s good when your colleagues have the faith in you to take a leadership role and give something back. A focus during my time as President was to gain more infuence in the policy setting; to make ourselves available and to be involved in that policy work – a lot of which is done on a voluntary basis. Merging with IPWEA to become the IPWEA New Zealand Division has given us more credibility in those areas – we’re starting to get noticed now. For example, we’ve started inviting not just technical experts to our conferences, but also the Prime Minister and Ministers – and they’re coming. They want to hear what we have to say, and I think that’s a result of the organisation developing over the years, and that will only be strengthened now that we're a part of the IPWEA. ••• Working in local government, you get a variety of work and you get the chance to be involved from start to nish. DOITONOUR ONLINE FORUMS: Visit goo.gl/rVNoq5 to discuss this article. MORE TO ADD?
Public Works Jan Feb 2014
Public Works May Jun 2014