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 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.

 Proudly sponsored by

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.

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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What’s your prison? Dr Paul Wood

Dr Paul Wood will talk about his personal transformation from imprisoned delinquent to doctor of psychology. He will us this inspiring story to illustrate the universal steps involved in taking ownership of your own development, learning to identify and overcome the thoughts and beliefs that hold us back, and cultivating the necessary mindset and approach to  turn adversity to your advantage, unlock your potential, and increase your life satisfaction and wellbeing.

Dr Paul Wood is a leadership and emotional intelligence expert that assists organisations in their pursuit of excellence. Paul works with everyone from Google to the Hurricanes and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and other media outlets. His presentation at TEDx Auckland, the largest TEDx event in the world, has received more than 300,000 views on YouTube and was named one of the Top 10 TED talks by the New Zealand Herald. Paul’s passion for transformational change comes from his own journey from delinquent to doctor.