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December 2016                                                                                                      Latest news, events & interviews.

In This Issue


Letter from Gillian Wess, CEO

From First Responders to Forward FM

Kia ora koutou
Our thoughts have been with FMANZ members and colleagues who were among the first responders to the recent Kaikoura and Wellington earthquakes, and those who are still dealing with the many issues and disruptions created by these events.  We acknowledge the important roles performed by our members to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the people and workplaces affected by the quake, and to maintain business continuity.  We know from Canterbury’s experiences that the earthquake effects can be long lasting, and the skills and training of our valuable FMANZers will be engaged in managing the future and ongoing fallout. 
Knowledge sharing and networking are FMANZ benefits, and in times of emergency and unexpected events, the collective experience and assistance shared within our membership and partner organisations really come into play.  Our members know they can reach out to their peers for advice and support during this challenging time.
Mutual support and information sharing was also in evidence at last month’s Branch Chairs’ Workshop held in Auckland.  This was the first time that branch representatives together with the operations team had met in an organised forum.  With FMANZ’s strength coming from membership growth, participation and education, it is important that we connect and extend our networks beyond regional boundaries. 
It was good to hear that the branch committees are working well and that branch events are well attended and supported.  We discussed new processes for improving event planning, alignment of branch activities with the FMANZ strategic plan, communication between branches and the ops teams, attracting new members, and advocacy for increasing awareness of FMANZ.  Our new coordinated calendar of events will enable members, branches, sponsors and board to plan their diaries in advance, and also promote the number and range of events and programmes offered through FMANZ.  We agreed to hold regular Branch Chairs’ meetings, with the next aimed to take place during the FM Summit in May.
At year’s end it is traditional to reflect on the year past, and to look to the future.  This issue of our e-mag has plenty of evidence of an active and thriving FMANZ.  In 2017 we will go “Forward FM” with fresh opportunities to advance the interests of and for FM.
My special thanks go to FMANZ’s sponsors for their valued support during 2016 and with whom we all look forward to working next year.  And to our wonderful operations team of Sascha, Marjolein, Sara and Amie for their consistent hard work, dedication and professionalism on your behalf. 
I wish you and your families all the very best for Christmas and for a safe and relaxing summer break. 
Nga mihi,
Gillian Wess
Chief Executive


FM Summit 2017

Five Months and Counting!

 FM Summit 17-937If you do nothing else before shutting up office for the year, do this: Block out Wednesday 3rd & Thursday 4th May in your diary to ensure you don't miss out on FM Summit 2017!

The two-day 'Forward FM' Summit and Trade Expo is gearing up to be the best one yet, with more than 20 speakers lined up to enlighten us on a variety of FM and blue sky topics. We're mixing things up a bit and introducing some fresh new features you're sure to love. All will be revealed in the February e-mag but in the meantime, here are three things you need to know:

When:  Wednesday 3rd & Thursday 4th May (early bird registrations open in February).

Where:  Villa Maria Estate in Auckland.

What: Two days of thought-leadership sessions and informative seminars, FMANZ's Gala Awards Dinner,  a boutique Trade Expo, a new 'FM 101' series, breakfast sessions, panel discussions and much more. If you work in FM, you won't want to miss this opportunity to network, up skill and look to the future. 

If you missed this year's Summit - or just want to remind yourself how good it was - click here for a short video of highlights and interviews.

Trade Expo
trade expo 2-815
Have you got a product, system or service you want to tell the FM world about? Don’t miss out on a stand at the Trade Expo. The Summit draws together facilities managers from all over New Zealand, each year attracting over 300 FM professionals and suppliers from all sectors of the industry.  Please email expressions of interest or enquiries to Marjolein de Graaf at
Please contact Marjolein also if you are interested in signing up to be an FM Summit 2017 Sponsor. Email or phone 0211062021.

FMANZ Awards Open for Nominations 

Have You Got What It Takes to be the 2017 FM of the Year?

Nominations are now open for the FMANZ Awards, to be presented at the Gala Awards Dinner on 3 May.
The Brian Happy Award for Facilities Manager of the Year will be awarded for outstanding performance by an individual working in the FM profession. The judges are looking for nominees who have applied their experience and knowledge to produce exceptional results within their facility and/or organisation, as well as demonstrating excellent personal qualities.

Click here for a nomination form.
The Young Achiever of the Year Award will be presented to an FM professional under 35 years of age who has shown a strong and on-going commitment to their personal development and that of the wider industry.

Click here for a nomination form.
The FMANZ Awards were established last year to recognise and applaud the achievements of individuals who have excelled in Facilities Management, to promote the FM industry to the wider community, and to highlight the significant contribution FM makes to the health, wellbeing and productivity of New Zealanders.
We encourage you to support your peers by nominating them, or why not suggest that a colleague or client nominates you if you feel you’re deserving. Entries close 28 February 2017.

  • Nominees for the Young Achiever Award must be under the age of 35 on 3 May 2017.

  • Nominees must be a Facilities Management practitioner. For the purposes of these Awards, this includes anyone who organises, controls and coordinates the strategic and operational management of buildings and facilities in public and private organisations to ensure the proper and efficient operation of all physical aspects, including creating and sustaining safe and productive environments for occupants. 

  • Nominations must be submitted on an FMANZ Awards nomination form appropriately covering all judging criteria, with a signed declaration.

  • Nominees must have been a member of FMANZ for 12 months prior to their nomination being submitted.

  • Judges, awards committee members and board members are not eligible to enter.

  • An individual may nominate only one person per year. 

Key Dates:

28 February 2017 – Entries close at 5pm.
April 2017 – Finalists announced.
3 May 2017 – Winners announced at the Gala Awards Dinner. 

For further information, click here, or email


Greg Wilder and John Braithwaite-232

2016 FMANZ Facilities Manager of the Year, Greg Wilder.

Gareth Ramson-321

FMANZ's 2016 Young Achiever of the Year, Gareth Ramson.


Branch & National Service Awards

The inaugural Branch and National Service Awards will also be presented at the Gala Awards Dinner on 3 May. Nominations are now open for these awards, which have been established to recognise the hard work and dedication of FMANZ members at branch and national level.
At Branch level there are two awards: Service Award & Distinguished Service Award.
At National level there are three awards: Service Award, Distinguished Service Award & Honorary Fellow.

A points system will be used to determine eligibility for these awards, details of which are set out in the nomination form.

Key Dates:

28 February 2017 - Nominations close.

3 May 2017 - Awards presented at the Gala Awards Dinner.

To request a nomination form, please contact Sascha on 027 233 4450 or email

More information on all of these Awards can be found on the website


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Snapshots from Around the Country

FMANZ'ers have been busy these past couple of months attending breakfast seminars, site visits, debates, panel discussions and, most recently, Branch Christmas parties. Hopefully you managed to make it along to a few of these events. Here are a few pics from some of these gatherings...

First up, a few photos from the Wellington Christmas Party held at NZ Post House last week.

WLN Christmas 1-477 WLN Chrismtas 3-299


WLN Christmas 2-302

Fun was had by all at the Auckland Christmas party, too, held upstairs at Everybody's last week.

Auckland 1-59 Auckland 2-162
CHCH Asbestos-541

Thanks to Tim Wheeler and Ben McCann from Greencap for travelling the country last month to present the National Breakfast Seminar Series on asbestos management. If you would like more information, you can contact Greencap here.

FI panel 1-301

Thanks also to Mark Sinclair for moderating the panel discussion - Bridging the Gap Between Design and FM - at Facilities Integrate in Auckland in November, and to the panellists: Andrew Burton, Chris Brebner, Myra Cohen, Glen Gordon, Stella Green, Greg Wilder and Campbell Williamson.

WLN debate-427

Wellington members enjoyed a hard-fought debate in November, chaired by Earle Hancock from Argus Fire Protection. The topic: Run-to-fail is more effective than planned renewals. Arguing the affirmative: Carol Gould, Patrick Homan and Carl Lottering. Arguing the negative: Nix Lavin, Nick Harrison and Robert Lopez. Strong cases were put forward by both teams, but in the end victory went to the Negative team, who convinced 70% of the audience that run-to-fail WAS NOT more effective.Thanks to Argus for sponsoring a very successful evening.

Devonport 1-888 Devonport 2-149

FMANZ members in Auckland got a taste of what it's like to be at sea with an After 5 visit to the Royal New Zealand Navy's Devonport Naval Base. Thanks to FILTERCORP for sponsoring this great event.

In the New Year we'll be bringing you a calendar of events for 2017 so you can get in early marking FMANZ events in your diary. Until then, enjoy all the non-FM festive events you have planned over the coming weeks.




Members' Corner

Bits & Bobs

Change of Address  (Ours)

Please note: FMANZ's postal address is changing to 38 Roseberry Ave, Birkenhead, Auckland 0626.

Change of Details (Yours)
If you change job, move office, get a new phone number or email address, please let us know. It helps us keep our records up to date and makes it easier for us to keep you informed about events and other important goings-on. Email any changes through to Sascha at

Good to Know #1 JOB CENTRE
Looking for a job? Looking for someone for a job? It seems that a lot of you aren't aware we have a Job Centre page on our website. Currently on the page: Christchurch City Council is looking for a Community Facilities Coordinator. Advertisements cost $200 (+ GST), for a period of up to 30 days. Email for more information or to advertise.

Good to Know #2 FREEBIE

Be in quick to get a free NABERSNZ feasibility assessment for your commercial office. These assessments help owners and tenants considering undertaking a NABERSNZ rating, to assess their building’s readiness to get started. There are 60 feasibility assessments on offer spread across Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. These will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis to properties/clients that meet the eligibility criteria. Click here to find out more.

Good to Know #3 CONTRACTS

The Maintenance and Services Standards Committee - Jason Happy, Andrew Riley, Mark Sinclair, Ed Kidd and Warren Smith - are busy working on a suite of standard maintenance and service contracts for members to use.  The intention is to make contracts available on a service by service basis. The first service the committee is focusing on is fire systems maintenance and operation.  It is likely the first of these contracts will be made available early to mid 2017. We'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, did you know that general short and long form agreements are available on the website? These templates have been prepared for use for contracts for acquiring planned preventative maintenance service, and can be adapted for use in a wide range of services and buildings. Take a look at the agreements here.




Work With Staff To Reach Your Goals

EECAYou may be one of only a few people in your organisation responsible for monitoring your company’s energy use, but you need everyone onboard and working together to make real progress towards your energy savings goals. To help you achieve your goals, EECA BUSINESS has developed a free Staff Engagement Toolkit which includes a set of checklists, guides, templates and videos (you might even spot a familiar FM face or two) -  everything you need to develop your own staff management programme. Find out more here.  

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News from NZ and Around the World

Leaving School Magazine October-313A Career of Choice
FM is in the spotlight in the latest LEAVING SCHOOL magazine, delivered free to all high school students in Years 10-13. Thanks to FMANZ board member Stuart Bryant for flying the FM flag and promoting FM as a career of choice. (See page 38.) Stuart talks about how he got into FM, his role at SKYCITY and AUT's new Asset and Facilities Management qualification offered through the university's Bachelor of Engineering Technology programme. "An FM qualification will be instrumental in taking this profession to the next level," he is quoted as saying. AUT opens its doors to FM students in February. Click here for more information on the degree.

otago students 1-979Students Get a Taste for FM at the ASB
Speaking of students, FMANZ member Michael Cameron took a group of Otago Polytechnic hotel management students around the ASB offices in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter recently. The students are currently studying FM and their lecturer, Abraham Luther, wanted them to visit  a facility other than a hotel to find out how this facility is managed and what the FM's role is.

FM Challenges and Opportunities
Canon has released an interesting paper on the Challenges and Opportunities Facing FM in 2016. Click here to read.

FMA-204FMA Awards Winners 
Over 500 FM professionals from around Australia came together to recognise the industry’s leaders and innovators at the 2016 FM Industry Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, held on 17 November at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne. For the second year in a row, it was a sell-out event. The Awards were presented across eight categories, culminating with the Facilities Manager of the Year Award, won by Josh Ryan from CBC Facilities Services. See the full list of finalists and winners here.

Digital Transformation in FM One Day Summit
Speaking of FMA, our colleagues across the Tasman are running a one day National Summit in Sydney on 16 February that will focus on ‘Digital Transformation in FM’. The program includes two half day sessions (BIM and Digital Technologies) along with a working lunch.  Find out more here.
Astrid 1-361Astrid Continues to Impress
Congratulations to Astrid Bruursema who came third in The Netherlands in the prestigious Dutch Essay Prize for Bachelors in FM. The prize was awarded to Astrid for her thesis on the FM market in New Zealand. Astrid, who spent six months in NZ last year, presented her findings at this year’s Summit. She is currently working for Rentokil Initial in The Hague.

stethescopeFM = Healthcare Worker
“The person most responsible for your health is the FM." No pressure then! The facilities manager is more of a ‘healthcare worker’ of the workforce than a doctor is, according to authors of new research into how buildings can affect the health of workers. Find out more here.

Growth in Tertiary Education
The Association of University Directors of Estates' (AUDE) annual report states the tertiary education sector in the UK grew by £2 billion in one year, despite a challenging funding environment and a decrease in the number of home students. The annual turnover for the entire UK university sector now equates to £30 billion overall. The report says capital expenditure grew by 5.6 per cent across the UK, driven by investment in the estate as the sector “continues to improve its estate and facilities in the knowledge that staff and students expect high-quality and attractive facilities”. Read the report here.

technology-702Top Tech Trends for FM in 2017
The FM industry is modernising and technology will drive the change, says software group SWG. There will be more connection, more automation and more significant impact in business and investment than ever before, in a revolution that has just begun.  Take a look at what technology developments facilities managers can expect to see in 2017 and beyond. 

artificial intelligenceMore on That
Keeping with the tech trends theme, a new report from tech analysts Gartner highlights the top technology trends the firm believes will be 'strategic for most organisations in 2017'. Gartner defines a strategic technology trend as one with substantial disruptive potential that is just beginning to break out of an emerging state into broader impact and use or which are rapidly growing trends with a high degree of volatility reaching tipping points over the next five years. They include artificial intelligence, blockchain, intelligent devices, digital technology platforms and advanced machine learning.

Asbestos in the Workplace

WorkSafe has released guidance for managing and removing asbestos in the workplace, the first of its kind in New Zealand. The Approved Code of Practice for the Management and Removal of Asbestos will help contribute to WorkSafe’s target of a 50% reduction in asbestos-related disease by 2040. Asbestos is the single biggest cause of deaths from work-related disease. On average about 170 people die every year from asbestos-related diseases. Download the guide here.

IoT-258The Internet of Things
One in four installers of fire and smoke detectors (24 per cent) believe the FM service sector will feel ‘the greatest impact' of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the way it integrates into the coming generation of smart cities. Read more here.


Learnings from World Workplace

IFMA’s World Workplace Conference & Expo took place in San Diego this year. In this blog post ISS summarises the five key learnings they took away with them.

JiLL-697Meet JiLL
It has been predicted that robots will play a key role in the future of FM and property services firm JLL is aiming to be a leading innovator in this movement. JLL has taken a pioneering step in workplace strategy by starting a pilot at its newest Sydney office using a humanoid robot in the role of receptionist and concierge. JiLL, a 57cm tall NAO robot, joins the company as its corporate front-of-house administration team at the 50 Carrington Street office. Find out more here.

Act, Plan, Check, Do
WorkSafe has developed this Fact Sheet to assist employers to manage and prevent violence or threats of violence in customer service areas. The Fact Sheet applies to public and private sector businesses and outlines a PLAN-DO-CHECK-ACT process to help employers understand the risk, implement control measures, implement worker reporting measures, and review and improve control measures.

green offices-531Green Offices Pay Dividends
Employers, building owners, designers and developers throughout the world are showing that it pays to invest in green offices that keep their occupants healthy and happy, a new report from the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) reveals. 
sleep deprivation-479

Sleep Deprivation Costs

The UK economy sustains a loss of up to £40 billion a year – or 1.86 per cent of its GDP – because of workers’ sleep deprivation.  Learn more here.  

smart skyscrapers-204

Smart Skyscrapers

What Makes a Skyscraper Smart? Alistair Guthrie, a Professor of Environmental Design in the School of Built Environment at Nottingham University – a speaker at the Australian Smart Skyscraper Summit next year - discusses the elements that make up a truly smart skyscraper here

Building Law Smarts
Stay up to date with your compliance requirements and building law, with Building Networks’ training. There are a number of training courses being offered in early 2017. Find out more here.
Employees-not-engaged-in-their-work-910Lack of Engagement
The world is currently experiencing an employee engagement crisis and recent data suggests that only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged in their work. Why are employees not engaged and what can facility managers do about it? Find out here.  

automationThe Rise of the Machines
Up to 861,000 public sector jobs in the UK – around 16 percent of the overall workforce - could be automated by 2030 according to research by Deloitte. The research builds on Deloitte’s work with Oxford University on job automation and is included in the firm’s The State of the State report for 2016-17 – its annual analysis of the state of public finances and the challenges facing public services. Learn more here.
More Jobs Maybe?
Despite workers’ fears that jobs will be lost to automation in the workplace, most UK business leaders believe that technology will actually create more jobs in their organisations over the next 10 years than it will replace. Find out why they think this, here.  

worksafeNew Online Health and Safety Tool
WorkSafe has developed a new online tool to help SMEs get started with managing their workplace health and safety risks. The ‘Around the Block’ tool is animated and interactive, taking users on a journey through a typical city block. Thirteen businesses have been included so far – from cafes and hair salons, to medical centres and petrol stations. Clickable hotspots within each of the interiors identify some of the health and safety risks in that business and provide some information on how to manage them.  

sustainability-505Sustainable FM
Just how sustainable is FM? The results of the fourth annual Sustainable FM Index reveal that though real progress is being made among service providers, there are some barriers yet to be crossed, reports

nigeria-259Nigerian FM
BIFM and its committee in Nigeria have published the findings from the Facilities Management Business Confidence Monitor 2016/17 Nigeria. Respondents recognise the growing FM industry within the region despite undercurrents of economic uncertainty. Read more here.

charities-92Property a Threat to Charities
More than half of UK charities have experienced difficulty funding property costs and 45 per cent believe property is the biggest threat to their sustainability, according to a report by the Ethical Property Foundation, in partnership with the Charity Commission. Find out more here.

gen z-684Come on in Gen Z
Generation Z - those born in the mid 90s to early 00’s - is gearing up to enter the workforce.  Is your workplace ready? Even though many similarities exist between this emerging generation of workers and Millennials, their behavior and priorities in the workplace will differ in some very important areas. Learn what these are here.

millennials need peaceSpeaking of Millennials
Asked for the dream millennial workplace, most people would probably envision a brightly coloured open environment with pool tables, bean bag chairs and maybe a small basketball court. But it turns out that young people in the workplace have the same psychological requirements as the old crowd, and may even be more sensitive to distractions. A recent study by Oxford Economics suggests that distractions in the workplace are seriously hindering people’s ability to concentrate and perform, with little recognition from above. The transition to open offices since the end of the 20th century and the environmental factors they bring into play may be affecting people’s mental health, reducing employee happiness and thereby the bottom line of business performance. Read more here.
Total Facilities 2017
Total Facilities returns to Sydney in 2017 at the new International Convention Centre (ICC) at Darling Harbour on March 29-30. It is being touted as ‘Australia’s central marketplace for facilities buyers and suppliers’ and promises to ‘provide people involved in the industry with an opportunity to grow their business by connecting with the largest community of FM professionals actively seeking the latest facility products and services’. To find out more, visit the Total Facilities website
lonely work-667Lonely Work
Despite half of the British workforce saying they are equipped with the right tools and technology to enable them to work anywhere, 50% of respondents to a new survey stated that remote working can make them feel stressed, isolated or lonely and over half (53%) said that working out of the office makes them feel disconnected from colleagues. Read more here.  

If you come across any interesting snippets you think others would be interested in, please email them to Sara at

 A Day in the Life Of ... Darrell Smith  

Of Mice and Medicine

“My goal is to provide a facility that supports world-class cutting edge scientific research and the range of activities that enable that research.” Meet Darrell Smith, Facility Manager for the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research (MIMR), New Zealand’s leading independent biomedical research institute.  Darrell has worked at the Wellington-based Institute for 19 years and is currently completing his fifth university degree (yes, you read right!).

What does your job involve?
DSmith Lab-929
My key roles are:

  • To ensure complex laboratory environments and office infrastructure are appropriately maintained and functioning correctly including the maintenance of specialist scientific equipment.

  • Dealing with a diverse range of stakeholders, both internal and external, as MIMR is constantly used to showcase New Zealand science to foreign officials by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

  • To represent the Malaghan Institute’s interests in the design and construction of laboratory environments and other infrastructure projects. This involves looking at the big picture of both MIMR’s requirements and other external stakeholders.

  • Ensuring a safe and healthy environment for all staff, students, contractors and visitors to the facility which involves dealing with a complex array of hazards, such as infectious materials, chemicals, radioactive and genetically manipulated organisms as well as all the normal workplace hazards.

Many FMers describe themselves as ‘accidental’ facilities managers. How did you get into FM?

While studying psychology at varsity I supplemented my income with plastering, tiling and building which led onto investing in both residential property and light commercial property. While working on my Ph.D. in behavioural psychology I also studied animal husbandry as I wanted to be able to care for my laboratory animals. I was undertaking work experience at the medical school’s animal facility when the director of MIMR (housed in the Medical School at the time) approached me to become a technical cleaner. Over time the role grew from technical cleaner, to Laboratory Manager and finally to Facility Manager. Over that time I achieved degrees in environmental science, building science as well as numerous technical courses. Today MIMR is ‘on fire’. We celebrated our 50th anniversary, I am busy designing and engineering a nano particle lab and finishing off my fifth degree - a graduate diploma in Health and Safety.

What does ‘Facilities Management’ mean to your organisation?

At MIMR, success in research depends on the quality of the people and the facilities they have to work in. The facilities management team maintains high-end facilities and equipment to ensure that the Institute has the most suitable working environment for its employees and their activities.

What is a typical day like for you?

Monday morning starts with checking in with reception, although I get text alerts from the Building Management System and emails to my phone. The reception is the hub and will catch me up with any news, problems or absences. A walk around follows checking essential operations like liquid nitrogen levels and other critical equipment and is a good opportunity to touch base with other staff.

I have a seat on the senior management board along with the Director, GM, accountant and senior scientists. Today we had a debrief from our 50th celebration held at Parliament and the discussion of the VP experiences, which is important as we are a charity and we operate on a large portion of soft money.

Next was an induction for a new communications officer which included a lot of back story so they can understand the facility and the general activities involved and protocols for access into the different laboratory environments around the facility.

My next job was preparing chemical waste (phenol) for disposal which included double bagging and packing it with enough absorbent material in case of a spill, completing the appropriate MSDS sheet and dangerous goods form, delivering it safely into the hands of the driver, then waiting for the certificate of disposal.

Another day dusted.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

I face numerous FM challenges here at the MIMR including:

  • Health and safety

  • Regulatory compliance

  • Constant change and demands driven by emerging science.

The one problem I think we all have is supply chain - reliable brands or manufacturers or contractors disappearing overnight, leaving the plant or equipment that you have just spent your budget on redundant as the service agent has been bought out by an opposing brand and will not supply parts.

What’s the most interesting element of your job?

Despite having every known hazard in my facility, one of the most interesting hazard are the 7500 genetically manipulated mice we house in ‘serviced apartments’. I use the analogy of serviced apartments as the mice require constant temperature, humidity and air pressures, hepa filtered air, circadian rhythm lighting, controlled access to foods, bedding and equipment as the scientific experimental results cannot be artefacts of environmental housing. As part of the ethical treatment of housing animals I often have to advocate for my little tenants which can lead to some odd conversations with contractors as concerns I have also have to be fully understood by them.

What are some of things you like most about working in FM?

  • I really like making things happen

  • Getting the best out of the facility, the resources or the people

  • Providing solutions for complex problems

  • Constantly gaining new knowledge and adding to it


What do you think are the most important skills required by an FM professional?

The best skill any person in FM can have is the skill of ‘hard work’. Possess this skill and any others can be worked upon, learned, or achieved. If hard work drives you it can set the bar for others around you; thus you get more out of people. It’s also important to develop your listening skills. The people we’re surrounded by, such as contractors, staff and stakeholders can often solve problems if we give them a chance. They may have a simpler way of doing something or know the critical thing that everyone else has overlooked but if you are unwilling to hear it, that information will be lost.
exterior day in the life of-392
What is the proudest accomplishment in your career to date?

I have a number of accomplishments that I am proud of, my most recent being a number of technical refits with highly demanding specifications and complex integration with the existing facility. I worked hard throughout the different construction phases, initially translating the needs of the stakeholders into a language the contractors could understand and refine to a good design. Over the course of the design I became New Zealand’s leading expert in a number of fields as the technology used was more advanced than the normal works. I also heralded serviceability so the facilities would not just look good on the day but last. Over the building process I handled the shutdowns and complex situations such as ensuring the science facilities could still function and speeding up the construction with timely decisions balancing the trade-offs of time, cost and quality. Finally, acting as a cleric of works testing and checking the final built facility and chasing up critical labelling and documentation. The refits were finished perfectly and no problems have arisen. I have not had to fix, rework or adapt the labs or other supporting areas. The refits have facilitated major medical experimental work such as the current clinical trial which is extending cancer sufferers’ lives and perhaps with time will enable a major breakthrough in cancer treatment here in New Zealand.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in FM?


  • See the big picture but remember the fine detail as both extremes of perspective can help.

  • Be prepared. As facility manager of a specialist facility risking the extra cost of having a spare fuse, controller or plant redundancy has reduced the impact of dramatic events. The practice of spares, stock or redundancy pays dividends although it is the hardest argument to justify. However the smile of satisfaction when you restore continuity to a critical service is priceless and the cost saved can justify it.

  • And keep your humour as it can be the only thing you have in some situations and it can be the glue that makes it work.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?

Artistically (as I think you should have some artistic endeavour) I am a Video Jockey. This involves setting up projected visuals in venues like the Laundry Bar and mixing pictures, live film and effects to music to create atmosphere and experiences.

To recapture my Bogan background but with the style that comes with maturity, I have a 1960 Cadillac which I drive for weddings and two 1960 motorcycles which I use to reconnect to the age when your wheels were everything.

My most important endeavour is maintaining and providing the facilities for my family’s comfort and growth; my most important circle of stakeholders.




 Building Showcase 

From Activity Based Working to Health Based Working


Melbourne Medibank-219

Image: Earl Carter,

With the aspiration to create one of the healthiest headquarters in the world, Australia's largest health insurance provider, Medibank, enlisted multidisciplinary design firm Hassell to create an office that places the mental and physical health of people at its heart. The result? A building that goes beyond conventional Activity Based Working (ABW) to create Health Based Working (HBW). Think circadian lighting, a multipurpose sports court, an edible garden, 2,300 indoor plants ...

Medibank was confident its new workplace would deliver cultural and financial value through improved productivity and efficiency and would help inspire customer focused innovation by creating breathing space for ideas to grow. Within just four months of moving in, the building was delivering results, with 79% of employees reporting they were working more collaboratively and 70% saying they were healthier working at Medibank Place. What’s more, 66% of employees said they were more productive at Medibank Place and the call centre had seen a 5% reduction in absenteeism.

Learn more about the project by checking out Hassell's website or the Architecture Now website.


To keep up to date with building projects in NZ and around the world, sign up for Architecture Now’s free newsletter here.


 Better Buildings

How Long Should Your Building Last?

B2-OldHouse-620Written by Rosemary Killip from Building Networks.

New Zealand is a young country; some of our historic and classified buildings wouldn't even feature on the radar in other countries.
Our Building Code has been in place since 1992. At the time of introduction a code clause called B2 Durability was also first published. B2 Durability must always be considered when demonstrating compliance with each of the clauses of the Building Code. In other words, it ensures that a building will continue to satisfy the performance of the Building Code throughout its specified intended life. 
Breaking it down simply, there are three nominated time periods. Building elements should last at least:
Five years
15 years, or;
More than 50 years
To categorise these periods further…
Five years is for items that are easy to see failing and that are easy to replace. For example, light switches.
Fifteen years is for items that are easy to see failing but that are moderately difficult to replace. For example, the roof.
More than 50 years is for all other items. For example, the foundations.
These timeframes take effect when the code compliance certificate is issued at the end of consent, not when the building is practically complete.
However, with over 25 years experience in the building industry I have found the following:

  • Owners often forget to obtain this certificate.They sometimes, incorrectly, believe,their builder has obtained it for them. As a result the building is not legally signed off and the durability clock never starts.

  • Owners may be able to obtain a B2 Durability modification; however the longer they wait the more unlikely it gets.

To find out more, download your B2 Durability document HERE.

Stay up to date with your compliance requirements and building law, with Building Networks’ training. There are a number of training courses being offered in early 2017. Find out what classes are on offer here.




Working Smarter

What Could You Do With An Extra 60 Minutes Per Day?


working smarter-739Could you do with more time in your day? Time management guru Robyn Pearce shares a simple tip that could help you gain back up to an hour a day. 

Where does your desk face?

Unless you're a receptionist don't position your desk facing the flow of traffic. People walking past will catch your eye. It is a natural reaction to glance up as footsteps approach and once eye contact has been made your chain of thought has been broken - even if you don't speak.

An Information Technology manager for a very large international bookstore franchise decided to do something about his endless interruptions.

Problem was, his desk faced swinging doors through which people walked many times a day. Even though he was a quiet man who preferred to concentrate on his complex work, he was just the same as everyone else - wired to look up when someone came towards him.

He turned his desk 90 degrees away from the door and positioned some bookshelves to block the view. What he now saw were the backs of people as they walked away from the entrance.

And when they exited they weren't looking directly at him. Outcome? With excitement he informed me that he'd dramatically reduced his interruptions; this equalled about an hour a day of extra productivity.

If you've got fixed furniture that can't be moved, these ideas might help:

1. Try using a plant as a visual barrier.

2. What about screens? If you're working on a shoestring budget, the cheap furniture super-stores often have wooden frames you can cover with fabric of your choice.

3. Can you shift your body? A client in Gisborne simply moved her computer screen 45 degrees.

Now, instead of her face partially angling towards the customer desk run by her staff, the back of her shoulder is towards the public. She could still hear (and help if needed) but she gained back 30 minutes a day.

Proof that incremental changes can make a huge difference.

Robyn Pearce is ‘the Time Queen’. She mastered her own time challenges and now helps people around the world overcome theirs. She can show you how to transform your time challenges into high productivity and the life balance you desire. Get your free report ‘How to Master Time in Only 90 Seconds’ and ongoing time tips at


All Rights Reserved to Robyn Pearce,, 25 Keven Road, R.D.4 Pukekohe, South Auckland 2679, New Zealand Ph. +64 9 232 0523.


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