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October 2015 issue                                                                                                                 Latest news, events & papers

In This Issue

Letter from Des Brennan, CEO

Reaching for the Sky!


Yes, we are nearly there with a complete update of FMANZ’s strategic plan. The plan should set a clear direction, ambitious and important goals and build stakeholder ownership. I am confident that our draft document will serve FMANZ well over the next few years of its development and growth. The completed plan will be released in the December edition of FMANZ e-mag, following its adoption by our Board.
The new plan will be based on a vision  -  ‘Building futures for the FM profession’ - and focus on five strategic outcomes. These will be around leadership, education, knowledge, recognition and sustainability. More soon!
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Return on investment
Few investments are better than an investment in your education. There is that sense of achievement when a challenging qualification has been won. Confidence and professional recognition often follow, together with increased value in the marketplace. You need a plan to advance, to create options and opportunities over the lifecycle of the asset – yourself!
I am delighted to confirm closer collaboration between FMANZ and EMANZ. As a result, the two-day course, ‘Energy Management for Facilities Managers’, will be included in FMANZ’s line-up of master classes. Book your place for this important master class now (click here for more information), and also the FMANZ/AUT master class, ‘Leadership, Strategy and Change Management’ – scheduled for November (click here for more information).
Facilities Integrate 2015
No doubt you will all be aware of ‘Facilities Integrate 2015’. This is a new trade exhibition from North Port Events for the facilities management and system integration industries. It will take place on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 October at ASB Showgrounds in Auckland. Free online registration is available to FMANZ members before October 14. Register here and use the code EXEDM.
FMANZ, EMANZ and BSC, as member-based associations, have all given support to this important showcasing of our wider industry. We will have a stand at the show with the primary aim of introducing new members to FMANZ.
FM Summit 2016
Our FM Summit committee is at an advanced stage of its planning for next year’s FM Summit & Trade Expo. There is truth in the saying, ‘success breeds success’ as we have already confirmed 11 of 12 exceptional presenters for the seminar programme (Day 1), together with four of our six thought-leaders for the conference programme (Day 2).
We will build on the successful platform established this year and return to Villa Maria on 4 & 5 May 2016. Please put these dates in your diary now. Organisations interested in sponsorship and/or exhibiting at the FM Summit & Trade Expo, please contact Marjolein de Graaf at
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Des Brennan
Chief Executive, FMANZ


Summit Announcement

Introducing ... FM Summit 2016

Mark these dates in your diary now!

Don’t miss out on FMANZ’s premier event! FM Summit & Trade Expo 2016 will be held on Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 May at Villa Maria vineyard in Auckland. The Summit Committee has been working to secure engaging speakers and lock everything in place for another successful event.

Over 95% of attendees were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with this year’s event and more than 90% said they were ‘very likely’ to attend a future Summit.

“A great event at a great location. Looking forward to next year.”

“I didn't attend last year and was happy to be back - keeps getting better.”

“It's a pretty great event and run well.  I always enjoy the days I have attended.”

“I think it was our best Summit to date.”

Got a product, system or service you want to tell the FM world about? Don’t miss out on a spot at the FM Summit & Trade Expo 2016. The Sponsorship and Trade Expo offer will remain the same as this year, with no changes to pricing. Please send expressions of interest or enquiries to Marjolein de Graaf at
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 A few photos from this year's Summit. To see more, click here.

Upskill In November 

FMANZ/AUT Master Class Coming Soon 

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Looking to improve your leadership and management skills? Take advantage of the FMANZ/AUT Master Class which is being run over two days next month, at AUT University in Auckland.

Leadership, Strategy and Change Management

This Master Class is designed for mid-career to senior professionals and managers who want to successfully design and implement FM strategies.

  • Learn about the three phases (position, choice and implementation) of the strategic management process. 
  • Understand the related roles of leadership and management on a departmental and organisational level in an FM context.
  • Get to grips with the principles of advanced change processes.

I would thoroughly recommend this course.  I certainly learnt from the lecturer, as well as my fellow students; a great two days.”

Friday 6 November
Friday 27 November

$800 +GST: FMANZ Members
$950 +GST: Non-members




For more information, email us at




New Master Class Announced

EM for FM

Speaking of Master Classes, FMANZ is delighted to welcome a newcomer to its stable of educational offerings. In collaboration with EMANZ and EECA, FMANZ is proud to present the ‘Energy Management for Facilities Managers’ Master Class. The two day course will be held in Auckland on 19-20 November. Early bird registrations close Thursday 29 October, with discounts available to FMANZ members.
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The EM for FM course offers training in energy management, focussing on the ways that building systems can make the most efficient use of resources. It has been designed for commercial/office building Facilities and Maintenance Managers, as well as property owners and property managers, who want to better understand the energy savings opportunities available and the strategies to implement them.
Learn how to manage your property’s energy use and gain a better understanding of the ways to manage and mitigate unnecessary energy use. Hear how to make your building perform more efficiently which can lead to substantial short and long term energy and cost savings.
Course Feedback
“Excellent course – 10/10! The course materials were very thorough. Lance [the trainer] was really knowledgeable and gave good practical examples. I enjoyed the course and learnt a lot – it was very instructive.”

"The course was great for taking a technical subject and making it easy to understand for the non-technical person. It provided the knowledge to challenge existing HVAC and lighting systems to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness is achieved and maintained. Easily recommended to all Facilities Managers."

"Amazing delivery! Very engaging and explained things in ways even I, a beginner, could understand."  
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Cost: FMANZ Members (Earlybird): $1530 (inclusive of GST); $1710 if you register within three weeks of the course start date. 

Find out more here or click here to register.


FM Snippets 

News from NZ and Around the World

FM a Winner Job-Wise
Demand for FM services in New Zealand is set to grow in the months ahead as companies continue to outsource the management of their buildings and assets, says recruiting experts Hays Facilities Management. Contract Managers, Facilities Managers and Facilities Coordinators are among the roles topping the list of skills in demand in the Hays Quarterly Report for July to September 2015. Read more here.

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FM at Twickenham 
While we’re in the grip of Rugby World Cup fever, why not read the RICS case study about FM at Twickenham Stadium, the largest dedicated rugby venue in the world.

Scroll to page 41 on the PDF here.


Were You Born to be a Facilities Manager?

What kind of child were you? Was the writing on the wall early that you’d work in FM? Click here for a light-hearted look at whether you were born for FM! 
15 signs you were born

DTZ now Cushman & Wakefield
FMANZ sponsor DTZ has merged with Cushman & Wakefield to create one of the world’s largest real estate services firms, with a combined total of $5 billion in revenue, 43,000 employees, more than 4.3 billion square feet under management, and $191 billion in transaction value internationally. Read more here

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What Makes a Good Office?
Do you think you know what the 10 most desirable traits in an office are? Check if you're right, here

Facilities Key in Uni Choice
Moving from offices to unis, when it comes to choosing a university, facilities are the third-most important consideration for UK students, according to research, commissioned by the Association of University Directors of Estates and Facilities Management at Oxford Brookes University. Read more of the story here

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FMANZ Student Wins Scholarship
Speaking of universities, congratulations to Astrid Bruursema, student researcher at FMANZ! Astrid will be awarded an IFMA Foundation Scholarship at IFMA’s World Workplace Conference 2015 in Denver, Colorado this month. The Foundation supports aspiring and practising FMs in their efforts to reach higher, go farther and make a difference. Applicants are assessed on their achievements, accomplishments, involvement, letter of professional intent, resume, recommendation letter, etc. The conference is an amazing opportunity for Astrid and other scholarship recipients to meet practising FM professionals, attend educational seminars and network with future peers. Astrid is bound to see a few familiar faces in Denver as six of the 40 scholarship recipients worldwide attend Astrid’s university, the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, the Netherlands. Quite an achievement!

For more about the conference, click here.

Loss of Experienced FM Workforce
While we’re on the topic of Hanze, Astrid’s post-grad supervisor, Ab Reitsma, has co-written an interesting paper about talent management and the future of FM leaders. He and co-author Thomas Mitchell Jr. say trend reports project up to 50% of the experienced FM workforce within the upper and middle management levels of an organisation will leave the workplace within the next 10-15 years. “Current leadership continues to be tested by early retirement incentives, and constricting human resource management budgets.” Take a look at Ab’s research here

Women in FM
Here are five recommendations to ensure that women thrive as valued contributors in a traditionally male-dominated field.

And while we're on the topic, read more about the challenges and opportunities facing women in FM, here.

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From Engineer to Concierge: the Changing Role of the FM Professional
FM professionals are told they must innovate, collaborate and truly focus on the customer if they want to stay ahead. Dive into the new world of digitisation in FM here.
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UK Living Wage Will Push Up Cleaning Costs
One of the major issues facing the contract cleaning industry in the UK is bearing the costs of the recently announced national living wage, according to market research into the industry. Read more here.

Getting with the Programme
Read how the outsourced FM team of the media organisation Sky, in the UK, is switching its emphasis from serving the building to serving its customers – Sky’s internal staff. “We don’t talk about FM, we call it service,” says Nick Green, Sky’s Property Service Group Director. Click here for the story.
Reflecting on the BBC’s FM Model 
Staying with the media, in 2004 the BBC decided to relocate some services away from London to reflect the cultural diversity of its viewers and engage the public. The result was the 200-acre MediaCityUK in Salford Quays in Manchester that now houses 26 BBC departments. Alan Bainbridge, the BBC's Property Director, talks about why the MediaCityUK complex in Salford needed a new type of FM model.
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Feeling chilly

Feeling Chilly?
Buildings are designed with men’s comfort in mind, not women’s, according to research.

 A study published in the Nature Climate Change journal says the “thermal comfort model” developed in the 1960s was based on the metabolic rate of the average man and as a result “may overestimate female metabolic rate by up to 35%”.

Read more here.  

Who Is Responsible for Managing Smart Buildings?
IT or FM? Read one man’s opinion here

Changing FM
Speaking of IT, FM is becoming “part of a larger ecosystem that is intertwined with information technology and human resources”, according to professionals in the industry.  Find out more here

Security Conference & Exhibition
NZSA’s 2015 New Zealand Security Conference and Exhibition will be held over three days from Thursday 19 to Saturday 21 November at the ASB showgrounds in Auckland. As well as a large exhibition and gala dinner, a range of international and local experts will deliver presentations around the theme, ‘Safe and Secure Cities’. Click here to find out more. 

National Facilities Benchmarking Tool Launched
If you manage recreation spaces you might be interested to know that NZRA has partnered with Sport NZ to develop a free National Facilities Benchmarking Tool, which provides community sport and recreation facility owners and operators with key performance measures and benchmarks that ensure communities have access to effective and efficiently operated facilities and services based on best practice.

Register now and find out how your facilities measure up.

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The New Air Conditioning?
A prototype composite material created by researchers at Spain’s Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia that is based on sweating human skin could cool interior building temperatures by around five degrees Celsius. Find out more here.
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It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane …

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Look closely at this photo of Al Qasr resort in Dubai, dubbed 'the Manhattan of the Arab world'. What can you see? Something that pleases FMs in Dubai, that’s what! A falcon, whose mission it is to rid the city of pigeons (AKA “rats with wings” in Dubai) and their droppings, which have been corroding roofs, windows, machinery, car paint, and infecting air conditioning systems.

Read more about the falcons' work here! 

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The Health and Safety Reform Bill

Five Key Changes

Five key changes under the new Health and Safety at Work Act are likely to minimise frequency of workplace fatalities in New Zealand. Jennifer Mills, Partner, and Rachael Judge, Associate, from Anthony Harper, outline what these changes are.

New Zealand has recently experienced two tragic workplace fatalities. On Sunday, 20 September, a Hamilton zoo curator was fatally attacked by a tiger. The week before, a young contractor was killed in an explosion when the 100,000-litre tank that he was welding detonated.  
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These tragic incidents highlight New Zealand's poor health and safety record. "Working Safer", the Government's blueprint for health and safety at work, records that about 75 people are killed at work each year. In addition, around 1 in 10 workers are harmed each year, with about 200,000 claims being made to ACC for costs associated with work-related injuries and illnesses. Compared to similar counties such as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, New Zealand's record is significantly worse.

The Pike River coal explosion provided New Zealand with a serious wake-up call and was the catalyst for the new Health and Safety at Work Act, which will come into force on 4 April 2016. Under this Act, the Government aims to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries by at least 25% by 2020.  The Act provides for a much stricter regime than the current Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, with more onerous obligations placed on employers and various other individuals and entities. While it is accepted that accidents will happen, the new regime acknowledges that they should not happen with the frequency that they do currently.

It is unclear as to whether there is anything that could have been done to prevent New Zealand's two most recent workplace fatalities. However, the five key changes under the new Act that are outlined below will help to prevent similar incidents in the future.

1. Primary duty of PCBUS
Under the new regime, the primary duty holders are PCBUs (being a "Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking"). This is a broad concept which will encompass employers, principals and other persons in control of a place of work.

The PCBU holds a general duty to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers caused to be employed or engaged by the PCBU, workers whose activities in carrying out work are influenced or directed by the PCBU and other persons who may be put at risk from work carried out as part of the business or undertaking.

2. Multiple duty holders
There will be instances where there are multiple duty holders in a business or undertaking, often all holding duties in relation to the same matter. Where this occurs, the duty holders will be required to work together to discharge their duties to the extent to which they have "the ability to influence and control" the matter. In practice, this means that duty holders will have the obligation to consult, cooperate and coordinate activities.

3. Due diligence role for those in governance
One of the more significant changes to New Zealand's health and safety regime is the due diligence obligation on those in governance. The new due diligence duty will require those in governance roles to proactively manage workplace health and safety and imposes a positive duty on company officers to exercise due diligence to ensure the PCBU complies with its health and safety obligations. The definition of an "officer" includes a director, partner, or other person who occupies a position that allows them to exercise significant influence over the business or undertaking (such as a chief executive).

The Act sets out a number of specific steps that must be taken by officers to discharge their duty, including, for example, to "acquire and keep up-to-date knowledge of work health and safety matters". Under the new regime, each officer has a personal responsibility to exercise due diligence and it is no excuse for any one officer to say that he or she had no knowledge of health and safety matters or did not play an active role in the management of the company.

4. Worker participation
The new Act also strengthens worker participation in the workplace health and safety regime. There will be a general duty on PCBUs to involve and engage with workers on health and safety matters. This means that all duty holders will be required to have worker participation practices in place that provide reasonable opportunities for workers to participate in improving work health and safety on an ongoing basis.

In addition, the Act provides for health and safety representatives and committees. If workers want health and safety representative(s) and/or a committee, the duty-holder must recognise and engage with those representatives and/or committee and allow them the time and resources necessary to perform their functions (however, businesses which are not classified as "high-risk" and which have fewer than 20 workers will not be required to have health and safety representatives and/or committees).

Health and safety representatives hold significant powers under the Act, including the power to enter and inspect the workplace, request information from the PCBU, direct unsafe work to cease, and issue provisional improvement notices.  Committees will not have powers of the same extent and are tasked with facilitating co-operation between the PCBU and workers, assisting in developing health and safety standards, rules, policies or procedures and making recommendations relating to health and safety.

5. Tiered liability regime
It is thought that the penalties under New Zealand's current health and safety regime, and as applied by the courts, are not providing sufficient incentive for some to comply with their obligations. Therefore, the new Act contains a new tiered liability regime that significantly increases the maximum penalty levels to a potential maximum of $3 million for corporates and $600,000 for individuals. There is also an increase in the maximum terms of imprisonment from 2 to 5 years.

Come 4 April 2016, there will be significant compliance costs for PCBUs in getting up to speed with the new regime and in ensuring that their obligations are met. However, the new regime will be beneficial for the workplaces of New Zealand if it goes some way towards preventing workplace fatalities such as the two that have recently occurred. 



Board Changes

FMANZ Welcomes Two New Members to its Board

Following August's AGM, FMANZ welcomes two new members to its board. It also welcomes back Aucklander David Curry, who has been re-elected. After a close-run vote for the second Auckland position, Stuart Bryant replaces Stella Green, who has served on the Board since April 2013. “Stella has been an excellent contributor to the Board and the association,” acknowledges Chairman John Braithwaite. “She has offered us excellent perspectives along the way, particularly when it came to HR decisions, and has contributed sound advice and thinking to our decision-making.”

Board newcomer Stuart Bryant is the Facility Services Manager at SKYCITY Auckland, heading the Property Services team who are responsible for operations at the casino, theatres, office buildings, convention centre and two hotels. He has been a member of FMANZ’s Auckland Committee since its inception in 2010, and also serves on the Summit Committee. “Stuart’s arrival will certainly help to lower the overall age demographic of the Board!” says John. “Stuart was an early adopter of the professional qualification framework, and capably and proudly wears the PFMANZ title.”
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Stuart Bryant

In the South Island, Peter Harris has stepped up to replace founding Board member Peter Lord, who chose not to stand for re-election. “I have had the great pleasure of working with Peter [Lord] through this time,” says John. “He is always one to challenge and ask the hard questions.  His contributions have certainly helped to shape the association and bring us to where we are today.”

Peter Harris has been a member of FMANZ since its inception, and has worked in FM and related industries for the past 25 years, recently specialising in procurement and 'whole life' / BIM advisory. He is a Director with 20 years’ experience working in governance, strategy, management, change leadership, business project and process delivery.  “Peter brings a good balance of industry and governance experience to the Board,” says John. “He has a strong history of contributing at Board level with other organisations and also brings a wealth of connections within the FM industry and government.”

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Peter Harris

Click here to read Stuart’s and Peter’s profiles in full.


Energy Efficiency

NABERSNZ: An Essential Part of the FM Toolkit


Vanessa McGrath of the New Zealand Green Building Council, looks at energy rating tool NABERSNZ. What do Facilities Managers need to know - and how can you use it to make a difference?  

You have a great building – what is the NABERSNZ rating?
There’s no denying the growing interest in building performance.

For property owners, good performance means improved asset value and control over operational costs. For tenants, it’s likely to be more about comfort and wellbeing of staff.

Whatever the motivation, energy use is fundamental to performance. You can’t have a well maintained, smooth-running building that haemorrhages energy – just as you can’t have a comfortable, pleasant work environment that doesn’t adapt lighting and HVAC to differing user needs.

NABERSNZ is the New Zealand standard for measuring and reporting energy use in office buildings.

Now two years old, the rating scheme gives a star rating of 1 (poor) to 6 (aspirational) for energy efficiency. This is a benchmark against similar New Zealand buildings, showing how a site compares to the market overall.

For facilities managers who want to report on and manage building energy performance, NABERSNZ is an essential tool.
It’s changing how we approach buildings
NABERSNZ is based on the Australian energy rating system, NABERS. There, the tool has had a profound impact, demonstrating improved occupancy and returns for higher-rated properties. Buildings that use NABERS on an ongoing basis, have enjoyed average energy improvements of 29% over eight years.

The track record is an important part of NABERSNZ’s appeal – along with its independence and government backing (in New Zealand it’s licensed to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority or EECA).

It’s still early days in New Zealand, but we’re seeing NABERSNZ starting to impact the sector.

It’s being used as a tool for improvement by a growing number of owners. With trained NABERSNZ Assessors within many of the large engineering practices, it’s starting to influence the way building services are designed.

NABERSNZ is starting to be specified in new lease agreements and it is included in Government leasing guidance issued by PMCoE (Property Management Centre of Expertise). With the release of the Performance Leasing Guide earlier this year - outlining how NABERSNZ clauses can be included in lease agreements - we expect this to become more widespread.

Commercial property agents are starting to up-skill and look at what NABERSNZ-related services they can offer the market.
How to get a NABERSNZ rating – the steps
How should Facilities Managers start working with NABERSNZ? Getting a rating isn’t difficult. NABERSNZ Certified Ratings must be carried out by qualified Assessors. Their role is to gather the necessary data and calculate this to arrive at the final rating. The information they use is:

  • size of the premises being assessed (m2)
  • hours of occupancy
  • number of computers normally in use
  • 12 months’ worth of energy bills.
While not qualified to carry out rating assessments, NABERSNZ Practitioners are skilled in the process and can gather all relevant information in advance to ensure a smooth rating. It’s worth having a Practitioner on your team (or training to become one).
After the assessment, your building or tenancy will get a certified star rating of 1 to 6. This is valid for one year – and will be the basis for energy improvement plans. The real value of NABERSNZ comes in subsequent ratings. Being seen to take a building from 3 stars for example (a ‘good’ rating), to 3.5 or 4, would be a distinct ‘feather in the cap’ for those managing building services.

It doesn’t have to be public (or perfect)
Several of the NABERSNZ ratings publicised to date are at the upper end of the scale (i.e. 5 and 5.5 star ratings – denoting ‘market-leading’ performance). In these situations, the client sees clear value in telling the market how energy efficient the building is.
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The NZI Centre, Auckland has a 5.5 star rating.
However, publicity isn’t a driver for everyone – and there is no compulsion to release NABERSNZ ratings. Several organisations use ratings internally as a basis for improvement without publicising them. It doesn’t mean they’re bad ratings – just that the imperative is knowledge and improvement, not accolades. The first rating provides a benchmark, and subsequent ratings track improvement.   
You may not be set up to get a NABERSNZ rating straight away
In around 50% of New Zealand office buildings, the metering is not set up to distinguish between owner and tenant energy use. This obviously makes it difficult to get a NABERSNZ rating for a base building or tenancy, as energy use data for different areas can’t be separated out. (Whole building NABERSNZ ratings aren’t affected, as they assess energy use across the whole site).
A NABERSNZ Assessor will be able to tell you if the metering is right for base building and tenancy ratings. If it is not, it is well worth investing in correct metering and / or sub-meters. Choosing not to correct the meters may be just delaying the inevitable. With NABERSNZ expected to grow in prominence, a certified rating is bound to be required at some stage – whether by the owner or tenant. 
Installing separate metering for owner and tenant energy doesn’t need to be an expensive job and there may be several ways to achieve it. Getting professional advice early – preferably from a NABERSNZ Assessor or Practitioner – will help work out the most cost-effective option.
One-off ratings can solve the metering issue
If you don’t have the right metering but would like to get a NABERSNZ rating, it’s possible to get an initial rating using shorter duration energy use data.
Under a special rule, you can get your first NABERSNZ rating using one month’s energy use data from either temporary or permanent meters. This is specifically for those who want to get started, but lack suitable metering. Using the rule is a great way to start addressing performance while you build a complete picture of energy use. The rule can’t be used twice – after 12 months you would be expected to have metering to separate tenant and owner energy use.
Adding more stars
Once the first NABERSNZ rating is ‘in the bag’, talk turns to improvement.
NABERSNZ Assessors do not recommend improvements as part of the process; however, frequently a rating uncovers energy waste that helps inform the next steps. Out-of-hours energy use is a common finding. Sometimes simply re-setting timers can make a big difference.

Energy-saving ideas may include:
  • assessing night-time loads to decide what non-essential equipment can be switched off (from computers to chiller plants)
  • re-tuning building controls to ensure systems are operating as intended at the time of commissioning
  • adding an economy cycle to an HVAC system
  • installing LED lighting
  • power-saving software for PCs.
If you have never examined building energy use before, there are almost certainly low-cost savings waiting to be found.
Funding help
Depending on how ambitious your energy efficiency plans are, it may be that there’s funding available to help. The EECA BUSINESS team can advise you on funding to support building design advice, energy management strategy, energy monitoring and HVAC optimisation. You can find out more, including a list of programme partners, at
To find out more…
There are several avenues FMs can take to learn about NABERSNZ and start actively using the tool. You can:
  • talk to a NABERSNZ Assessor – they are listed on the directory at
  • become a NABERSNZ Practitioner – this one-day course will enable you to understand the process and talk knowledgeably to clients
  • use the NABERSNZ self-assessment tool – this gives an indicative result only, but is a useful starting point to get a feel for the tool and process.

For more information about NABERSNZ see or

Vanessa McGrath is Manager of Rating Tools at the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC). In New Zealand, NABERSNZ is licensed to EECA and administered by the NZGBC. 


Green News

World-first Guide to 'Circular' Offices

Office refurbishment in New Zealand is set to undergo a shake-up with the launch of the world’s first guide to creating an office using ‘circular’ principles – minimising waste and maximising the life of all materials.
The aim of the Circular Economy Model Office (CEMO) Guide is to minimise waste created by the refurbishment and build of offices by using the principles of a ‘circular economy’: a system that operates in a closed loop with no waste, where the lifecycle of materials is maximised, usage optimised and at the end of life all materials are re-used.  

The circular economy is a viable and more efficient alternative to the prevailing linear model – ‘take-make-waste’ – where tonnes of waste from office refurbishments and builds end up in landfill sites around the country.
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James Griffin, Transformation Leader Mega Efficiency at the Sustainable Business Network, says he hopes the Circular Economy Model Office Guide will be the first step in revolutionising the office refurbishment industry. “At present, half of all waste generated in New Zealand is estimated to come from construction and demolition,” he says. “There is therefore enormous scope to reduce waste in this sector and this guide is a practical tool aimed at helping all players involved in the office refurbishment industry to do so.”
James says creating a circular economy office is a straightforward and pragmatic process, essentially following the principles of making the most use of materials offices already have. It will save companies money, as well as having both environmental and social benefits.
As an example, he cites the refurbishment of the Auckland Council offices at 135 Albert St in Auckland City. The refurbishment process generated 937 tonnes of construction waste, over 82% cent of which was diverted from landfill through the re-use of 113 tonnes of materials and the recycling of 662 tonnes. One of the largest single categories of reuse was cabinetry and benchtops, with over 34 tonnes reused, and also 8.6 tonnes of shelving that was reused within the new office space itself. The old broadloom carpet that was removed went to Waikato, to be reused as cattle race remediation, while flat glass partitions were upcycled into writing boards for the new office space.

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Interior of the Auckland Council Offices
Auckland Council offices
Auckland Council Offices

The Guide, which is aimed at architects, designers, project managers, facilities managers and construction managers, outlines simple principles, provides ‘how to’ information and shares practical knowledge. It explains how businesses can make their office refurbishment more circular through five stages: Cataloguing and analysis of existing materials; Design; Build; Soft fit-out/furniture; and Review and evaluation.
All companies taking part have the opportunity to produce a self-declaration at the end, specifying the percentage of materials that were reused, new materials with an end of life solution or product stewardship scheme, recycled content in new materials and materials diverted from landfill.
For further information about the project, or if you are interested in putting your office forward to be the world’s first CEMO, contact James Griffin at
Also worth noting: as part of CEMO, Philips is actively looking for Auckland offices requiring a lighting upgrade to participate in a trial which will refurbish lighting components.
To view the Circular Economy Model Office Guide click here


Choosing a Cleaning Contractor - What do You Need to Know?

Q&A with Jim Brand

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Scottish-born Jim Brand is an independent cleaning auditor and FM consultant who has been involved in the service industry for over 50 years. He has worked at senior management level for a number of large companies in the UK and, since immigrating to New Zealand 17 years ago, has worked as a cleaning consultant with the University of Auckland, AUT, New Zealand Post, the Corrections Department, and a number of other organisations.
Q: What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the cleaning industry?
The biggest challenge is getting and retaining staff. It’s a low-wage industry ($15.10 per hour generally; the average cost is $25 per hour charge out rate to the client), with a high turnover of staff. Some companies encourage staff retention through a package of enhanced training, benefits and working conditions. However, this approach remains undervalued by many companies. One method of reducing staff turnover is to increase the proportion of full-time employees, or extend the shift lengths of existing employees, although often circumstances limit the ability to implement this change due to operational requirements of the occupier and their preferences. An attendance bonus can prove to be very successful in preventing absence due to feigned sickness. It is also vital to the retention of cleaners to pay the right amount and on time every pay day. The provision of staff transport has proved successful for both recruitment and staff retention in remote areas and where competition for cleaning staff is high.
Another big challenge for the industry is the lack of training. Many of those hiring staff are reluctant to spend money on training a transient labour force. Out of a labour force of 36,000 cleaners in NZ, only about 2.5% are in training.
Q: Why is training so important?
Well-trained cleaning staff are of paramount importance. Without good training, consistently high standards will not be achieved. All cleaning staff should be thoroughly trained on cleaning methodology, product use and equipment use for best results. Poor cleaning outcomes and expensive damage to surfaces and finishes can be caused by the use of the wrong chemicals. Moreover, compliance with health and safety, security, fire precautions and other site rules will not be attained. It is also essential that managers and supervisors are trained how to manage and motivate their team to get the best from them and increase staff retention. In addition, training must be given on how to deal with difficult staff, poor performance, disciplinary and grievance procedures along with other employment issues.
Q: And of course there is the Health & Safety component of training?
Yes, it is important that Health and Safety training is given to staff. This will include COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health), manual handling, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) including appropriate footwear, warning signage, electrical appliances, first aid, fire precautions and security. All staff should be fully briefed on fire precautions and evacuation procedures in the event of fire in the premises. This will include pointing out the importance of signing in/out (not just for a record of attendance and time keeping!). In addition, any other site specific rules and security issues must be addressed, and staff should be made aware of the importance of wearing their staff uniform and ID badges at all times for security reasons.
Q: What role do Facilities Managers play in all of this?
Training staff properly costs money, so don’t just go for the lowest price when choosing a cleaning contractor. Ensure that your chosen service provider has allocated sufficient funds within their budget to ensure well trained, competent cleaning staff. Check bidders’ H&S policy statements particularly to check that all cleaning operatives will be adequately trained; and that a record of all training received will be kept on site. A typical training schedule will cover cleaning techniques, safe working methods, use of personal protective equipment (eye protection, gloves etc.); machine and product use training.
Q: What is your advice for choosing a cleaning contractor?
There are more than 2,000 cleaning contractors operating in NZ and choosing the right one for your organisation can be an arduous task. I recommend clients select providers that have a proven successful track record in delivering cleaning services in similar building environments. Cleaning service providers that can add value through industry sector knowledge, innovation and expertise should be the target for FMs looking to outsource cleaning services.
Office cleaning is the ultimate Cinderella service and often causes facilities managers the most headaches. Some occupiers can become stuck in a circle of selecting a cleaning contractor on the basis of lowest cost, only to replace the company 6-12 months later and then repeat the same process all over again. Yet well maintained, clean and safe workspace have been proven to have a direct effect on a company’s ‘brand’, staff attraction and productivity. It really is worth the management time and effort to get it right.
Value for money, not lowest cost, should be the objective; that is getting the right service quality with low risk at an appropriate cost. Cheap cleaning contracts come at a price. The cost of under resourcing includes unhappy clients, unhappy cleaners being asked to do too much for too little pay, insufficient management and training, risk of non-compliance with health and safety, high staff turnover, continuous expensive re-tendering and a breakdown in trust. A cleaning contract secured at the appropriate cost is more likely to be achievable, sustainable and better value for money, for the whole contract term.
Click here for Jim’s Top 10 Tips for selecting a cleaning contractor. 
Q: How important are clear specifications?
They’re critical. Facilities Managers need to make sure that when they draw up specifications, they’re covering core cleaning and programme cleaning; they’re two separate things.  They need to understand what they’re asking the cleaning company to do; be clear and specific. Remember too that this is a living document that can be changed according to your needs in discussion with the cleaning company. It’s important it is kept up to date.
If you’re a facilities manager, you need to be proactive. Remember, cleaners (and ultimately you) are responsible not just for the health of the building but for the health of the people working there. There’s no use just signing a contract and forgetting about it. Do spot checks. Washrooms need to be like an operating theatre – everyone visits at least twice a day, on average. Quality audits should be carried out monthly to ensure benchmarks are being achieved; third party quality audits are a good idea as they’re independent.
Q: There’s a move away from input specifications to output specifications. Can you explain the difference?
Historically, single service provisions have been based on input specifications, in which the service provider essentially delivers some predetermined resources within a specific time frame at an agreed price. In most markets today, service provisions are based on output specifications in which the focus is on driving cost-efficiency via service analysis, knowledge sharing and benchmarking.
In an output-based service environment the contractor asks customers what their needs are and what outcome they expect in terms of service levels, quality and frequency. On this basis the contractor designs the best-fitted service solution for each individual customer. In other words they focus on the result of the services (the output) rather than the number of people and hours (the input). Working with output instead of input-based service contracts allows them to ‘think out of the box’ and create a much more flexible, cost-efficient and value-added service solution for the benefit of the customer.
Input versus output
An input specification is one in which tasks are described in detail including frequency, as opposed to an output specification which describes the overall desired result. The following is an example of an input specification: “In toilets, showers and changing rooms, all sanitary ware and other surfaces must be cleaned daily, and left free from dirt, scum, grease, hair, scale, spillages, finger marks and cleaning residue. All items should be left in a dry condition with a shiny finish where surfaces allow.”
An output specification for the same task might be specified as follows: “In toilets, showers and changing rooms, all sanitary ware and other surfaces to be kept free at all times from build-up of dirt, scum, grease, hair, scale, spillages, finger marks and cleaning product. All items should be left in a dry condition with a shiny finish where surfaces allow.”
Q: What do you see as new innovations and trends in the cleaning industry?
Cleaning companies are moving away from the old ‘mop and bucket brigade’ to offering a bundle of services, such as pest control, consumables, urinal deep cleans, fully integrated washroom service, garden maintenance, laundry, gutter cleaning, external building washes, and so on.
Cleaning a toilet bowl or sink hasn’t changed over the years; the only thing that has changed are the chemicals and cloths and tools used. We’ve seen the introduction and wide adoption of microfiber cloths and mops; robotic floor cleaners; green cleaning (I was surprised to see someone using bleach recently; bleach is a no-no); innovative cleaning systems such as pure water systems for cleaning windows etc. These have increased productivity and improved cleaning standards. Facilities managers should be keeping up to date with what is new in the industry; don’t rely on cleaning companies to let you know. You’ve got to keep abreast of trends and products.
We’re also seeing an industry move towards day-time cleaning, but this may not suit all business requirements, and can actually add to the hourly cost of employment due to additional costs. It may be appropriate to employ a combination of part-time cleaners and full-time staff, to cover janitorial duties and deal with emergencies; e.g. spillages, unusual waste volumes etc. during office hours.
Q: What else should FMs be aware of when it comes to cleaning?
They should keep abreast of legislation and know their responsibility under the Employment Relations Act, the Health and Safety at Work Act, and the Resource Management Act.
Q: Any final comments?
Value your cleaners. They’re the unsung heroes working in the silent hours when everyone has gone home. They can alert you to problems/ observe things that can be easily overlooked during office hours. Cleaning staff should be shown how important they are to a company’s reputation and image. They are not just cleaners, but ‘image enhancers’ for the clients they serve - when they are part of a successful team. This idea helps to develop motivation and self-esteem so it is important to assess the culture of the cleaning companies at the prequalification; for example, check the training policy; the type of equipment and materials issued to do the job; and the lines of communication with their supervisor and account manager.

Finally, remember your relationship with your cleaners/ cleaning company is a partnership; it’s not about ‘them’ and ‘us’. Accept that they’re not going to get it right all of the time and that there will have to be give and take.
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Find Out What's Happening in Your Region

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Look forward to a busy few months! Here’s a taste of what’s coming up in the events calendar …

Wellington, Thursday 8 October
Wellingtonians, you are invited to a members-only event at The Green Man (where else?!). Come along to hear FMANZ Fellow Carol Gould talk about ‘Building Homes, Transforming Lives’ – an insight into Wellington City Council’s successful Housing Upgrade Program, which Carol has been involved with since 2009.

Hamilton, Wednesday 14 October
Waikato/Bay of Plenty, it’s your turn to enjoy Keith Beal’s much-lauded National Breakfast presentation, ‘Seeing is Believing: From Disney to the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch’. Currently the Property and Development Manager for the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch, Keith has directed a range of high profile international capital projects including projects for the BBC and Disney. Keith will look at how FM in NZ compares with the UK and US; explore new developments in international FM; discuss the lack of investment in assets and Kiwi attitudes to cost ownership; and address the issues of scalability and market maturity. Plus, what factors limit NZ Facilities Managers from adopting overseas strategies and how do we need to change?

Auckland, Tuesday 20 October
Deborah Godinet, Auckland Transport’s Group Manager Property & Planning, will present at a Women in FM After 5 Event at the Air New Zealand offices in Beaumont Street. Deborah will talk about her career and personal experiences, and the valuable lessons she’s learnt along the way.

All Regions, 6-27 November
FMANZ National Breakfast Seminars: The Health & Safety Reform Bill – Update from WORKSAFE NZ

The new Health and Safety at Work Act will come into force on 4 April 2016. Learn more about the new Act, the changes and what you can do to prepare, from WORKSAFE NZ.  

6 November - Wellington  
13 November - Auckland
20 November - Christchurch    
27 November - Waikato/BOP


Art Gallery Tour-909
The Art Gallery Tour held in August 
kindly sponsored by City Cleaning

The Outsourcing FM Forum held in September kindly
sponsored by Cushman & Wakefield

For more information about upcoming events, or to register, click here.

Doctors, Diagnostics and DHBs

A Day in the Life of Leon Clews

Based at Wellington Hospital, Leon Clews is Operations Manager – Facilities and Engineering, for the Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Capital and Coast District Health Boards. He has been with the DHBs for 10 Years, and iin his current role since the end of 2013.
What does your job involve?
I am responsible for leading and managing the Facilities Management, Maintenance, Capital Works and Clinical Engineering (CCDHB only) teams across the Wairarapa, Hutt Valley and Capital and Coast DHBs. Predominantly it’s a strategically-focused role with an emphasis on H&S, forward planning, and energy management but also living within our means. DHBs own large numbers of buildings and keeping them all fit for purpose is a constant challenge.

Leon Clews
What does FM mean to you/your organisation?
To me, the experts Barrett and Baldry summed it up best: it’s about integrating the operation, maintenance, improvement and adaptation of the buildings and infrastructure with the people, places, processes and technology to create the environment that supports effective patient care. We have plenty of typical office space but we also have a huge process-orientated environment with theatres, imaging, nuclear medicine, laboratories etc. (some really cool stuff), that means an extra level of attention to detail is necessary.

What is a typical day like for you?
During the average day I will liaise with many people, including some of the executive management team, regarding issues or queries they may have, act as project director where appropriate decisions are required, normally hear about or get asked about one or two specific localised problems somewhere across the DHB and spend some focused time implementing our large energy management programme. I am also a member of the Health Asset Management Improvement (HAMI) group that has recently been started by the Ministry of Health to drive best practice asset management across the sector, and as part of that I have specific tasks etc. that need to be fitted in.

What are some of the challenges of your job/your organisation from an FM point of view?
Budgets and resources are always our biggest challenges. The population-based funding model for DHBs doesn’t take into account the upkeep of buildings and infrastructure so we are always fighting for an appropriate share to keep on top of things in competition with patient care. It’s a constant juggling act to prioritise issues against many different drivers.
Wellington Hospital-576
Wellington Regional Hospital Building

What is the most interesting element of your job from an FM perspective?
When you spend time talking to our people (clinicians, nurses, service leaders etc.) about their building and infrastructure needs, you also learn what it is they do. I really enjoy learning the medicine by osmosis. It really helps to understand the challenges they have as well. It does have its gory sides though …
What are some of things you like most about your job/about working in FM?
Variety is guaranteed in a hospital as is complexity. Both of these things make the days go fast. I have also seen the team really grow in its capability as healthcare and building technology changes.

What do you think are the most important skills required to carry out your job?
Using information to make informed decisions is critical. This could be something technical or just as likely, helping a team member work through a problem.

Many facilities managers describe themselves as ‘accidental’ FM’ers. How did you get into facilities management?
Accidental fits well. I was originally a building services project manager working on a build at the hospital when one of the Hospital Maintenance team told me there was a vacancy opening up. It seemed like the right time to have a look and I was successful in getting the job as maintenance supervisor, directly looking after the trades staff. I’ve had a few role changes since leading up to where I am now.

What is your proudest accomplishment in your career to date?
Being able to develop the team into what it is today compared to where we were 10 years ago. We have much greater capability now across a wide range of things and as first responders to issues that really helps keep the wheels turning.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in FM?
It’s a great career that can see you work across a wide range of industries and types of facilities around the world if you want. There are huge opportunities for networking and some great associations like FMANZ bringing industry together to share experience and support professional development.

When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
We were lucky enough to get a house with a big section so right now building a new garage is a priority, as is getting the summer vegetable crop in. Outside those ‘hobbies’, I have two small children so spending time with them is top of my list while they still don’t think they know everything.


Building Showcase

The Greening of the Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House has been awarded a 4-Star Green Star Performance rating by the Green Building Council of Australia. The iconic venue was awash with green, inside and out, to celebrate the announcement on 25 August.
Opera House
Image: Courtesy Sydney Opera House
The 42-year-old building has its architect Jørn Utzon to thank for this new recognition, and it now joins a handful of green-certified World Heritage listed buildings around the world. Utzon’s world-leading sea water cooling system is still used today in the Opera House’s heating and air-conditioning.

The Opera House custodians also maintain the building using eco-friendly methods including using bicarbonate soda to clean the concrete and olive oil to clean the bronze. In the past five years, the Opera House has reduced its energy usage by more than 10% by retrofitting the building with energy efficient lighting.
Building showcase - engineer
Jørn Utzon’s world-leading sea water cooling system
is still used by the Opera House today.

Image:  Filippo Dallosso
Read more here about the sustainable measures taken in the management of this iconic building.

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


AUT Winners

Students Get to Grips With FM

Over 40 Masters Students have enrolled in AUT’s Built Asset Management course, overseen by lecturer Anne Staal, and for many, this is their first introduction to FM. Last month CEO Des Brennan, and Board Members Jack Crutzen and David Curry, were invited to judge the students’ individual poster presentations and their group PowerPoint presentations. “The students appreciated Des, Jack and David coming along and received very good feedback from them,” says Anne.
Note: A couple of the winners are FMANZ student members!

Winning Posters
There were three winners:

Poster winners-647
Poster winners: Carmen Gutierrez, Thierry Candito, and Rakesh Sethi

Sustainable lighting by Rakesh Sethi 
Rakesh has a mechanical engineering degree and 14 years’ experience managing projects from the perspective of product development, operations and change management. He has worked with global companies like Philips in India, Visteon Automotive and Roche Diagnostics in Europe. This course is his introduction to FM.
Rakesh’s research and poster looked at the benefits of adopting LED sustainable solutions for commercial offices – a reduction in operating costs, reduced maintenance cycles, energy savings and a smaller carbon footprint.
Is FM an area you’d be interested in working in, in the future?
Yes, definitely. I feel I can contribute to organisations with my experience of working in diverse cultures and global organisations. In my earlier roles, I have been involved in operations and product development where constant focus was to increase the operational efficiencies of the processes.
User experience can enhance FM: a healthcare perspective by Thierry Candito
Thierry is French and has an engineering diploma from the school of ECAM, in Lyon. For the past 15 years he has worked in the construction industry and is a specialist in tunnel boring machines used for the construction of tunnels. He is in New Zealand as a Project Engineer for the company Herrenknecht, who is supplying the tunnel boring machine (Alice) for the Waterview Connection project. 
Thierry’s research and poster aimed to demonstrate, through a review of the existing literature, that a positive experience for a patient going through a healthcare facility can impact on their wellbeing. His research/poster provides recommendations that could be used by healthcare providers as they plan the construction of new healthcare facilities. 
The course is Thierry’s introduction to FM. “The course made me realise the importance of FM in our day to day life and how challenging the profession can be. I never really thought of the work involved in the background to ensure lights, HVAC etc. are running in a building, and the different items that need to be looked at to optimise the system as a whole.”
Lean Thinking by Carmen Gutierrez
Carmen has an Industrial and Systems Engineering degree from Universidad de Monterrey in Mexico. She graduated in 2011, and has since been working in the automotive industry (manufacturing) as a Quality Systems Engineer and as a Production Control and Logistics Engineer.
Carmen’s research and poster was about lean thinking applied to FM/AM in order to assess better performance. The research was focused on the lean tools Value Stream Map (VSM), 5S and Kaizen. 
The course is Carmen’s first foray into FM. “I find it very interesting because I have never studied the effects and the importance of the facilities for the productivity and performance within an organisation.”
Is FM an area you’d be interested in working in, in the future?
“Yes I would be interested because I would like to broaden and improve my experience in a different area. As well, it would be very helpful for my professional growth.”

PowerPoint Presentation Winners
Des, Jack and David picked two winning teams for the PowerPoint presentations.

Ryan Ter Morshuizen and his team took an interesting look at Facilities Management and Manufacturing Strategies in the NZ Dairy Industry, by visiting an ice cream plant and analysing efficiencies.
The research undertaken by Darren Lewis and his team looked at Continual Commissioning in the Built Environment – the benefits of CC; the barriers; future technology trends; the global benefits of CC etc.  
Here is what Darren had to say about the group’s findings: “The benefits of CC protocols operating HVAC are overwhelming.   CC in context for the small capital expenditure (relative to building size) needed is a better investment than lighting retrofits, or other forms of energy efficiencies.  In NZ EECA may fund up to 40% of the cost of a continuous commissioning system, up to a maximum of $100,000 and can also provide Crown Loans to support the venture.   The Government is leading by example in CC, with the Reserve Bank building operating under CC since 2010.   So there is financial support here in NZ for CC (at present) so I challenge FM to undertake at least a business case study on their assets to convert to CC, before the government pulls its support.
“I believe NZBC H1.3.6 at some point in the future will legislate some form of CC, to ensure energy usage remains as efficient as possible due to our renewable energy sources and population growths increasing the demand on the grid.   Like any investment there is never a better time than now.”
Darren was familiar with FM before enrolling in this course. He worked for Brookfield Multiplex for a number of years, working alongside the Brookfield Properties team assisting with their incentive projects.   This made him aware of the operating environment of AM/FM and the subsequent challenges they face. “They had a $450M property portfolio, so I had the opportunity to learn from the guys the inner workings of FM.” powerppoint presentation - Darren
Darren Lewis

What are your views on the course and on FM in general?
“Jack Crutzen gave a good presentation overview of FM, though from a more business based perspective. This did recalibrate my opinions on FM to a more strategic and business based procedure, than the day to day reactive approach I had generalised it to.   FM, I do think, is underestimated as a career choice; as assets become more technically advanced FM will need to upskill to understand how to manage them efficiently and ensure they perform as the assets owner are expecting.”
Is facilities management an area you’d be interested in working in, in the future?
“I currently enjoy the construction environment and the creation of assets more at present, but you can never say never. I’ve worked for most of the Tier 1 contractors in the last 10 years, so have come back to study part time undertaking the Master of Construction Management course which has been on my list for a number of years with now being the best timing.   Prior to this I had studied Business.”

Better Buildings

Would You be Happy for Your Contractors to Sign Off their Own Work?

Building law expert and teacher Rosemary Killip questions the latest recommendation by the Government’s Rules Reduction Taskforce.
As a building educator, with over 20 years’ experience in the industry, I’ve met a lot of contractors in my time.

Whilst some of you get frustrated with delays from local territorial authorities around building and resource consent processes, I can quite safely say that there is a reason for these procedures.

If I told you that a proposal could be on the table that would enable your contractors to sign off their own work, how comfortable would you be? 
Oct better buildings-68
I suspect you would have a few questions…
  • What exactly are they signing off? The foundations? The structure? The services? The work that sub-contractors complete?
  • How would this open up more disputes and/or claims?
  • What liability would the local territorial authorities have in terms of building standards and any repercussions from sub-standard workmanship?
There are probably lots more questions rolling around in your head right now, and yet it appears the door is ajar for letting contractors sign off on their own work. A proposal to enable this self-certification is among recommendations released in September by the Government's Rules Reduction Taskforce, which was set up to look at the rules and regulations causing frustration for taxpayers. Read the article here.

Having worked within the building industry for many years, including the years immediately following the ‘Leaky Homes Crisis’, I can only say that if this proposal for self-certification comes to fruition, there will undoubtedly be a requirement for you to take even more care about who you chose to do the work.

Having read the article on self-certification just two days ago, imagine how surprised I was to read a piece this morning that almost diametrically opposes the content “Council crackdown on shoddy building.”  Building inspection is part of the local territorial authority’s role and purpose. It is in the interest of public safety to ensure that New Zealand building regulations are upheld. It is also in your best interests to have an independent third-party set of eyes checking your work.

With all that said and done, you also have an obligation to be aware of updates and changes within your industry’s governing legislation, The Building Act 2004.

Building Networks New Zealand ( can help you with that through BuildNet, our professional learning network. To find out more, or to register, click here


Working Smarter

How to be an Effective Chairperson

Robyn Pearce (aka ‘The Time Queen’) shares her thoughts on how to successfully chair a meeting.

How many poorly run meetings have you attended? Ever noticed a chairperson who uses their position to grandstand and bulldoze their own agenda, leaving battered and silenced colleagues grumbling into their teacups in the corridor? I’m sure some people think that’s their right as a chairperson, especially when they’re the boss. However, there are infinitely more effective ways to build cooperation.

Let’s check how an effective chair handles the group.
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Functions: The agenda; control and atmosphere of the meeting’ ‘the buck stops here’; making sure that everyone contributes; ensuring that the tasks are evenly shared out, and the willing horses don’t end up with all the work (conditional on individuals’ time constraints, of course); impartiality. If you need training, get it. An effective chairperson can make or break the effectiveness of any meeting.

Be structured. Don’t dodge all around the agenda. Stay focused on one issue at a time, finish, and then move on.

Give trivia the time it deserves. If something is urgent, but relatively unimportant, put a time limit on discussion.

Watch the quiet people, and involve them. It is very easy for these folk to be dominated and talked over, and yet, because they are quieter, and not in such a hurry to air their opinions, they usually have very valid things to say. Ensure that the vocal members don’t dominate the meeting. If someone wanders, a chairperson has to kindly but firmly thank the garrulous one, saying something like, “Let’s hear from…”, or “I think we need to keep on the topic”.

Side conversations … These can be huge time-wasters, and the chairperson must nip them in the bud immediately, or the precedent will be set. They may have to stop the meeting and INSIST on only one person speaking at a time. If the pattern has already been set in an existing group, put it at the top of your next agenda for discussion, and get agreement. The rest of the group can then help the chairperson enforce it. Anyone who wants to chat socially can carry on after the meeting.

Robyn Pearce (Certified Speaking Professional) 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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