It doesn’t seem too long ago I was writing this editorial for the Summer/Autumn edition of Contractor Connect. I don’t know about you, but for me the weeks and months seem to be flying by. When you receive this, we’ll be halfway through the year.
Here in Auckland, we still enjoyed some unseasonably warm weather well into May. But it wouldn’t be Auckland, or for that matter New Zealand, if we didn’t also experience some real extremes of weather, which brings me to the Auckland storm that occurred overnight on Tuesday 10 April.
It was a storm of a magnitude I don’t ever recall before, and it affected different parts of Auckland in very different ways. What it did show is the power of working together as a team to help our tenants. Thank you again to all our contractors who went above and beyond to carry out hundreds of urgent repairs on our homes over the days that followed, to keep our tenants safe, warm and dry. In this edition of the newsletter we’ve included an extensive feature on the storm and look at what it was like on the ground for our two regional maintenance managers who worked with you to manage the aftermath.
I also want to give a shout out to Programmed Facility Management (PFM) and their team of electricians. Our homes in East Auckland, which is PFM’s patch, did not bear the brunt of the storm like in some parts of Central and West Auckland, so the PFM team quickly reached out to help in worse-hit areas. Ashneel Sharma from PFM subbie Aan Electrical LTD worked through two full days and nights to ensure elderly tenants living in one of our larger pensioner complexes had power to be able to cook and to heat their properties. This included carefully switching on, one by one, more than 60 hot water cylinders, taking care not to cause any fuses to blow.
Spotless, Spencer Henshaw and PFM – it shows that by working together and placing the tenant firmly at the centre of everything we do, we can achieve great things.
These are just some examples of the magnificent efforts of your teams and I know there are hundreds of our tenants who are grateful for the extra mile your people went in their time of need.
Back to the weather – winter looks like it’s now here and we’re already prepared. Housing New Zealand and the Ministry of Social Development are adopting an all-hands-on-deck approach, strongly focusing on collaboration and engagement. We’re working closely with other government agencies, providers and the wider sector to understand and respond quickly to what’s happening on the ground and in our communities. This edition of Contractor Connect has more detail about this, as well as information on the new Winter Energy Payment, which will help seniors and people on a benefit with the cost of heating their homes during winter.
In this edition, we also announce the winner of the inaugural Hudson Sellars Apprentice Scholarship, awarded in memory of a very much respected member of the Spencer Henshaw team who passed away just over a year ago.
Finally, with winter here please keep safe, keep warm, keep healthy, keep doing what you’re doing and continue to keep our tenants firmly at the centre of everything we do.
Angela Pearce - National Maintenance and Upgrade Manager