The Rain Gardeners

The Rain Gardeners is a sister company to Dutton Stormwater and we’ve been proud to collaborate on some great rain garden maintenance projects this spring. We’ve also agreed some regular rain garden mainenance contracts with Dutton Stormwater clients as well maintained rain gardens are essential for great performance wherever they are included as part of a stormwater maintence system.

You can check out the website here – – and you might see the van out and about with Sonny on board.

Raingarden refurbishment – Onehunga

In the month of September, we helped one of our clients with a major refurbishment of their raingarden. The job spanned 268m2 and we excavated approximately 135m3 of contaminated material out of the garden. We divided the garden into stages and the engineer came to site at various intervals to inspect the media. When she was happy with the depth of material removed, we replaced the excavated contaminated material with fresh, clean raingarden mix. This media was initially shaped by our skilled excavator operator and then finished by Sonny himself.

We then repaired the riprap which ensures there is no scouring of the garden when water flows into it. We laid 75mm of beautiful bark over the garden and planted new plants at 500mm intervals. This raingarden is now in mint condition, and we will be maintaining it monthly to keep it this way.

This raingarden is part of the stormwater system on site and is part of the treatment train for the stormwater the site discharges. We are specialists in servicing these stormwater treatment devices. The Rain Gardeners work closely with Dutton Stormwater to ensure the Raingarden maintenance forms part of the Stormwater Management Plan for the site. This is a more comprehensive service and will ensure your site is complying with your stormwater discharge consent.

If you are unsure about your stormwater management plan for your site, please do not hesitate to contact the crew at Dutton Stormwater to take the worry out of managing your stormwater system.

Mt Albert Rain Garden Rejuvenation

Our Rain Gardeners team also carried out a refurbishment on a rain garden in Mt Albert where there have been years of neglect. The raingarden has had new life breathed into it.  They removed all the litter, aerated all the media, replaced any dead plants, and cut back weeds and overgrown plants. We are happy with the result of this maintenance, and we look forward to keeping this raingarden as it should be.

Facilities Management Conference – Te Pae – Christchurch

On the 20-21 September Dutton Stormwater attended and exhibited at the FM Summit Aotearoa held at the Te Pae Convention Centre in Otauthai, Christchurch hosted by FMANZ (Facilities management Association of New Zealand).  This was our first time attending a Facilities Management Summit, so we went in with eyes wide open.  The combination of being in the beautiful city of Otautahi Christchurch, the stunning venue of Te Pae right next to the Avon and brought together by the team at FMANZ made for a special couple of days.

For us this was a great opportunity to catch up with many existing customers from the facilities management space, make introductions with potential new Customers and Industry partners.  Whilst the presentations were to a high standard my main takeaway from the event was the obtaining a greater understanding and appreciation for the wide variety of work that goes in by all in the facilities space to ensure the upkeep and progression of the built environment around us.

The winning wheel made an appearance on the last day and as you can expect when cash is being given away the crowd drew closer to see if it was their business card being drawn out of the hat.  Three lucky and very grateful attendees drew their name and walked away with a little extra spending money.

It was also a pleasure to be present at the award’s gala dinner where individuals, teams and companies were acknowledged.

There is no doubt we will be back again for the 2024 FM summit being held in Auckland.

From the Directors Desk November 23

I’m constantly reminded how lucky we are to have built the amazing team that make up Dutton Stormwater. Great equipment and smart systems can make a business more agile and effective but the people bring the heart to any company.

Appreciation for Foxy and Ben

I treasure the people in our business. I also treasure our bespoke operating system, FOXY. We called it Foxy because it is smart, determined, limitless and fast. It is another asset that sets our company apart from the rest. With humility, Foxy is an operating system I am so proud of. It will ultimately manage our whole business.

To that end, Tracy has taken on Ben McGirr as our full-time developer. Ben is professional and approachable (when his 11-week-old son Charlie gives him some sleep), and I look forward to working with Ben to make Foxy the most beautiful platform in the world.

Congratulations to our new Drivers

We are extremely proud of three men who have taken the time to develop themselves into drivers. Congratulations to Sonny Chan, Peter Rhind, and Lyndon Quiban. Having a versatile crew that can double as technicians and truck drivers is another factor which gives our company extra adaptability. Well done to these three gentlemen, we look forward to seeing you behind the wheel of a Dutton Stormwater truck.

Our awesome accounts team

Our business is blessed to have two committed individuals who manage our finances. From the outset of Dutton Stormwater, I have held true to the mantra of treating people as you wish to be treated. We pay our bills on the 20th of the month or when they are due. We believe this is why our customers do the same for us. It is not always easy. I often receive a text late in the evening of the 20th from young Amy saying all the bills are paid, and that’s a great feeling. Amy has had Evie join her full time this year and there is a happy hum of efficiency that permeates the accounts department – until the last day of the month and ‘claim day’! I wanted to personally acknowledge the effort these two put in for our company and thank them for keeping our business’s finances organised and efficient.

South Auckland Branch opens for Spring

It is starting to feel like Spring at the Dutton Stormwater yards.  So many new faces, a flurry of activity and the warmth of the sun is certainly energising every one of us.

We have opened our third branch – South Auckland

Our new branch is in Pukekohe, this South Auckland location allows us to react to urgent call outs in that region and enables us to serve our customers more efficiently. It’s great for the environment too, as less travel time means less emissions, which supports our TOITU Certification.

Rupinder will head up our crew in Pukekohe, initially backed by Manni – and we have plans to add crew to this branch in October.

A growing team of 40+ staff

You may have noticed a lot of new Dutton Stormwater faces on our staff page! Our talented new additions bring passion and enthusiasm to our company and we look forward to them growing as people with us.

Meet Kath & Kim

In addition to new faces, we have also brought on two new trucks to Dutton Stormwater. These two trucks turned up from Australia and are called ‘KATH’ and ‘KIM’. The twins have hit the ground running. We look forward to Kath and Kim servicing your site soon. That’s Kim with Ed and Ken up the top of this article.

FM Summit Exhibition

We exhibited at the FM Summit at the Te Pae Convention Centre.

Stormwater Responsible Badge for The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints

We love to show our appreciation for the wonderful work our customers do to help keeping our waterways clean and safe. To show our appreciation we have developed a matrix with certain criteria which allows you to be eligible for the Stormwater Responsible Badge.

In July we had the pleasure of awarding our 6th Stormwater Responsible badge. Maverick, Lizanne and Salevana from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came to our office and were presented with the paua engraved award.

This valued customer has been with Dutton Stormwater from 2018 and since covid lockdowns have expanded their maintenance contracts with us. We really applaud them for their proactive approach to their stormwater maintenance.

Meet our Operations Planning Team

Over the years you have quite likely become accustomed to the courtesy e-mails and phone calls you receive from our phenomenal operations planning team. These five people are responsible for planning all the work, responding to emergency call outs, and letting customers know when we will be on site. These five people have the character traits of tenacity, mental dexterity, and patience. For you as customers, I would like to introduce them to you so you can put a face to the voice.

Nada Bashori

Nada has been with us for over four years and knows our business well. She is kind and patient. Nada moved here from Iraq and is the most dynamic and glamorous grandmother I know.

Lucie Carpenter

Lucie is in her second year with us and has recently completed our Leadership Programme – JOLT – under the direction of Wade Jackson. Lucie hails from Czechoslovakia and looks after her two beautiful children when she is not working.

William Clarke

When our planning team needed another planner, we advertised internally. We were lucky enough to have one of our Team Leaders apply for the role. William has become an asset to this team because of his site knowledge and his rapport with the field crew.

Cat Woollams

Cat was voted our Peoples Choice Employee of the year last year. She is passionate about getting work done. Her planning is meticulous and careful, and her customer service is unparalleled.

Michelle Buckingham

Michelle, otherwise known as Molly, leads this team of wonderful individuals. She has been in the business for over six years, and she has weaved her way through accounts, sales and now she leads the operations team with accuracy and passion.


These five people make sure work is planned for the customers and the team in the field. We thank them for their efforts. May I ask all our customers to be patient with these people as they aim to satisfy your requirements, while working at the mercy of the substantial weather events we have experienced in 2023.

Stormwater Conference 2023

As a Partner of the Water New Zealand Stormwater Conference we were pleased that all of the office staff and many of our crew were able to attend the fantastic keynote presentations, lectures and workshops that were available this year in Tamaki Makaurau Auckland.

This was the largest Stormwater Conference to date with almost 600 attendees meeting for two and a half days, it was a fantastic opportunity to network with other stormwater professionals and gain a wealth of knowledge from National and International speakers.

Our booth in the Trade area was kitted out with a 1/10th to scale replica of one of our trucks, in a display showing how we clean out a catchpit.

2023 also saw the return of our winning wheel, a chance to spin for cash if you place your business card in the bowl. Te Radar, the master of ceremonies, came to assist us when the cards were drawn and three lucky winners were picked. Francesco, a young engineering student from WSP won $50 and Lane Irwin from 12D struck gold and took away the maximum prize of $400 by spinning 8 on the wheel.

We all loved every minute of amazing hospitality which culminated in the Stantec Conference Dinner on the Wednesday evening, well deserved awards including the Young Stormwater Professional of the Year and Stormwater paper of the Year. The Dutton team made the most of the delicious dinner and a great band.

We very much look forward to seeing what next Years Conference brings.

All hands to the pump in flood fight

Originally published in The NZ Herald.

As Auckland was being battered yet again by rain, a group of office workers went beyond the call of duty to help people whose homes and properties were being threatened by rising flood waters.

Tracy Hill and some in her team at the Auckland-based stormwater maintenance company, Dutton Stormwater, left their desks, donned gumboots and rain jackets and headed into the storm to join forces with their mobile service crews.

“We were inundated with calls, more than we could respond to,” says Hill, the company’s general manager. “At the peak we attended more than 58 call-outs; our operations manager, myself and some of our 16 office staff were out there. We were all hands-on deck and helped pump water and clear away rubbish and debris.”

Hill was relating events that unfolded during catastrophic flooding over Auckland Anniversary weekend in January: In one incident Dutton crews spent hours vacuuming and pumping more than 1.5 million litres of water from an inner-city carpark where dozens of cars were trapped.

They were also called to many residential areas where houses and streets were under threat.

An example over anniversary weekend came following a desperate call for help from a family in Sunnynook, worried flood waters were about to swamp their home.

“We got there at 8.30 at night and set up a pump to divert the water,” Hill says. “The water was starting to come into the downstairs lounge and it took nearly two hours to save the house. I’m sure if we hadn’t got there as quickly as we did, it would have flooded.”

Having the right IT systems, enabled by strong connectivity, played a key part in their ability to respond at short notice, says Hill. It allowed near-instant communication with its maintenance crews, enabling them to be quickly sent to where they were needed.

“All our customer locations are on our computer system. From the office we are able to instantly upload a job to their phones so our crews know in real time where they need to be. We can also upload maps of the drainage systems at all locations and show who the contacts are.

“On the day of the floods, the crew’s whole work order changed, but we were able to instantly redirect them to the trouble spots so they could get there as quick as possible,” she says. “For that we need high-speed fibre, we wouldn’t be able to do it without that connectivity.

“The alternative is to rely on making a phone call (which might not be answered) or, like back in the day, send crews out with a manila folder full of these details. Under that system, in an event like the floods they would have had to come back to the office to get new orders, thus considerably delaying response time.”

Head of business and networks at Chorus, Dean Pointon, says Dutton Stormwater shows a business fibre connection can champion productivity in a small business environment. “It offers speed, consistency and reliability for an internet connection – all of which are crucial to the success of any business. The right fibre connection can enable new ways of doing things and ensure a business keeps up with its productivity needs.”

The company was founded by Ed Dutton in 2009. Initially operating from a single van, today the business has 10 vacuum trucks, 15 other vehicles and employs 37 staff. It has one truck servicing stormwater devices across the country and recently opened a branch in Christchurch.

“Now we operate 95 per cent paperless and all our systems and databases are stored on a remote server which we need access to constantly, without lag time. Any interruption to our connection is extremely disruptive and costly,” says Hill.

“While our field crew would be able to continue working using data, our office staff are severely affected as switching to slower mobile connections reduces our efficiency.”

In 2017 the company developed its own software system called Foxy to store customer details and service reports. It now includes a planning and scheduling management system and Foxy mobile which is used by the crew to complete their service and health and safety reports.

“For the service reports alone we are downloading, checking and sending approximately 1500 reports to customers every month,” Hill says. “Some customers require the reports to be uploaded to their own secure systems and portals, all of which require strong connectivity.

“Fast connection speeds means we are able to deliver our services efficiently, lower our overheads and offer the best available rates.”

Kiwi Property Group awarded a Stormwater Responsible Badge

Dutton Stormwater were very pleased to award Kiwi Property Group at Sylvia Park with a Stormwater Responsible Badge.

It gives us great pleasure to be able to recognise the commitment it takes from companies such as Kiwi Property Group to maintain their devices on a regular basis. The peace of mind that comes with knowing that when winter comes we have done everything we can to help these systems run smoothly is priceless.

Tracy and Grant presented this beautiful pauwa inlaid award to Karlene Haddock the Facilities Manager and Stuart Tomlinson, the Facilities Lead, at their last meeting – with the digital logo to be utilised by their Marketing team.

May news from Dutton’s Christchurch & Auckland teams

Winter is on its way!

We are so grateful that the sunny skies have in the most part returned to Aotearoa in April, however the heavy rains and cyclones causing flooding across the whenua over the last few months have highlighted the importance of being prepared by having your stormwater system well maintained.

Now is a great time to get your maintenance up to date to keep your drains free from litter, vegetation, debris, and sediment. By having a regular maintenance contract customised to your site, we take the hassle out of the cleaning, and ensure you stay compliant, so when the rain does come, all you’ll need to worry about is how to get your washing dry!

Stormwater 2023 Conference

Right now, the annual Stormwater conference is happening in Auckland, and we are excited to be a conference sponsor again. This conference is an invaluable opportunity for attendees to share ideas and be inspired to continue fostering a sustainable, healthy environment for all New Zealand through an innovative and wholistic approach to stormwater management. We look forward to bringing you our conference highlights soon.

Highlights over the last Quarter

Crew hard at work cleaning the Storm Filter on Malters Place.

Lunch break in Gisborne.

“David” the truck, arriving in Christchurch

A visit by Easter friends surprises Yannick, Rupinder & William.

Masoud and Mahdi with our new 10 tonne-capacity truck, “David”.