From the Director’s Desk – March 2022

As we near the conclusion of quarter one of 2022 I would like to reach out to our customers and thank them for working with us during this outbreak. It has been a period of growth in both staff and turnover. It has also been a period of adjustment for our company.

One of our measures of how happy our customers are is the number of compliments our team get. For the last two months we have been receiving almost a compliment per day – which must be a good sign!

Thank you for keeping our spirits high!

Working smart in a pandemic

We have created a staggered start system where we have the ops crew working in “bubbles”, and the office is split into two, to avoid the risk of Omicron decimating our whole organization. Everyone, to a person, is working hard to be positive and do whatever they can to keep the business functioning.

Our services are still in high demand and we are ahead our workflow target for 2022 to date. Our operations crew continues to forge on bravely, despite feeling the effects of Omicron in this department. As hard as we try, we are getting positive cases, but work is still being done.

We work weekends too

At the beginning of this year we created a weekend call-out system. We have an administration person rostered on every weekend, and we a driver who can come and resolve your problem. Please call us if you have an issue on the weekend! We will sort it.

Welcoming new staff

We have taken the time to employ three outstanding people who will join us over the next three months. We will put pictures up of these individuals as they start. I am confident they will help grow our business and they will understand the responsibility that lies on their shoulders to make this company better than when they started.

Thank you to our wonderful people

Once again, I want to thank the amazing team that is Dutton Stormwater for the hard work they are doing. I want to thank them for the constant adjustments they must make. I understand your frustrations. We have come through tougher times than this, and we will come through this with our heads held high, and another knot in our story which makes us the special company we are.

Best regards,

Ed

Reflecting on 2021

In a year characterised by change, our company has understood the importance of providing as much certainty as possible. This certainty provides a level of comfort for customers, suppliers and most importantly for staff. We have aimed to do this by shattering all norms and benchmarking ourselves, with ourselves! These are the commitments we made:

  • We have committed to our staff by promising to keep them at all costs.
  • We have committed to our customers that we will be completely up to date by Christmas Eve.
  • Our crew have committed to our country’s safety by all becoming vaccinated.

We have provided as much clarity to the crew as early as we could on what we would be asking of them when they got back to work. We have placed our trust and confidence in each other understanding that we are in this together and this is an opportunity for us to defy the odds again.

Finally, we have been honest with all our stakeholders – staff, banks, customers, and suppliers. I want to thank the staff, and our wonderful customers for persevering with us this year. We have grown.

Part of this growth has been personal for our crew. We have implemented our Legacy Programme where we have divided ourselves into groups and discussed James Kerr’s book, Legacy. This book discusses leadership lessons from the most successful sports team in the world. This book has fifteen lessons in leadership which we discuss on a Wednesday morning after our Wellness Wednesday. One of the enduring messages I have taken from this book has been to be a good ancestor. James Kerr’s description of Whakapapa is beautiful:

He suggests we are all standing arm in arm with our ancestors going in one direction and our future generations going in the other. “At this present moment, the sun is shining on us. However, the sun will set on our time, and we need to ensure that we have left this place in a better state than we found it.”

Apart from our own personal growth, we are on track to have grown by 10% from this time last year.

With this growth and Auckland’s unitary plan we have seen the need to have a vehicle that can suck and clean in low car parks. Hence the arrival of Trailer Trash. This 2000l vacuum unit fitted with a water-blaster has a height of 1.85m and is towed easily behind a Ute.

Carbon Neutrality by 2030

We have also set ourselves the ambitious goal of our company being carbon neutral by 2030. To this end we have replaced two of our combustion engines with electric vehicles. Our plan is to convert all our utility vehicles by 2025. From 2025 to 2030 we will embark on converting the trucks to a carbon neutral option.

We are also very proud to support Sustainable Coastlines, and really enjoyed our first coastline clean up as a team alongside Sustainable Coastlines and the local community. (Photo above).

New team members

We have introduced new staff who have made a major difference in our team.

   

 

  • Edwin Tugadi is a new vacuum truck driver for us, and he brings a wealth of experience from Christchurch.
  • Orlando Segarra is our new technician, and he brings experience, strong work ethic and intelligence to our company.
  • Mahdi Hafzi is our new technician who is resilient, consistent and a hard worker.
  • We have also managed to get Mike Beeston back out of hiding and he is now here doing what he does best, driving a large truck!
  • Amy Pervan is our phenomenal accounts assistant who has brought a wealth of experience, and extremely high standards. She is so efficient and has been a massive help to Claire.

We have introduced a new ritual whereby staff who come on board with us are officially presented with their Dutton Stormwater hoodies after they have been with us for two months. They are now part of our story, and it is their responsibility to leave the hoodie in a better place than it was.

Highlights of 2021

One of the highlights for 2021 was the light Dutton Stormwater shone on the Stormwater Conference in Tauranga. We made our presence felt. On the night of the dinner, I took the time to stand back and marvel at our table. We had 10 of the most interesting, brilliant people I know talking about stormwater, and I felt proud. I think it shows in this photo with Gillian Blythe, Water NZ’s CEO.

We have also celebrated a resilient year with our company Christmas party, hosted with home cooked food at our home, organised by Claire and with the food served by a beautiful catering team of Dutton Stormwater children!

We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and rejuvenating holiday!

Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard for us this year. Thank you to my daughters who support me, and most importantly, thank you to Kate for the enduring support and love you give me.

I am blessed.

Ed.

It’s official – The Stormwater Responsible Badge is here

To acknowledge and publicly recognise the commitment of our customers to Responsible Stormwater Management, and to raise awareness of the importance of stormwater system maintenance, we have created the Stormwater Responsible badge.

This badge will be awarded to customers who demonstrate responsible stormwater practices by regularly maintaining their stormwater systems. Companies can then use this to show their own customers and the community they are doing their part to minimise contamination of our waterways.

To qualify, customers of Dutton Stormwater must have performed regular stormwater maintenance on their existing devices for at least two years, and/or have committed to two year’s scheduled maintenance on all stormwater devices going forward.

To discuss further, or if you already qualify and would like to be awarded the badge, please email andrea@duttonstormwater.co.nz.

St Mary’s Primary School presentation

As part of our initiative to educate our community and increase awareness of how important stormwater maintenance is to preserving clean waterways, the Dutton Stormwater team visited St Marys Primary School.

Around 50 children got to hear our Director Ed Dutton explain what our role is in helping protect the waterways and environment around New Zealand, then our crew demonstrated a Cess Pit service with the Vacuum Truck.

It’s always refreshing speaking with children and watching curious minds at work. It was great to see how quickly the students grasped why it is important not to drop rocks or rubbish in a Cess Pit. We found the trip very worthwhile, with our time well invested in these future custodians of Auckland.

Ed is looking forward to visiting more customer schools this winter and meeting more young people with a desire to look after our planet.

Dutton Stormwater is a proud sponsor of Sustainable Coastlines

July has seen Dutton Stormwater attain another proud milestone. We have finalised our sponsorship of Sustainable Coastlines, a registered New Zealand charity doing incredible work which all Kiwis benefit from.

The protection of our natural environment is at the heart of Dutton’s company values, and we want to do all we can to achieve this. Sustainable Coastlines is on a mission to take better care of our coastlines and waterways. The Visions of both parties have an align – Both love the coasts and oceans, and want them litter free.

Sustainable Coastlines deliver coastal clean-up events, educational programmes, public awareness campaigns, and native planting projects. They work with businesses, volunteers, ambassadors and local community groups, to enable them to deliver these activities in their own communities.

We are particularly interested in the “Love Your Coast” programmes, which target marine litter through beach clean-ups and education. Hundreds of passionate people pick up tonnes of litter which has reached the coast. However, there is a ribbon of catchment just beyond the beach awaiting the next rain. Gathered in the silt and sediments from our roads are fine pollutants, which settle in the stormwater catch pit drains in the street gutters. They contain lead, zinc, copper and other heavy pollutants. These are the invisible “nasties” which often cause our beach closures and harm our marine life.

Part of the Dutton Stormwater support of Sustainable Coastlines vision is to provide the technical expertise and equipment to assist with cleaning up these drains closest to the target beaches. We will be supplying trucks and crew to specific events to provide some heavy lifting and support beyond the beach. This is to ensure the hard work of all the people doing the clean-ups is not undone in the next downfall, and that we are all working to our strengths to meet our shared vision of protecting our waterways, beaches and oceans.

If you have an interest in supporting Sustainable Coastlines in their mission, please contact steph@sustainablecoastlines.org, or at 0274 912058.

Most importantly, let’s all do the small things in our daily life to ensure our stormwater runoff is as clean and litter free as possible.

Eventually, it all drains to the ocean.