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.

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.”

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”.

Team efforts in the face of natural disasters

With a country battered and reeling from Flooding and a Cyclone, I feel unable to comment on the devastation that has occurred. I can only extend my sympathy to those who were flooded or had their houses damaged. I am so grateful to the work our crew have done in helping to clean up the aftermath of the floods. They have put in many, many long hours for people all over the city. A heartfelt thank you to our team.

Perhaps people may be asking what they can do to help the water flow? In a storm events like these there is not a great deal you can do. However, to give your drains the best chance possible of draining away, clean them.

We are here to help in whatever capacity possible.

Christchurch Stormwater Maintenance

Dutton Stormwater Maintenance’s Christchurch HQ is at 20 Raymond Ave, in Bromley. We are so proud to be working in the beautiful Garden City, and have a fantastic crew based in Christchurch, along with our 10 tonne capacity vacuum truck truck, ‘David’.

A Stormwater Maintenance Company in Christchurch 

The opening of our new Stormwater Servicing Company branch in Christchurch was the culmination of big dreams, months of planning, and some serious mahi. Our team have been busy getting stuck into work, as well as finding some time to get acquainted with the local area, beautiful scenery, and fantastic people.

The team started off by servicing some of our amazing new customers’ sites, such as RD Petroleum and Fire and Emergency and we are very excited to see what the future has in store.

Our experienced Field Operations Supervisor, Marlon Quiban, heads up the branch and the Stormwater Maintenance operations.

Marlon said, “I have loved the move down to Christchurch, everyone has been so welcoming, and I am excited to make Christchurch my home”.

  • Lyndon will be operating our truck and learning the world of Stormwater Maintenance.
  • Isaac is an engineering student who we are supporting in Christchurch with a few days’ work per week.
  • We have one of our experienced drivers doing two-week stints in Christchurch to cover demand.

We feel privileged to be able to take this bold step to providing stormwater services in Christchurch – and are eager to help keep more of New Zealand’s beautiful waterways clean.

Visy Recycling awarded Stormwater Responsible badge

I recently had the privilege of presenting our third Stormwater Responsible Badge, which was awarded to one of our oldest and most loyal customers – Visy Recycling. I have been involved in the stormwater system at Visy since 2007 when the sand-peat filters were installed. Since then, we have grown with Visy, and together we have managed to bring their annual maintenance costs down from year to year.

We are truly grateful to the customers receiving Stormwater Responsible badges, for their support and their uncompromising efforts in keeping our waterways clean. Thank you.

We have designed this beautiful badge to acknowledge businesses who have made a consistent effort to maintain their stormwater assets. The maintenance we provide these customers serves four main purposes:

  1. It reduces the risk of your stormwater system blocking up.
  2. It minimises the levels of sediment being flushed out into the ocean.
  3. It reduces the cost of urgent callouts and potential remedial work.
  4. It ensures that your site is always compliant.

The criteria to qualify for a Stormwater Responsible Badge are as follows:

Earning a badge requires over 25 points
1.       Do you have a maintenance contract with Dutton Stormwater? If you do, you get 5 points.
2.       For every two years of regular maintenance of your stormwater devices you gain five points.
3.       If you follow through with your maintenance schedule after one year, you gain 10 points.
4.       If more than 75% of your sites are regularly maintained, you get 10 points.