A photo of Murray Pugh, CEO of IPWEA NZ

Murray Pugh, CEO of IPWEA NZ

As IPWEA NZ prepares to launch its brand-new website tomorrow, Murray Pugh, CEO of IPWEA NZ, sat down to share the journey from his first day in January 2021, to here, launching a brand-new online presence in February 2022, and what his hopes are for the future of Public Asset Management.

You joined IPWEA NZ a year ago – what’s the year been like?

It’s been an exciting year to join the IPWEA NZ team – first, beginning to learn the sector and then meeting many of the passionate professionals who bring it to life has been inspiring.  Of course COVID has dominated, but the support of everyone in our sector has been tremendous.

Tomorrow, IPWEA NZ is launching its new website. Tell us about the journey from your first day to now and what was the motivation behind wanting to launch a new IPWEA NZ website?

The journey to our new website is founded on the last pillar of our three-pillared strategy – sustainable communities, reform support, and IPWEA NZ evolution.  To serve members and stakeholders as a representative industry body we need to present ourselves with pride and professionalism – we have valuable guides, courses and industry information all online which has to be easily accessed and the new website does this beautifully.

With the world the way that it is – from your point of view, what does this new website mean for IPWEA NZ and its members?

The new website is a great representation of IPWEA NZ’s evolution – we are reinventing our member engagement through Branch events and our Special Interest Groups as well as our Conferences and Forums.  Even if in-person activity is limited at times, our website provides an engaging space to come and learn, find leading presentations and webinar material as well as access our guides and best practice manuals.

As well as the website, you’ve launched a new online learning system. How will this make learning easier?

Our new Learning Management System (LMS) is slick – designed by our own award winning Product Manager Mike Curry, the LMS is completely integrated within the new website – so after purchasing your digital badge through the online shopping cart, you stay in the same environment and can immediately begin your course.  In your time.  Its super easy to return to where you left off and you can readily see your progress, so there’s no excuses!

IPWEA NZ are launching new digital badges – why now and what’s the relevance of them?

With another wave of COVID (and, yes, our Future-Fit Aotearoa Conference cancellation) there are a lot of professionals in our sector with some unexpected time on their hands.  We have three fresh new Digital Badge courses available now.  CC 101 – Introduction to Climate Adaptation in Asset Management is the essential course to start getting your head into what climate change means for asset management professionals.  The online course is led by renowned academic and practitioner Theuns Henning.  WM 104 – Introduction to Flood Risk Asset Management and its follow up course WM 240 – Inspection and Performance has been created by George Bowman to introduce an overarching framework for tactical flood risk asset management.  And of course we have our Asset Management series of Digital Badges and specialist Traffic Estimation digital badge to choose from too.

Finally, what do you see the key challenges being in Public Asset Management, and what is IPWEA NZ’s part in those challenges?

The challenges in 2022 for asset management professionals are significant.  Three waters reform and regulation, infrastructure strategy, climate change goals, health reform, vocational education reform, local government review, engineer registration and regulation are all underway and all impact the day to day and long term practice of asset management.  IPWEA NZ is New Zealand’s peak body for asset management and we are representing the interests of our members and our sector by positioning asset management as a key enabler of the many outcomes being pursued through the changes to come.  Asset management is in an exciting phase of profile re-building and re-recognition and I am looking forward to continuing this critical work for the good of both IPWEA NZ and New Zealand Aotearoa.