Āpōpō is the lead association for infrastructure asset management professionals in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our mission is to represent, develop and enhance the infrastructure asset management profession for Aotearoa. Our membership is more than 900 professionals.
- Existing guidelines for infrastructure asset managers described a generic international standard, without reflecting the unique cultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand
- Existing asset management practices had insufficient recognition of both partners in the Treaty of Waitangi
- Missing a tangible benefit of membership for the 900+ members of Āpōpō.
Āpōpō was looking to rapidly develop good infrastructure asset management practice as an online resource, the Āpōpō Guide, which would recognise the value of both Treaty partners. While there were existing resources on infrastructure asset management practices, there was no resource that wove together the principles of te ao Māori (the Māori worldview) and the principles of asset management.
The Āpōpō team established an oversight group to provide direction from various perspectives, and contracted external cultural advice to review ideas and content.
The solution involved five key elements:
1. Articulating Principles
The internationally recognised ISO 55000:2014 standards for asset management are well-established and widely recognised. Articulating these standards as principles in the Āpōpō Guide involved slightly adapting existing material.
However, the key new material was the articulation of the principles of te ao Māori (the Māori worldview).
The Āpōpō Guide then weaves these two sets of principles together both explicitly and implicitly throughout the Guide contents, and demonstrates the principles using real case studies from around Aotearoa New Zealand.
2. Utilising Existing Resources
There is a lot of material on various aspects of infrastructure asset management, including online course material, other guidelines, and award submissions. To avoid reinventing the wheel these resources were consolidated and harnessed to add value to the Āpōpō Guide. The online course material, in particular, often had a base of peer reviewed information with which to work.
3. Making the Most of Technology
Throughout the process of developing the Āpōpō Guide we utilised technology such as ChatGPT to produce an early draft that was then reviewed and improved by subject matter experts. This process gave us a substantial step-up in producing something quickly that allowed us to get a first draft to subject matter experts in weeks instead of months.
4. Uniting the Industry for a Common Outcome
The subject matter experts involved came from a range of organisations including those of differing sizes, perspectives, and areas of expertise.
What united them was working towards a common outcome: guidance for people in infrastructure asset management in the unique cultural context of Aotearoa New Zealand.
The efforts of our subject matter experts – often voluntary – is what turned the Āpōpō Guide into something that provides real value to readers through the sharing of lived experience.
5. Bringing in the Voices of the Readers
Another aspect that sets the Āpōpō Guide apart is the process for readers to actively contribute to its content, through a standardised form. The suggested content is then reviewed by a panel of subject matter experts in a streamlined approach to ensure that the time from submission to inclusion is as prompt as possible.
The voices of the readers are essential to making the readers involved in the constant improvement of the Āpōpō Guide, turning it from a static resource into something that lives and breathes, and reflects the reality of asset management practice.
To encourage this further the Āpōpō Guide includes an online discussion forum, with prompts throughout the Guide to encourage participation.
Following a rapid three-month development programme, the Āpōpō Guide launched in October 2023, and is now serving infrastructure asset managers in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Readers have told us “The Guide is looking great, awesome mahi [work]!” and “We are really impressed with the quality of the guide, and believe it will provide a lot of value for the asset management community members in Aotearoa New Zealand.”
Read more about The Āpōpō Guide here.