Online Northern branch meeting – 3 March 2021
by Cushla Anich, Northern Branch Chair

There was a great turnout for our industry branch meeting this morning. We had to think quick on Sunday morning in response to the Government’s latest lockdown restrictions. So we moved our Tokoroa meeting hosted by South Waikato District Council to an online virtual session by Monday lunchtime. This allowed for members across New Zealand to participate as well.

We had nine presenters ranging from building diversity in our workforce, new upgrades to the Tokoroa wastewater treatment plant, catering for freedom camping and new waste facilities in the District, to the major environment incident into Lake Taupo. South Waikato District Council’s Chief Executive Ben Smit provided leadership on reinvigorating his District to respect its cultural heritage, including its Pacifica people as well as being a Space to Grow.

We were also not beaten with not having physical site visits in Tokoroa. We had an impressive drone footage of the new Tokoroa Refuse Transfer Station. Go onto IPWEA’s website, it is incredible, and you will become a waste minimisation convert after viewing it.

We also had the pleasure of two guest speakers. Our new Chief Executive, Murray Pugh, gave his strategic direction for our industry. This included being flexible in options for training such as our Digital Badges.

Taumata Arowai’s Chief Executive Bill Bayfield detailed the road ahead with water reform programme and the core purpose – Healthy Water, Healthy People.

We look forward to our next meeting, this August.