Day 2 of the NAMS Advanced Asset Management Forum was another eye-opening day. We gained incredible insight into the future of asset management through the lens of lifecycle and wellbeing here in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Thank you to our fantastic keynote speaker for the day and our presenters for sharing their experiences and projects, helping to shape our discussion around how we can create a people-focused future in Aotearoa.

Maxine Forde, MAXAM and David Jeffrey, Infrastructure Associates, introduced a new type of an Asset Management Plan – a singular A3 page! We consume so much information each day, this workshop encouraged us to present concise short AMPs in order to get the right information to the right people.

Steven Browning, Strategic Asset Solutions, introduced the updates made recently to the International Infrastructure Management Manual Section 2.2 Levels of Service. The update includes clarification of terms and guidance and new case studies. He launched the new specialist Asset Management Digital Badge AM 431 Levels of Service.

Jodie O’Doherty, IPWEA New Zealand, gave a comprehensive overview of the training and learning available to the Asset Management Sector. With a predicted shortfall of staff and resource across the industry already being felt, it’s vital that we encourage and explore the training available both through formal and informal education pathways.

David Darwin, Waka Kotahi, launched Waka Kotahi’s Asset Management Data Standards. AMDS is a common language for the industry which will be implemented in Councils in 10 tranches.

Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, challenged the industry’s assumptions, sharing that many population assumptions in asset management plans are grossly wrong – looking back will not predict the future in a rapidly changing country. We have an ageing population, with 25% of people over the age of 65 and a fertility rate of just 1.6 births per woman. A rate of 2.1 is necessary for the population to replace itself. This trend is being seen globally.

Jessie Lea and Stephen O’Neill, Ara Poutama, Corrections, shared their Asset Management Journey at Corrections. They’ve introduced a new framework which is helping them to develop levels of service that speak to their humanising and healing aspirations. Within the framework, asset data and information are a key asset class in their own right

Tracy Massam, Tāmaki Regeneration Company, shared how they’ve harnessed the power of asset data to improve the levels of service that they provide across their portfolio. The company’s journey to asset management excellence is based on trust and prioritised using short key terms – Now | Next | Later and Must | Should | Would, to make sure that they’re all speaking the same language when it comes to priorities.

Dan Jurgens, WSP, introduced the BIM model that they’ve created as a digital twin of ToiToi, Hastings’ Heritage Arts Centre.  The Digital Twin is an engaging way to visualise information and enables the team to understand the present and predict the future. Along with many other things, the tool can be used to easily visualise required works, break down maintenance costs by room and store relevant documents easily findable by location.

The day was concluded with a challenging and thought-provoking panel discussion, framed by the question: What comes first? Ross Waugh, Waugh Infrastructure Management, pressed our panelists, Mark Baker-Jones, Katy Te Amo and Professor Paul Spoonley to pick just one thing to prioritise.

Mark Baker-Jones, Te Whakahaere, urged the importance of reducing our emissions without getting lost in the policies and vilifying people.

Katy Te Amo, Taumata Arowai, advocated for decision making that transcended politics to ensure that the reforms we make now anticipate the needs of future generations. Decisions should be well thought out, with a contemporary weaving of Te Ao Māori into current issues, to help us create connections with each other and to make sure that any changes are well integrated in our society.

Professor Paul Spoonley implored the audience and the sector to become better organised. With an imminent population decline, and with migration unlikely to change this, he asked the audience to work collaboratively to make real changes. In order to fill the gaps, we need to come together as a sector, working in partnership, to come up with innovative solutions to our resourcing issues and to ensure that infrastructure needs are met.

At the end of the discussion, one thing was clear. What connected our three speakers was the people, tāngata, and the land, whenua. We need to do the best we can now to care for our people and land, and teach future generations to do the same.