It’s not every day you find an army sniper on the doorstep when you turn up for work.
Carl Diamond, Project Manager for Environment Canterbury’s Waste and Environmental Management Team, has learned to expect the unexpected, including army training exercises. It is part and parcel of his job to manage the removal of demolition rubble from Christchurch city post-quake.
The earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 have generated an estimated 8.75 million tonnes of waste, the equivalent of 40 years of rubbish, and Carl works with demolition contractors to make sure it’s appropriately recycled, deposited in landfill or, in the case of hazardous material, safely disposed of.
Carl says it is a challenging project. Three Senior Compliance Officers spend their days in the field with contractors, giving advice or enforcing safe disposal.
“You are constantly flying by the seat of your pants. There is no model to follow, no-one to go to who has done this before. You have to make new processes and think of things that have not been thought of before. You have to find a way forward.”
Carl has a Bachelor of Science degree (Biology) and has worked for Fonterra and the South Taranaki District Council. Environment Canterbury’s size as an employer and ability to be flexible equals opportunity in his eyes.
Melanie Pettersson and her Customer Services team are helping the people of Canterbury see Environment Canterbury in a new light.
The team is made up of Advisory Officers who answer hundreds of telephone calls each week, and are a one-stop shop for information or progress reports on anything from regional park opening times to complicated consent applications.
Melanie and her team have access to the organisation’s vast computer network and are expected to be able to answer all enquiries or escalate requests as necessary. “There is a lot of information available and we have to know what we are looking for and where to find it. We can spot a breakdown in the process and join everything together again."
Melanie says the Customer Services role has changed with both the political and post-quake landscape. Advisory Officers responding to enquiries have to have a broad overview of the organisation and its issues.
Sian Barbour’s great tan is evidence of the time she spends outdoors collecting water samples from freshwater and coastal waterways between Kaikoura and Ashburton.
Her full-time job as a Water Quality Field Officer followed two summers spent as a student working for Environment Canterbury.
Sian was studying for a degree in Zoology at Canterbury University when a lecturer mentioned Environment Canterbury’s summer placements, which are highly sought-after, so Sian applied for a position.
“There are many issues facing water in Canterbury. Being able to be involved in working towards improving water quality is very exciting. People generally are interested in water quality in their patch and stop to ask what the water quality is like if they see me out sampling a stream.”
Water samples taken by Sian are analysed by a laboratory and the results used to monitor changes in water quality. The data helps detect short and long-term trends in water quality, including the development of algal blooms in Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora and other waterways affected by changing land use.