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Managing the aftermath of the Auckland storm - Sonja

Published: 19 June 2018

How it was for Sonja, Manager Regional Maintenance, East and South Auckland Region

Sonja, Manager Regional Maintenance

Sonja, Manager Regional Maintenance

It would be fair to say the team had a couple of very challenging days following the storm.

Every one of our Auckland Performance Based Maintenance Contractors (PBMCs) did an exceptional job. They began with mobilising team leaders, assessors and supervisors so everyone was ready to review requests for repairs phoned through by tenants to our Customer Support Centre the night before.

PBMCs also drove through their areas to check on properties. This proactive approach enabled repairs to damaged properties to be approved and start immediately, which was great for tenants. Working together meant we could ensure everyone out in the field (staff and contractors) was able to stay safe despite the significant damage across the region.

PBMCs also quickly mobilised the most important trades (tree, fencing, roofing) that would be needed to repair the worst of the storm damage. Trades were also temporarily diverted from any planned work and reassigned to attend to the properties most at risk.

Programmed Facility Management (PFM), who manage East Auckland, where the storm damage was not as severe, quickly reached out to provide whatever support was needed. Check out the Editor’s praise for the great support PFM provided.

We had a family in Mangere who could not leave the property because of the tenant’s major health needs, so we had to find a safe solution very quickly to enable them to remain in the property. It was critical to make the roof safe and isolate the damaged roof area. This was done by building a wall inside the house, disconnecting the power to just this part of the property and clearing the grounds of storm debris so the tenants could move around safely. The property was fully repaired within a couple of weeks but it was nothing less than outstanding work by Spotless in very difficult and challenging circumstances.

In Otara one of our properties was more or less destroyed by a very large tree crashing onto it. We immediately moved the tenant into emergency accommodation and quickly found them another permanent home. Since the contractors were onsite right away, the tenant was able to salvage many of their personal belongings. Everyone from Spencer Henshaw and the area office went above and beyond to help the tenant safely access the most badly damaged areas of the house so they could retrieve heirloom jewellery that had sentimental value. We know this meant so much to our tenant, who is now settled in their new Housing New Zealand home.

Throughout the following days we continued to work closely together as we came across issues with properties affected by the storm. Every time, our PBMCs were ready to tackle these as priorities, supporting the tenant and the regional maintenance team.

Our collective response, with everyone working together, meant we were able to repair all of our most damaged properties and keep tenants safe. We could not have achieved this without the commitment of our PBMCs, so thank you all again for your dedication and hard work.


Tradesman working on a fallen tree

A Spencer Henshaw tradesman at work on a very large tree that caused significant damage to an Otara, South Auckland property. The damage was so extensive the tenant needed to be permanently rehoused

Storm damaged house

The same Otara property, where the contractor went over and above to provide the tenant with safe access to retrieve jewellery with sentimental value – a gesture that meant so much to the tenant

Storm damaged house

The Mangere house where the tenant’s health issues meant they were unable to leave. To allow the tenant to remain in the property and stay safe, our contractor isolated the damaged roof area by building a temporary wall inside the house and disconnected power to this part of the property. The grounds were cleared of debris so the tenant could move around safely. This effort was another example of the lengths our contractors went to during this storm and its aftermath.

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