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Future-Fit Aotearoa tour – 2-In-A-Ute

Future-Fit Aotearoa tour – 2-In-A-Ute

At Future-Fit Aotearoa, registration includes free tours like 2-In-A-Ute which sees you travel by bus to a stormwater site in need of revitalisation. See first-hand the work small, local and agile teams do to clean up our waterways and learn more about how the programme supports employment though an innovative social franchise model based on a network of micro-businesses.

We caught up with Citycare Water and 2-In-A-Ute representatives Heidi Walkley, Head of Commercial and Risk, Programme Manager Yasmeen Hayes and Operational Supervisor Ryan Postlethwaite to learn more about the programme and why people should attend the tour.

What’s 2-In-A-Ute?

The 2-In-A-Ute programme sees an experienced person and someone looking to start employment get together to work on stormwater assets. The programme upskills and supports individuals to grow and aims to contain and mitigate a carbon footprint by keeping it local where possible. The programme contributes to mana whenua and community initiatives and ultimately aims to build a viable social enterprise model of service delivery.

It really is just two people in a ute, equipped with tools and the knowledge to maintain water-sensitive infrastructure.

Initially conceptualised by Auckland Council in 2020, Citycare jumped on board about a year and a half ago after being involved in a series of discussions that led to today’s concept. MSD has also helped to find candidates, and we’re continuing to work with them as a supplier of resources and people.

Why should people attend the tour?

You’ll learn about a concept that involves the close collaboration between private and public sectors and the community to deliver localised social, environmental, and economic outcomes at scale.

You’ll be able to dig into the practical implementation of the operational delivery of the programme and the growth towards the social franchise model that derives from the initial concept.

The business model of 2-In-A-Ute is very different to what we usually see in the infrastructure sector – companies that provide a highly defined and pre-determined scope of works. We work in a rigid or well-formulated structure, and the programme has challenged those.

In terms of innovation, the whole idea of public, private and local government collaborating for social good is the nugget here. Small and private sector businesses benefit from social investment, and they have the leverage to partner with the likes of local government to effect change.

The whole idea of private sector companies being solely profit-driven and not contributing to social good is something of the past. This three-way collaboration to engender new micro-enterprises and new activity is novel. Also, giving operators long-term mentoring and ongoing support is unique.

What would people find most interesting and surprising about the work the team is doing?

Most people aren’t aware of the role stormwater assets play in the water system. The assets contribute to so much environmental protection too.

It would simply be the landscape – the ponds, riparian vegetation and all the other water-sensitive assets we work on, and the scope of it. It’s incredible to think how much impact these spaces make on our water quality, including ripple down effects on the broader systems of fauna and flora. The significance of these spots most of us walk or drive by as we get on with our busy lives could be surprising.

Why do you think you’ve been successful in setting up the programme?

It comes down to our experience and scale, expertise, and our values.

Citycare Water has been delivering the Southern Water contract for over a decade – our teams have built an extensive local knowledge of the area and the assets in the region. South Auckland was the key delivery area for 2-In-A-Ute, and Citycare Water’s strong presence in the region was a great asset to support the programme’s success.

I think also the success has been due to Citycare’s “we care” value which focuses on mentoring and developing our people and operators through the ranks. We have a track record of enabling growth.

What was the most challenging part of setting up the programme?

The biggest challenges were defining the scope of work and service areas, knowing that our pilot programme would be limited by the number of operational crews deployed.

The initial ideas around localism and delivering for communities were harder to deliver on day one because we had limited crews trying to deliver across the region. We had to identify areas that needed work – of which there were a lot! – and put a plan together prioritising those areas in the most urgent need of service while managing workflow for our teams.

Tour details:

  • Time 9.30am – 12.30pm (bus leaves 9.30am sharp)
  • Spaces limited
  • Must wear covered shoes, long sleeves and long pants and take warm clothing. Hi-viz vests supplied.


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