HG's CIRCULAR-ECONOMY DESIGNS AT XLABS
A team from HG has been involved in high-density 'design sprints' with XLabs, New Zealand's first circular economy lab....read more
A team from HG has been involved in high-density 'design sprints' with XLabs, New Zealand's first circular economy lab....read more
We're proud to be celebrating a major milestone this year - our 135th birthday....read more
HG’s Emerging Director, Jonathan Chambers, was recently appointed Deputy Chair of Infrastructure NZ’s Emerging Talent Network....read more
HG is one of six companies which joined forces almost two years ago to form Piritahi....read more
Welcome to Claire Neville, who has recently joined us as our new Chief Operations Officer....read more
An update from Managing Director Glen Cornelius...read more
My message is about gratitude....read more
An update from Managing Director Glen Cornelius....read more
A message from Glen...read more
HG is fully operational and committed to supporting all our clients during this difficult time....read more
Our Managing Director Glen Cornelius is standing for the role of Vice President on Engineering New Zealand's Board and needs your support....read more
Richard McIntosh, our Chief Operations Manager, has been instrumental in creating an important new industry body, UDINZ....read more
Branxholme Water Treatment Plant (WTP) is the sole reticulated water source for about 51,600 people in Invercargill and Bluff....read more
HG’s use of UAVs (drones) for survey grade mapping, data capture and 3D modelling has skyrocketed since we introduced them back in February 2018...read more
Jo Brosnahan was appointed Chair of HG’s Board in July. She talks here about what makes a good board, a good leader and a successful company....read more
Ben Inger is HG’s Waikato Operations Manager....read more
Thirteen of HG’s mid-career women recently completed a four-month Growing Greatness programme....read more
The design of our Parnell office received a Gold Pin at the Designer's Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards in October....read more
Welcome to Terri Carajannis, who has recently joined us in the new role of Chief Digital Officer....read more
Congratulations to our senior surveyor, Josh Mason, on his appointment to the new role of Technical Manager – High Definition Surveying....read more
13 of HG's mid-career women recently attended the first workshop in the Growing Greatness programme run by Anne Elder-Knight...read more
We're proud of the recent recognition received for a number of different awards ranging from diversity to office design and property....read more
The Bay of Plenty's new University of Waikato campus in the heart of Tauranga city opened in March 2019....read more
Jenson Prasad is our new Auckland Airport Office Manager....read more
Congratulations to Jonathan Chambers, newly appointed as Emerging Director on the HG Board....read more
Welcome to Karen-Ann Venter, our new Team Leader - Civil Engineering in Wellington....read more
The Government’s first set of National Planning Standards (17 of them) were released on 5 April 2019 and will come into force on 3 May 2019....read more
Congratulations to our 24 technical experts who have been recognised for excellence and leadership in their fields....read more
Innovative sustainability features are the hallmark of the Bay of Plenty Regional Council's $25 million redevelopment of Regional House....read more
Vicki Taylor has joined us in the new role of Senior Programme Manager - Advisory Services....read more
A new high-level executive team has been appointed....read more
It is with pleasure that we announce the appointment of three highly talented independent directors to our board....read more
Congratulations to the three highly regarded industry leaders recently appointed to key senior roles at e-Spatial....read more
We’re delighted to announce the creation of our advisory services team....read more
Peter Affleck has joined our Wellington office in the key role of Team Leader - Building Services....read more
We’re delighted to introduce Greg Rozen, recently appointed as Technical Lead - Advisory Services....read more
Congratulations to Karen West, our General Manager - People & Communications on her appointment to the Board of Infrastructure New Zealand....read more
Digital monitoring to ensure New Zealand’s fleet of 1,100 commercial vessels is fishing sustainably is a game-changer for both the Ministry for...read more
Christchurch City Council’s transformative use of spatial technology won a significant award at the New Zealand Spatial Excellence Awards....read more
A fantastic opportunity has arisen for two independent directors to join our Board - one as our new Chair....read more
We’re delighted to announce the appointment of three senior leaders to key roles....read more
The engineering and construction industry was in the spotlight last month with the annual Week of Engineering event....read more
It was a great honour to receive an Excellence Award at the recent TVNZ Marketing Awards, for the Best Internal Marketing Strategy for the creati...read more
Earlier in the year we merged with spatial information specialists e-Spatial....read more
Harrison Grierson’s Young Professionals Group recently teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to help renovate a home for a local family in need....read more
Earlier in the year, Harrison Grierson got behind the Diversity Agenda....read more
The Week of Engineering returns for 2018 from 13-18 August celebrating the work engineers do every day, and showcasing amazing engineering feats....read more
Our traffic and transportation business unit HGT2 will come under the HG umbrella from Monday 2 July 2018....read more
Next week our Newmarket and HGT2 teams move into our new office in Parnell, Auckland....read more
An international expert in urban development has been appointed to a newly created senior role at Harrison Grierson....read more
The Week of Engineering returns this August to celebrate the work engineers do every day to improve the world we live in....read more
In just three months, our Newmarket and HGT2 teams will have a new home in Parnell....read more
HG is a participant employer in the LookSee Build New Zealand programme which aims to address NZ's need for engineers....read more
HG Senior Urban Designer, Lauren White has been appointed to a chair position on the Auckland Urban Design Panel....read more
Congratulations to our 26 employees who have been recognised for their technical excellence and leadership....read more
Change of some form is desperately needed, says our General Manager - Infrastructure Steve Finnemore....read more
Auckland currently faces some major issues. We have a growing population, a shortage of houses, and significant traffic congestion....read more
Our General Manager - Land Development, Richard McIntosh talks resilient infrastructure....read more
Auckland Transport and HGT2 (as a key consultant) scooped up the prestigious awards at the Asia Pacific Cycle Congress....read more
Harrison Grierson, along with more than 100 other companies, recently signed an open letter to New Zealand....read more
On 14 November 2017, we announced our merging with spatial information specialists, e Spatial....read more
Health and safety is always our top priority....read more
The world of engineering was brought to life across the nation....read more
We take a look at the sectors we work in, and each party's policies...read more
We enjoyed great success at the Innovate NZ Awards of Excellence last month....read more
A recent Queenstown appointment creates an immediate presence for HG in the region...read more
Two new appointments to the Harrison Grierson Board were approved at yesterday’s Annual General Meeting....read more
New appointment in HG's new Environmental Services unit....read more
HG now have a presence in Hamilton, and our Newmarket office is set to move back to Parnell....read more
Discover what the world’s humblest superheroes create every day with the Week of Engineering....read more
HG landscape architects scoop up top award....read more
Congratulations to our 14 team members who have been recognised for their technical leadership and excellence....read more
We are delighted to announce that Glen Cornelius, our Managing Director, has been made a Fellow of IPENZ....read more
We’re the first in NZ to own the high-tech Trimble SX10. It’s a game-changer in survey equipment....read more
We recently attended two awards ceremonies as finalists, and have been short-listed for another....read more
We're pleased to introduce three new senior staff in our Christchurch and Tauranga offices...read more
On 1 February 2017, we merged with traffic and transportation engineering specialists, T2, creating a new business unit called HGT2...read more
Harrison Grierson recently made health and safety history, with the highest score ever recorded in New Zealand for SiteWise certification...read more
Located in the heart of Tauranga’s CBD, our new office in Spring Street is modern, bright and spacious....read more
Rachel Ducker, a big picture thinker and highly experienced senior planner, has been appointed Planning Manager in our Christchurch office....read more
Our structural engineers have used the latest technology in two world first applications....read more
When the recent Havelock North water contamination issue hit the headlines, Iain Rabbitts became an authoritative voice on the matter...read more
In August 2011, Margaret created history at Harrison Grierson when she became our first independent director. Her appointment as our Chairman in...read more
Harrison Grierson has appointed Clare Tolan to General Manager - Survey. This completes our General Manager appointments...read more
Congratulations to our Chairman, Margaret Devlin, on her appointment as Chairman of Watercare Services Limited, effective from November 2016...read more
Our Water & Wastewater manager, Iain Rabbitts, says it was only a matter of time before contaminated water caused widespread sickness...read more
Harrison Grierson recently won two awards - including the coveted supreme award, at the New Zealand Planning Institute’s 2016 Awards....read more
We recently appointed a top specialist infrastructure manager and engineer to the newly created key role of Business Development Lead....read more
Congratulations to our 10 staff members whose promotions have just been announced....read more
Harrison Grierson independent director, Elena Trout, has been elected President of the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ)....read more
We’re pleased to introduce three new key people and an important internal appointment....read more
Cantabrians have much to be positive about, says Glen Hughes, our southern regional manager. “We can be optimistic about our future, despite"...read more
An international water expert has been appointed to a key role in our Auckland office....read more
The 30 year Infrastructure Plan was published by Treasury’s National Infrastructure Unit in October. It identifies big challenges for NZ....read more
Warren joined HG earlier this year from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) as our Civil and Infrastructure Services Manager....read more
Our exclusive capabilities in modelling and retrofitting existing buildings are in high demand. We’re using state of the art structural analysis...read more
Quad 7 will be a striking new landmark and an important gateway building when it’s completed next year....read more
Recently proposed changes to the earthquake prone building policy means there are some important points to remember...read more
We’ve had a few new appointments to our wider team and would like to introduce you to who they are, their roles are and a bit about them....read more
Two of our senior managers were appointed Technical Directors on April 1, and 12 other staff members...read more
Our structural team is offering state of the art structural modelling techniques, with the potential to save clients millions of dollars....read more
This year, Harrison Grierson celebrates 130 years in business....read more
Harrison Grierson was proud to be finalists in this week’s Australian Financial Review Client Choice Awards 2015 in three separate categories...read more
Our water team is riding a wave of success. In the last few months, it’s received four prestigious...read more
Two experienced business leaders joined the Harrison Grierson Board in June....read more
Our Wellington, Christchurch and Manukau teams have moved to fantastic new premises this year…...read more
Kawakawa Bay is a small coastal settlement on the south-east coast of Auckland. Until the installation...read more
Adelphi House is a seven-storey heritage building built in 1928. Located in Wellington’s Courtenay Place Heritage Area, it was designed...read more
Today’s launch of a new visual identity for Harrison Grierson symbolises two years of significant positive...read more
Design work on Stages 2 and 3 of Mount Isa’s $33 million sewerage upgrade has been commissioned, with work...read more
Our Water & Waste team is enjoying three major successes...read more
Harrison Grierson has just released its fifth Sustainability Report, outlining our sustainability practices as a company...read more
A state of the art $10 million upgrade to the 70-year-old Kerepehi water treatment plant on the Hauraki Plains...read more
An explosion of work on the Christchurch rebuild has seen staff numbers grow by over 200% in 12 months for...read more
An expert in Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) has jointly won a major New Zealand...read more
Harrison Grierson structural engineers have recently completed the complex seismic rehabilitation design of...read more
Harrison Grierson continues its role as professional advisor and design consultant on the Lakes residential project...read more
When Australasian engineering and design company, Harrison Grierson, appointed Dave Needham as its Tauranga...read more
Jo Brosnahan was appointed Chair of HG’s Board in July. She talks here about what makes a good board, a good leader and a successful company.
Q. After being involved with much larger organisations, what attracted you to the role of Chair of the Harrison Grierson board?
Actually the appeal was multi-faceted.
Firstly, there’s a strong alignment with my background and experience. I have quite a long background in infrastructure and urban development from different spheres starting from my time as a development planner involved with the Marsden Point forestry port, marinas, railway and then as CEO of the Northland and Auckland Regional Councils. I was also on the board of the Hobsonville Land Company and Housing NZ.
Secondly, I perceived HG to be a good organisation with good values - this is important to me. Also that it’s owned by its people and that it does good things. It struck me with HG that I could really get to know its people and its values. Bigger is not always better. It’s much better to work closely with the people who are actually making the difference.
And thirdly, I thought that with my relevant background and my leadership and governance experience, that I could really add value. There’s an intimacy in a company the size of HG that means you can get to know people. My real passion is leadership and leadership is about the people. In a big corporate entity you can influence the executive team but you don’t really get to know the people of the organisation.
All these things were very attractive. It’s a real privilege working for a company like this.
Q. What makes a good chair?
I liken the role of chair to that of a conductor of an orchestra. First you have to bring leadership to the table. You have to make sure the board functions in the best possible way. So that the board’s own culture and dynamics enable it to perform at its best. The second role of chair is working together with the CEO or MD so that value can be added back into the organisation.
Q. A good board?
Board members are chosen in different ways but I think the chair should always have the opportunity to advise on the process.
A good board has diversity of thinking and perspective, and a breadth of expertise to ensure it has the capacity to add value in the areas the organisation requires it to add value. This creates generative conversations - ones that build on each other. These discussions enable a board to think in a way that brings value that each individual on their own couldn’t necessarily bring. That’s the real skill of a quality board and of a chair to ensure the board has that sort of capability.
Q. And a successful company?
Well success is determined by the company itself. It’s part of the strategic process of an organisation to be clear about what its idea of success looks like. I would assume that profitability is a key element - but not at all cost. For me, it’s multi-faceted. A successful organisation would be one with the best possible culture, where people at all levels enjoy coming to work and are involved in worthwhile things that add value to the community and to the quality of life that we all enjoy as New Zealanders.
Q. What do you think clients are seeking?
They are looking to us to partner with them to provide solutions to a broad range of challenges and opportunities. The world out there is changing rapidly. Suddenly the awareness and focus is on environmental issues. For example, look what’s happened with plastics in the last couple of years. While HG’s urban design has been focussing on environmental aspects for some time, it’s now cutting across all our work. Climate change is fast becoming much more important. And the big quakes in recent years also changed the world for us in NZ. Clients want to know how do we mitigate against these things, plan for them, innovate and develop solutions around them. So it’s the ensuing awareness of all those combined elements that I think clients expect HG to be cognisant of in everything we do.
Q. How do you define good leadership?
I believe a good leader is someone grounded in humility but with real clarity of purpose for their organisation. And someone who cares about the people, because leadership is all about people.
In 1995, towards the end of being CEO of Northland Regional Council, I was a Harkness Fellow at Duke University and spent the year travelling the United States talking to key leaders. I later presented my findings to the OECD in Paris. I came back in 1996 as CEO at Auckland Regional Council. What I learned was that leadership makes the difference. Full stop. Going from good to great is all about leadership. And there’s a straight line correlation between good leadership and staff satisfaction.
Q. Can leadership be taught?
I liken teaching leadership to training an athlete. If you’ve got someone with athletic capabilities they need to know what good performance looks like, how to train and how to develop themselves. It’s no different from leadership. The first thing we teach is understanding who you are. It’s like taking oxygen first yourself, so you’re then hands-free to deal with others. You don’t need people saying how great you are and taking all the kudos. It’s about humility. Being there to coach and support others and helping them align with strategy.
When I came back to New Zealand I realised we had no culture of leadership. What we called leadership tended to be command and control. I wanted to do something about that. So in 2003, during my time at the Auckland Regional Council, I was involved with setting up Leadership New Zealand. I worked with a group of others with the idea we’d have an organisation that would change the face of leadership in New Zealand. Leadership New Zealand now has nearly 600 alumni, networked together in very significant roles. We take in 36 every year, with our Pacifika programme taking in around another 26. I also work with the Institute of Directors on governance and leadership.
Q. Future thoughts for HG?
I’m still in learning mode but I think the future has huge potential and possibilities.
There’s so much change going on in the world that it’s important to make sure we’re well placed in leadership, culture, relationships, and the clarity of the value we can add to clients, being close to clients and having close relationships with them and knowing what we can deliver for them.
As well as chairing the HG Board, Jo’s also Chair of both Northpower Fibre and Maritime New Zealand. She’s also a board member of the Auckland Museum. Jo’s the founding Chair of the Taitokerau Education Trust in Northland and a former Chair of Landcare Research, a director of Housing New Zealand Corporation and HLC. Jo has been CEO of the Northland Regional Council and of the Auckland Regional Council. Jo is an Advisory Trustee of Leadership New Zealand, which she founded and chaired for more than a decade. She is a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Directors and of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, of which she was national President.