Keeping Auckland’s water flowing

Francesca Emms News, NZ Apprenticeships, Water

Bryan Grindlay is a leading hand serviceperson. He’s been with Watercare for three and a half years. We talked to him about the importance of his job, and the training that got him to where he is now.

Having to think ahead to prepare for the worst-case scenarios is what attracted me to this industry.

What is your role with Watercare?

I’m a leading hand serviceperson that helps lead a team of four to five people. It’s our job to respond to leaks and carry out essential maintenance in Auckland’s water network, to keep water flowing for our customers. As the leading hand, the team comes to me with questions about situations and solutions in the water supply network.

How long have you been with the company?

I’ve been working with Watercare now for three years and six months, and enjoy every day of it.

What training have you done with Connexis?

I’ve completed the Level 2 and Level 3 Infrastructure Works New Zealand Certificate and have signed up for the Level 4 Infrastructure Works to hopefully be Trade Certified by the following year.

How did you come to be in your current role?

I’ve shown my ability to get tasks done big or small. Supervisors and managers have recognised this and have let me take a leading hand position to help support and teach the new recruits to this industry. The water sector is the most reactive sector and having to think ahead to prepare for the worst-case scenarios is what attracted me to this industry.

What do you love most about your role?

I love everything about this role, especially on the hot sunny days working with water. I can always cool myself down. Not one day is the same.

What has been the biggest challenge of your role and you’re training so far?

I guess it’s remembering to take photos for the evidence work in the books and making a set time outside of work hours for family time and chores around the home.

What’s something that surprised you about your current role – or that people might not realise is part of your job?

Being able to do leak detection work, which is difficult for some. To pinpoint a leak on the water mains that can be up-to over 1m deep and be on the mark so the crew can come in do a breakout of concrete and not chase the leak, creating more work.

What would you tell someone else considering a similar role in the water sector?

It’s an exciting industry to be a part of, there’s multiple opportunities once qualified. If you like digging or using diggers this would be an industry to think of.

Where would you like to take your career from here?

After a few more years in this industry and when I’m trade certified, I would like to look at a supervisory role then a management role too. But also get involved in the subdivision work of installing new water mains.