Hugo Manson has just completed his New Zealand Certificate in Wastewater Treatment (Level 4) — at the age of 82. You might think that would be reason enough for Hugo to put his feet up.
Instead, Hugo is looking for new ways to implement and expand on his wastewater knowledge. Currently, having worked for 18 months on wastewater treatment at Wairarapa wood solutions company, JNL, Hugo is now working in one of the company-owned forests, where the treated water is used to irrigate the trees. “So I’m now on the receiving end of the cleaned water as well.”
Hugo, who spent most of his working life as a researcher and historian, as well as a TV presenter, now wants to find some additional spare-time work as a data collector or researcher in the wastewater sector.
“I’d really love to get some research work on the side and add to the huge body of knowledge that’s being developed in the area of wastewater. There is always a need for knowledge in that area.”
One of the highlights of completing his qualification for Hugo was digging deeper into the theory of why things happen in a particular way.
“I know how to operate things and what to do in the wastewater plant, but in studying the theory of it you start to get a better picture of why things happen in a certain way. With wastewater you’re dealing with live micro-organisms; it’s a living, breathing, changing thing that has different behaviours, just like humans. It’s really interesting.”
Another highlight for Hugo was completing his qualification in tandem with his colleague, 24-year-old Stephen Meyrick.
“Working and studying in parallel with Stephen was really good. We were working and studying individually and separately but we would talk a lot about what we were working on and you learn a lot from that sort of conversation.”