In early February 2021 I joined two Incident Response Team staff members, Alistair and Lee, in the WRC Ute to go visit people who had either laid a complaint, or had to be involved to resolve a complaint someone else made.
It became immediately apparent that this team is both really professional in their work, taking it seriously, and really easy going with each other. I'd come across this previously when I had a 12 week work placement at the Hamilton police station as a student, and is no surprise as many of the team were hired from that kind of environment.
Once the safety induction was covered off, and the steel caps and high-vis were on, we drove across the districts to meet all sorts of people who had either done great work remedying a situation and just needed to be checked off before the file could be closed, or on the other end of the spectrum first enquired with as to what the actual complaint issues were. In one instance one of the team did get wet by jumping into water to 'investigate' and it was worth the effort. Overall, we got around 4-5 locations in before I left them to do their follow up paperwork in the late afternoon.
I won't mention details in this post as I don't deem them necessary for sharing, but can say it was another worthwhile excursion to see what life can be like on the coalface. Although, one highlight I will mention was getting to hear the way a Director of an organisation thanked them for their work in helping bring about continual improvement. Genuinely grateful. Very cool.
Overall, I am a big advocate of this team because they don't shy away from a difficult conversation and are such a critical part of responding when the environment (and at times related people or property) need them to provide advice, or investigate what happened, or hold people to account. A big thank you for letting me tag along.
The number of incidents reported and responded to are on the increase and you can see their statistics for the 2019/2020 season on the Compliance, Monitoring and Environment Report Card that is issued each year.
Click on the snip below to see the whole card covering the Resource Use Directorate.
If you see an environmental event that you don't believe looks right to you, please contact the team online or by calling 0800 800 402.