A DAY IN THE LIFE OF …
Bruce Hallum, Contracts Manager at Museum of New Zealand Te Tongarewa in Wellington.
Te Papa incorporates exhibition space, office space and collection stores, two cafes, two retail stores, two paid exhibition spaces, a dozen function spaces, a kindergarten, a carpark, outside native bush park and controlled conditions collections storage.
What does your job involve?
I am responsible for contracting of the hard and soft services at Te Papa. The cycle commences with tendering, selection, contracting, evaluation, monitoring and renewing or termination. I am always looking for ways to make Te Papa an international leader in sustainable practices which started last year with the measurement of our carbon footprint.
What does ‘facilities management’ mean to you?
Facilities management is the discipline that aims to set and attain standards of excellence and quality in the sustainable design, construction, operation and maintenance of world-class facilities. We are the enablers that allow others in an organisation to carry out their core business.
What is a typical day like for you?
As with most FM roles it doesn’t pay to plan your days too much as you never know what to expect. Te Papa is a bi-cultural organisation so it is not uncommon to start a day with a powhiri where visitors are welcomed to the museum. My day would include meeting with service providers, inducting contractors, providing facilities-related advice to other areas of our business, energy monitoring, procurement planning and financial management. The bonus of working here is that you can be front of house seeing visitors looking around this special facility with a ‘wow’ look in their eye and feel that in some way you have contributed to their positive visitor experience.
What are some of the challenges of your job from a facilities management point of view?
Te Papa is a facility that is open every day of the year and more nights than not we will be hosting functions, so we are always working to time maintenance so that it won’t interfere with the operation of the museum.
What’s the most interesting element of your job/your organisation?
One of the aspects that strikes you straight away is the variety of people that work here. We have a total of 520 headcount – permanent, casual and contract staff with a wonderful mix of skills:
scientists, scholars, practical people who build exhibitions, educators, administrators and the outgoing hosts that show our visitors around. I tend to avoid quiz nights here with the calibre of entrants that we get.
What are some of the things you enjoy most about your job/about working in facilities management?
The variety of the work and the interaction with other people to find solutions to any challenges that may turn up. I enjoy being a member of FMANZ as it connects me to the industry as opposed to working away in isolation.
Tell us about your FM team.
Led by a Property and Facilities Manager, we are a team that includes a Capital Works Manager, an Administration Guru, a Maintenance Foreman, a Security Team and the Contracts Manager (me).
How did you get into facilities management?
Prior to working at Te Papa, I had five years with CBRE looking after some of Wellington’s finest office buildings. I’ve had a varied working history with stints in communications, manufacturing and hospitality which has probably helped given the variety that you encounter on a daily basis in FM.
When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing?
I play some seriously social softball through the summer and enjoy the company of friends and family all year round.