With wide-ranging experience in both private sector and local government, the new Waikato Regional Manager of BTW Company’s Hamilton office comes with the perfect background for the job.
That gives Hamilton man Jason Cargo huge insight across the consultancy’s development sector, which is crucial to the engineering, environment, surveying and planning firm’s work.
Just over a month in, he is relishing the role, particularly valuing the firm’s values around its people and the community. The BTW tag line is “Making it happen” which puts the client at the centre
He enters the business at a time of growth as the 45-year-old New Plymouth-based firm builds its Hamilton office, which is at 11 professionals currently.
Part of his job is to grow staff numbers as well as use his formidable contacts to build the range of work through valued relationships and delivery.
“What I like here is we’ve got a good range of services right across the board. We’ve got Taranaki as our support network (58 staff) and they do come and work up here quite a bit but it’s good to provide the bulk of services out of here.”
Ultimately, the building at 517 Anglesea Street will be able to hold about 25 staff with office space also tenanted. Jason values the statement that BTW made in choosing to buy, rather than rent, when it expanded into Hamilton almost two years ago.
It spent considerable money in creating architect-designed offices with apartment living upstairs to cater for staff from Taranaki.
“It’s interesting the journey of BTW and where they went – they looked at various places but I think the fit of Taranaki with Waikato is good as both are in Chiefs territory.”
The Waikato office is currently looking for local skilled professional staff. Jason himself is a Registered Professional Surveyor, but his work now will be largely on the management side as he takes lead roles in the large subdivisions.
Work on the books at the moment includes land developments in Waikato and beyond including Ngāruawāhia, Rotorua, Raglan and Morrinsville.
“Typically, we’re offering the complete development service, but are flexible to be part of a team and even offering services in land contamination, asbestos and fresh water ecology which are high profile today.
“Developers require expert planning advice well in advance of seeking council consents in a complex world of changing planning rules.
“These services are key to unlocking investment value along with innovative drone and scanning technology that provides valuable base data of land/building form for feasibility assessment.”
Key services are land title/topo/building setout surveys, structural design for new or existing buildings, geotechnical testing of ground for proposed development and civil engineering design of roads, services and expert knowledge in stormwater retention and quality outflows.
The BTW team looks to support well-planned developments which will provide additional housing and make significant contributions to the community.
After a Post Graduate Diploma of Management Studies Jason won a Major Developments Case Leader position, which was partly about building relationships with the development community and also looking after large city projects at Hamilton City Council.
“The role was fantastic. I ran successful developer/consultants forums to inform that sector of changes or celebrate successful projects, so had a connection with that community.”
That was followed by a stint as a Key Account Manager providing services to the city’s important businesses.
In both roles he could see the momentum in Hamilton, particularly the development of the central city with the move towards apartment living, greenfield growth of the industrial area in Te Rapa and Ruakura and duplex infill housing around the city.
“It was fantastic to see how the city was growing.
The big challenges into the future will be around improving water quality, transport options, providing affordable housing, quality amenities along with council investing in core infrastructure.”
Jason is enjoying the nimbleness of working in a mid-size private firm, after his seven years with Hamilton City Council and before that with global multidisciplinary firm Aurecon.
“I’m really excited about the future of the Waikato and that’s partly why I decided to come back into the private sector.”
He was struck by a description he came across after starting the job, in which the company outlined its approach.
“BTW is a family orientated business with a passion for supporting regional growth whilst giving back to the community,” it said.
Jason says: “I saw that and I thought, yeah, that resonated with me. Everything is about relationships, it’s all about people, and people having trust in you.”
Jason walks that talk: he has had governance experience with the Waikato Environment Centre Trust (now Go Eco), is currently on Eastlink Tennis Trust and has been an executive of the Waikato
He has recently been voted onto the board of the Waikato Chamber of Commerce on the same day he started
“So I got to tick that off, one of my KPIs.”
Jason is a competitive sportsman from playing top football with Hamilton AFC, Waikato tennis representation, national senior tennis titles and playing in two ITF world senior tennis champs.
“Confidence from sport rubs off into your professional work as well.”
But the most meaningful of them all for him has been his involvement as a volunteer with Red Cross.
He has helped four refugee families settle in Hamilton. “That’s probably one of the richer experiences I’ve had.”
All that experience puts him in good stead in his new role at BTW, in a company that he says has a good purpose, valuable staff and a reputation to deliver successful projects. How can we help you?