Nicola Todd, a director of surveying, planning and civil engineering company, Cuttriss Consultants says entering the Wellington Region Business Excellence Awards was a very positive experience.
“It offered us the opportunity to really look at our business, the principles out of which we work, our strategic direction and we have gained from that experience,” Nicola says. Cuttriss Consultants was judged the supreme winner in the awards.
Based out of two offices in Lower Hutt and Kapiti, Cuttriss Consultants has grown from a small business founded by Ted Cuttriss in his Upper Hutt garage over 70 years ago to one of the regions largest and most successful companies.
Cuttriss Consultants offers services across aerial surveying and drone mapping, subdivision development, civil engineering, planning and resource consent management and land surveying. Key clients include Greater Wellington Regional Council, Urban Plus and a large number of local developers.
Today the company employs over 45 surveyors, engineers and planners. The decision to enter the awards came as a result of having previously entered the Kapiti Horowhenua business awards and from that moment making improvements in areas the business awards targeted.
“You can tend to do the same thing in the same way without really considering where there is room to improve, so we are very happy to have been presented with the opportunity to focus on new ways to evolve.”
Nicola says that just as important as the standard of work Cuttriss Consultants produce for its clients is the value placed on the staff who work in the company, with a strong collaborative work ethic transcending every employee regardless of role in the business.
“We are very much about working at a sustainable level for our team. We serve a lot of long-term clients and our values are all about leadership in all its forms. We see ourselves leading in our profession and within the industry.”
Council is a huge stakeholder and Nicola says the company take care to nurture relationships with its staff. While forwarding the aims of its clients Cuttriss Consultants achieves this in a respectful professional way.
Some key projects include a long term association on the Aotea Development at Porirua. “We’ve been connected with these developments for nine years now and have managed some really good work around earthworks and silt management, critical given the proximity of Porirua Harbour.”
Another key area is Wainuiomata where Cuttriss Consultants is involved with several projects. “It’s been great to see an injection of money into the school and rebuilding the mall, it has reinvigorated the town.”
A move toward planning and surveying higher density housing precincts is proving challenging and rewarding.“There are a lot of variables working in tight spaces to produce an appropriate level of amenity,” says Nicola.
Nicola is one of four directors. Colin McElwain and Mark Edgar work with Nicola in land development and subdivisions while Neil Johnstone, a chartered engineer, is involved in infrastructure projects as well as subdivisional engineering.
As for the future a key strategic goal is to diversify and grow the planning, engineering and surveying portfolio. The company has invested heavily in drone technology.“We’re keen to move into more diverse planning and engineering based projects.”A team of 25 professionals work in the Lower Hutt office and 20 are based in Kapiti.
Nicola is adamant that the core values that have guided and propelled the journey of this successful company will remain intact, regardless of shifts in future direction.“We will never lose our family feel and commitment to look after our staff.”
This year has got off to a cracking start, building on a very busy 2019. Nicola says that as things stand currently in terms of number of projects Cuttriss Consultants are involved with that there is little opportunity to take on new work.
“We’re fine with this, given our priority is to en-sure our current clients are well served to the high standard we expect of ourselves on every project we get involved with.”
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