A special farewell message from Susan Freeman-Greene, as she finishes up her six years as our Chief Executive.

Kia ora koutou

Tomorrow is my last day at Engineering New Zealand – and although I feel sadness at leaving this amazing community of engineers and this talented team, my overwhelming emotion is gratitude.

Thank you. Thank you for your willingness to embrace change, for your enthusiasm for our transformation, for being brave enough to face into issues in a new and different way, and for playing your part in bringing engineering to life.

I feel as humbled today about being able to contribute as I felt nearly six years ago when I arrived as a total outsider. You’ve challenged us, nudged us and helped get us on the right track to better serve the profession and Aotearoa. Together we’ve gone to places that seemed unimaginable a few years ago.

Last week saw the 10th anniversary of the Darfield earthquake, which marked the start of a challenging 10 years for Christchurch and some massive soul searching for the profession. You performed heroically then, and after the subsequent earthquakes. The profession has also had to look deeply at itself and ask how buildings could be better made, and how we best, as the professional body, could respond.

The quakes generated huge momentum for change – we are better equipped, more robust with our ethics, standards, and accountability frameworks, and we now take our responsibility to face into issues very seriously. It’s been a decade of innovation and change for the profession, and also for Engineering New Zealand.

I’m pleased that this week we’ve been able to announce who will succeed me and how that transition will play out. During this week of goodbyes, I’m also comforted by the fact that engineers are vital stakeholders in my new role at Local Government New Zealand.

And finally, if I can leave you with one final challenge – keep telling your stories, not just to each other, but to those who need to hear you shouting from the rooftops about the amazing impact you have on all our lives. And to keep doing so in ways the community understands, with creativity and passion.

Bye for now and thank you for everything.

Noho ora mai

Susan