Q & A with Gregory Watts

Q & A with Gregory Watts add

Defign recently sat down with Gregory Watts, the new Chief Executive Officer of Architectural Designers New Zealand (ADNZ) to find out what drew him to ADNZ, his first impressions of the New Zealand architecture industry and why ADNZ has an important role to play in helping more kiwi families into their first homes. Gregory has a diverse background and has held leadership roles within several organisations in New Zealand and abroad.

What are the strengths of professional bodies like ADNZ, and what will you do to enhance these?

People are one of the key strengths of Architectural Designers New Zealand. The organisation would not exist today if it weren’t for a few highly committed individuals in its inception and now the hundreds of dedicated members and staff who ensure its ongoing success. There are countless people who give many hours voluntarily to ADNZ because of what it stands for. I will build on everything that has been achieved and maximise the efforts of everyone who contributes to the organisation.

You have now been with ADNZ for a few months, what are your early impressions of the organisation?

ADNZ has a solid foundation, great people and excellent partners, but it also has somewhat of a fragmented culture that just needs a little realignment to support the organisation to realise its full potential.

Why is it important that professional bodies exist? And why is ADNZ good for the sector and its members?

Professional bodies like ADNZ exist to continuously raise the standards and to be a representative voice within the industry. This is achieved through various means including educational and promotional activities and assisting in legislative reform, among other things.

What challenges have you identified for ADNZ and the sector?

Establishing a unified voice for the industry in government. Departments like MBIE want and need direction from the construction industry and I believe achieving a consolidated voice from all parties will be challenging.

Housing is a hot topic in New Zealand and there is always a lot of commentary on this issue - how will you and ADNZ add to this conversation?

ADNZ can play a significant role in improving the standards within the industry. Our members are a big part of the conversation, being at the forefront of construction, introducing new products and technologies etc, and all want to work towards creating a place where our children will be able to live the kiwi dream of owning a home.

You spend your time working in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland. How do you spend your weekends?

As a family we enjoy boating, this is what drew us to Auckland. We enjoy having access to the Hauraki Gulf and the Bay of Islands, which are some the most beautiful and accessible coastal waterways in the world.