Todd Jones is a Bay of Plenty Regional Director in our Project Leaders team in Tauranga. Jones has a strong background in working with government departments and complex entities, giving him a firm grasp of multiple stakeholder structures and the formal procedures inherent with these organisations. Over the past 16 years, he has amassed extensive experience leading the masterplanning and redevelopment of both brownfield and greenfield sites.
What is your academic and professional background?
After finishing high school, I headed to the University of Canterbury and enrolled in the Bachelor of Engineering programme. I got a case of the “wobbles” after about six months and pulled the pin to move back home to Tauranga, where I completed a mechanical engineering apprenticeship. After finishing this, I enrolled in the Bachelor of Construction programme at Massey University and got a position as a Construction Management Cadet with Arrow International in Auckland.
After a few years as a Site Manager at Arrow (while studying in the evenings and weekends), I developed an interest in the consultancy side of the industry and made a move to work as a Building Surveyor/Project Manager for a property consultancy firm. Whilst there I was heavily involved in building remediation projects and cemented a passion for project management. After a year-long stint travelling from Asia through to Europe I returned to New Zealand and landed a role as a Project Manager with Greenstone Group – that was October 2012. Since then, I haven’t looked back and 11 years later I’m still passionate about project management and relish leading the Bay of Plenty team.
What motivates you to achieve professional success?
I’d describe myself as pretty ambitious across most parts of life. In a professional sense, a lot of my motivation stems from a desire to positively influence the built environment. For me the important part is the how. I’m very driven towards pushing the bar to be lifted. I hate hearing “that’s how we’ve always done it” and love to prove that the well-trodden path isn’t necessarily the best way.
What’s the most fulfilling aspect of your role?
In my current role I can influence the way we do things, not just on a project basis but as a business. For me, driving improvement across the business gives me huge satisfaction. I lead Colliers Project Leaders’ training and development programmes – including The Foundation Programme (graduate programme). Seeing the huge progress we, as a collective, have made in this space over the past year or two has been incredible. I’m also a staunch construction nerd so a good tower crane still gets me going.
What is a project that you are particularly proud of?
The University of Waikato – Tauranga Campus. This was an extremely challenging project that delivered an exceptional result that not only looks phenomenal but has played a pivotal part in helping Tauranga (my hometown) “grow-up” and take the first real steps towards being a real city.
What is your advice to people starting out in the industry?
Take as many opportunities as possible to understand the various roles that exist within the industry. The construction/property sector incorporates a huge number of different roles and the first one you find yourself in is very unlikely to be your last. Be open minded and be prepared to learn, if you do this, you’re bound to have a rewarding career.