Phoenix’s first day with Brevity, back in 2021 coincided with New Zealand’s second lockdown. Despite spending the first four months of his new job working from home, he still says the people he works with are one of the best parts of the job. Now, working from the office most days and working closely with the team makes the job even more rewarding.

Although working at Brevity was Phoenix’s  first full-time position as an engineer, he was no stranger to the construction industry. Even as a youngster, Phoenix says he was always building things, whether it was stacking up wooden blocks, constructing Lego creations, or helping his Dad with house renovations, there was plenty of building going on.


A digital solution to career research

During high school, Phoenix was deciding on his career. He knew he was good at maths and physics, and a quick google search returned engineering as the top match for his skills. The civil and structural route felt like the obvious match for his love of construction.


A taste of seismic

During the course of his degree, Phoenix took the opportunity to participate in a summer internship. In a team of four, Phoenix worked researching maraes in the North Island. The purpose of the research was to determine how the maraes were positioned for natural disasters, including earthquakes, flooding and tsunamis. Through the project, they reviewed approximately 15 maraes, reviewing their structural ability in the context of potential natural disasters, and to provide advice on how to mitigate any risk. The project was a huge success, landing the team in second place for their research work. The work they completed was recognised for its value and since then other research groups have continued the work each year.


Through practicums organised by the University, Phoenix had the opportunity to put his learning to practice in the real world. He fondly remembers working as an intern for Pile Tech, a Fletcher Construction company. The job involved the repair of piles under the Maritime Museum. The museum sits on Hobson wharf, with the foundations sitting on the sea bed. Despite some 4am starts to match their work to the right tides, Phoenix loved the challenge of the job and the buzz of the construction sector.


Brevity stands out

Graduating with a Masters in Project Management and Civil Engineering, Phoenix was ready to go and keen to find an opportunity in construction. A friend from SPIES (South Pacific Indigenous Engineering Students network) recommended Brevity. Phoenix did his research and loved the technology focussed, forward thinking approach of the organisation. After meeting Matt Bishop and hearing his vision for the company, Phoenix was more keen than ever to join. Arriving at Brevity, Phoenix says it was the people who stood out. Everyone was young and there seemed to be no hierarchy. It didn’t matter if you were the boss or the newbie, people sat anywhere and everyone’s opinions were equally respected. 


Almost two years into the job, Phoenix loves the diversity of the work he does. In comparison to previous experience, he finds there is very little repetition in his work, and the bespoke tasks keep the job challenging. In addition, he finds clients each have their own unique requirements from a job and this adds an extra challenge which he really values. He says helping clients achieve their vision and meet their requirements whilst also meeting the contractors need for buildability keeps him on his toes. 


Family is everything

Phoenix describes himself as “a big family man.” When he’s not at work, he loves hanging out with his partner Tuila and his extended whanau. As part of a large family, Phoenix considers himself lucky that they are all so close and can spend time together. Recently,  Phoenix and seven of his cousins designed a family tattoo, each contributing to the design which they shared with a tattoo artist who brought it together. They each now have the tattoo which they wear with pride, and the younger cousins are planning on getting it when they are old enough too. The youngest is 9 and has a while to wait!


The team at Brevity love having Phoenix in the mix. He has a special ability to bring people together and create an environment of being on the same team. It also doesn’t take long for Phoenix to get everyone in the office engaged so we can start the day smiling.