Our people and their mahi - Daniel Williams
In the latest in our series profiling our staff and their mahi (work), we talk to hydrologist Daniel Williams about the importance of environmental data and how the community can help in protecting our waterways . . .
What is your job and what does it involve?
I’m a hydrologist for the environmental and science department. This involves maintaining our hydrological telemetry network of environmental data sites. We use the sites to record, measure and process data for rainfall, river flows and levels, wind and air temperature and relative humidity. This data is used for our flood-warning protection, monitoring of water consents, fire warnings as well as establishing long-term records of environmental trends. Water quality is a major focus for our science team. We regularly sample drinking water, groundwater and surface waters to ensure the health of the community, waterways and aquatic species.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I enjoy working outdoors and seeing all parts of our district. I also enjoy working with a great team who all care about doing the best for the community and helping to provide quality data that meets national environmental monitoring standards.
What are the challenges of your job?
One of the main challenges is dealing with the variables that come with environmental monitoring. Floods, droughts and high sediment loads in our district can make things difficult sometimes. Because our sites are spread right across our region, maintaining the equipment to constantly deliver consistent reliable data can also be a challenge.
How could the public make it easier to get your job done?
The biggest way the public could help is by caring about the environment and helping to protect, improve and preserve what we have. Correctly disposing of rubbish, ensuring safe industry practises and keeping stock away from waterways all play a big part in this. On the whole, we as a community do a good job on this and the way we think about the environment has definitely become more positive.
How do you like to spend your time out of Council?
I like to spend time with my family. My wife and I have 3 children aged 9, 4, and 18 months. Our oldest boy Kobe has Down Syndrome which provides some challenges, but we wouldn’t change anything as he brings us an incredible amount of love and joy. Surfing and surf lifesaving has always been something I enjoy and I am proud to be a life member of the Wainui Surf Lifesaving Club, where I have competed and been a lifeguard for 30 years. We live at Wainui Beach, which I regard as the greatest place in the world and we spend a lot of time living the beach life with our kids. We love what Gisborne has to offer and feel lucky to have grown up in this little slice of paradise.