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FM Kiwi-style: the development of FM professionals in New Zealand
Losekoot, E; Staal
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This research paper conducts a review of the development of facilities management as a profession and some of the key moments in that journey. It then considers the situation of New Zealand, which has a number of characteristics such as a small population, relatively few large organisations which might make use of Facilities Management (FM) at a strategic level, and an understanding of FM which is more about operational rather than strategic issues. Through the tool of a ‘World-Café’ methodology during an FM Masterclass at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) with members of FMANZ, New Zealand’s FM professional association, key issues in the development of FM professionals in New Zealand are discussed and recommendations made. It is interesting to note that the issues of professional recognition, career pathways and academic qualifications are all issues raised in the literature and also by participants in the World-Café session held. This suggests that New Zealand’s FM professionals are progressing through the same ‘growing pains’ as their colleagues in Europe faced in the 1990s. However, it also shows that FM in New Zealand is probably some 15 years behind Europe. The authors recognise that some of the reasons for this may be caused by the above-mentioned New Zealand characteristics. In addition to working on the development and recognition of a domestic FM industry in New Zealand, the authors also suggest that much could be learned from other FM players globally. Opportunities for further research include case studies of successful organisations and the development of an educational framework for New Zealand.