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Getting the green light

In New Zealand’s second biggest city, maintenance on and under the roads is a daily occurrence. The cones go up and traffic is diverted or safely navigated around the workers who are going about their jobs repairing pipes, mending road surfaces or improving and building new roading systems. The planning and management of the site is rarely thought about by road users, but it is a role that Holley Falwasser is passionate about and that she says changed her life.

Holley is Operational Dispatch Supervisor at Citycare Civil. She has a team of 16 full time staff and a team of sub-contractors and temps. Her day to day role is handling the bookings management of up to 30 traffic management jobs a day from reactive/emergency site management through to jobs planned several months in advance.

Holley began her career in site traffic management four years ago in November 2015, when she accepted the role of Traffic Controller at Citycare Civil – a moment she says has defined her career.

“I left high school in year ten and picked up work in hospitality. Eventually in 2015, I was heading down the road of going on the benefit when I saw an option to study at Ara Institute of Canterbury in a six-week level 3 construction course. I decided to give it a go and while there I met several managers at Citycare Civil who presented an opportunity to join the traffic management team. I didn’t know a lot about the role, but the opportunity to get outside and to be a part of a team really appealed to me.”

After a short period of time, Holley was quickly moved up into a Level 2 Site Traffic Management Supervisor (STMS) role and then later earned her Level 2/3 practice qualification to become a 2/3 practicing STMS.

“The different levels enable you to work on busier and more complex traffic set ups. You complete the training through NZTA and learn all about health and safety, identifying hazards, coordination, responsibility and site set up. Earning these accreditations has enabled me to work my way up into management and although I miss being outside and onsite with the crew, I still love my job,” says Holley.

Holley’s team of 16, includes six women. She says her female colleagues enjoy the industry and the challenges it brings.

“It is a fantastic role and the team are all so supportive of each other.  Citycare Civil and this job, has helped me build confidence, it has given me motivation to succeed and want more, it has also given me a job I love and opportunities for future career progression. To anyone who is thinking about getting into traffic management, just go for it. Get out there and feel good about you.”

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