What it does: Environmental and engineering consultancy
Staff stats: Around 1000
The good bits: Being part of an employee-owned company
The not so good bits: Working to tight deadlines
In 1956 two engineers called Ralph Tonkin and Don Taylor met working on the construction of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Three years later they launched Tonkin + Taylor, Consulting Engineers.
During the 1960s, Tonkin + Taylor built a firm foundation in New Zealand, working on high-profile projects such as the Waikato River stop banks, Marsden Point Oil Refinery and Whau Valley Dam. In the 1970s, Tonkin + Taylor opened a second office in Wellington and 1981, Tonkin and Taylor turned into an employee-owned limited liability company.
Over the last four decades, Tonkin + Taylor has been involved in many of New Zealand’s biggest tunnel, road, dam, irrigation and hydro-electric projects.
Tonkin + Taylor, aka T+T, is now New Zealand’s leading environmental and engineering consultancy. It employs many of the best engineers, scientists, planners and project managers in the world. Whilst the business remains headquartered in Auckland, it now has offices in Christchurch, Hamilton, Nelson, Wellington and Tauranga, as well as Melbourne.
T+T does have a formal diversity and inclusion policy, with the company being well known for having a very inclusive culture. As Tonkin + Taylor has a flat hierarchy, this helps create a great working environment for employees. The social club organises events on a regular basis like morning teas, which enables new employees to socialise and make friends.
T+T staff have played a vital role in ensuring people in New Zealand and throughout the Asia-Pacific region have clean water to drink, roads to drive on, power to run their homes and businesses and dams and irrigation systems to grow their crops.
T+T seeks to make a contribution to the engineering profession in New Zealand. It funds scholarships and academic prizes for students who “show potential in engineering, as well as displaying qualities such as communication skills, achievements in sports, the arts, and in community activities”.
If you’re a uni student with a willingness to learn and get things done, you can apply for a three-month-long summer internship at T+T whilst doing your degree. This will involve making an online application via the company website, then having at least one interview.
If you’ve completed your degree, or soon will be, you can apply for a grad role at one of the company’s six New Zealand offices, or its Melbourne one. T+T is open to receiving applications from grads from Engineering, Property and Science degrees.
The application process of finding a suitable grad role on the job vacancies page of the company website and submitting an online application. After that comes an initial interview with one of the recruitment team, then one or two interviews with senior staff in the department you’re applying to join.
The grad programme involves an induction process where grads learn about T+T’s “history, structure, culture, people, groups, social activities… strategy, pathway, vision and values”. Grads are provided with mentors and buddies and invited to networking events. They also receive training and are supported as they work towards attaining professional accreditation. T+T promises grads that “from day one you’ll hit the ground running, getting out in the field and among the action”.
T+T is an employee-owned company, so it’s no surprise that employees are treated well. It appears staff earn salaries that are at least the industry average and can also purchase equity in the business in the long term. On top of that, they get a $500 Wellbeing Allowance, generous leave entitlements, free food, subsidised health insurance and professional memberships as well as discounts at over 400 retailers.
T+T’s career development framework is designed to “maximise on-the-job learning with a raft of opportunities and support that will let your talent shine”.
As well as getting the opportunity to work alongside some of the best engineers, scientists, planners and project managers in the business, grads have access to “formal coaching and mentoring, informal development discussions, internal and external learning and development courses, study assistance and [support in attaining] professional memberships”.
T+T is one of those rare companies that few current or former employees have a bad word for. If you’re lucky enough to secure a grad position, you can expect to work in incredible offices with friendly co-workers, be given plenty of opportunities for professional development, have the opportunity to work in different countries and earn a good salary as well as having the option to take an ownership stake in the business in the long term.
Overall satisfaction rating among grad employees: 4.6 stars
"T+T is a 100% New Zealand-owned specialist environmental and engineering consultancy. We shape the interface between people and the environment - earth, water and air - using science and engineering.
T+T has a long-standing reputation for working collaboratively to deliver innovative solutions and exceptional outcomes for both our clients and the environment. That’s why in March 2019 our clients voted T+T the ‘Best Engineering Consultancy in Australasia’ at the 2019 Beaton Client Choice Awards.
We strongly believe that it’s our people that keep our clients coming back. Our people are our greatest asset, and we invest in their development, well-being and ambitions. Our national and international award-winning engineers, scientists, planners and project managers stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best in the world.
Challenging and stimulating projects right from the start, support, training and a heap of opportunities to learn and progress.
A 3-month internship for undergraduate students consisting of a variety of interesting project work, team events, site visits and our famous morning teas."