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Auckland Council’s Safeswim delivers real-time information on beach safety and forecasts of water quality at the region’s beaches

Mott MacDonald Digital Ventures launches new digital hub in Auckland

Mott MacDonald Digital Ventures’ new digital hub has been launched with the aim of expanding its smart infrastructure and digital delivery business across its Asia Pacific and Australasia regions.


This is the company’s third digital hub, having established centres in Washington DC and London. The new hub will combine the creativity of tech startups with its engineering, management and development know-how to achieve radically better performance and value in the face of increasing cost, resource, social and climate pressures.

The hub has been established in GridAKL, part of the innovation precinct in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter, and the launch was attended by Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and senior officials from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).

Steve Couper, Mott MacDonald’s New Zealand development director, says: “Auckland is the perfect location for our latest hub because of the skills, experience and creativity that seem to be in abundance here. Auckland Council is leading the way with its smart infrastructure programme and ATEED is providing support locally to the tech startup sector. This means there are fantastic opportunities to make businesses more efficient across the country and region, and deliver better services to the public.”

Mott MacDonald has worked in New Zealand for over 50 years. In 2014, the consultancy acquired Auckland-based water technology firm AWT and invested in its smart infrastructure platform Moata. Through the platform, Auckland Council has been able to deliver the award-winning Safeswim service to its residents and a number of other services behind the scenes, making the city ‘smarter’ and more efficient with its service delivery to customers.

Delivering enduring value

Mr Goff says the decision by Mott MacDonald to establish their third technology hub in Auckland makes perfect sense: “It is testament to the technological innovation and creativity coming out of Auckland that is helping solve environmental and infrastructure issues in our city and around the world.”

Mr Couper says asset owners, cities and government agencies face issues of such scale and complexity that it can be difficult to fully understand the various challenges and make investment and management decisions needed to deliver enduring value. “They know that there is much potential in digital transformation, but need to spend money wisely. At the same time, digital startups are a huge source of value in addressing these challenges, with innovative thinking and enthusiasm to deploy their skills to help deliver enhanced social, environmental and economic results.”

Established in 2018, Mott MacDonald Digital Ventures seeks to be the connection between that digital potential and those client needs, using the company’s multi-sector expertise and creating an ecosystem of forward-thinking businesses that can meet these challenges.

“Everywhere we look, technology and data are transforming the world in which we live, and the rate of change is accelerating. We must be ready for this new transformative age as our clients are looking for trusted partners,” Mr Couper says. “That is why our digital hub in Auckland will connect innovation to outcomes. It’s an incredibly exciting time and a real opportunity to harness our digital expertise and help our clients across the region make the right investments in tomorrow’s technology. We expect to make a lot more announcements soon.”

Mr Goff adds: “This is a fantastic opportunity to work with a global digital leader to improve services to Auckland residents and find solutions to pressing environmental and infrastructure issues. ATEED will also work with Mott MacDonald to explore opportunities for Auckland’s tech and startup sector.”

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