Calling New Zealand engineers, architects, urban planners, consultants and other infrastructure experts currently based overseas: Your country needs you.
Actually, it's Beca, one of the country's largest independent advisory, design and engineering consultancies that is putting out the call for expat New Zealanders to come home and take up jobs in our burgeoning infrastructure industry.
Darryl-Lee Wendelborn, Managing Director of Beca New Zealand, says there are exciting times ahead, thanks to the Government's plans to invest significantly in infrastructure but, to get the work done, more experienced Kiwi staff are needed.
That means persuading people who've been honing their skills overseas that now is a great time to come home.
"We would love our expat New Zealand talent to see their home country as a place where they can continue their careers, and now is an awesome time to relocate here, with all the challenges the world is facing in terms of the pandemic," says Wendelborn. "They'll be coming home to the great lifestyle Aotearoa has to offer – and there are some incredible opportunities coming up as far as infrastructure goes."
With the government's plans for infrastructure, there is likely to be a shortage of skills in the not-too-distant future, she says: "It's an exciting pipeline of work and there are huge opportunities to be creative and highly innovative in the way that we deliver projects – but we will need people, particularly people who can bring diversity of thought and new ideas to the table."
Rail in particular is an area where experienced workers are going to be much sought after.
"Things are changing and we're realising there needs to be a focus on how mass transit networks can support the growth and intensification of our urban environments – rather than just relying on the heavy rail system we've already got," says Wendelborn.
"There are electrification projects on existing rail, new rolling stock and wagon procurements coming in, new stations being built and a real focus on a long-term plan for what communities need when it comes to infrastructure.
"It's exciting because it means going back to the roots of what engineering and urban planning is all about, which is creating communities and societies. Infrastructure is the means to deliver that.
"Historically, it has always been thought that Aotearoa hasn't had the population for the kind of passenger transport systems you see overseas but we definitely have areas, like Auckland, developing that urban lifestyle where world-class transport systems are vital.
"Our Kiwi talent who've been working overseas can play their part in that."
It's not uncommon for Kiwis in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) careers to head to other countries to gain expertise in their chosen fields.
"A lot of people have felt the need to do that because they can try new things and gain experience they can't always get here," says Wendelborn. "We think that is a good thing because it means they pick up a variety of skills and fresh perspectives which they can bring home with them."
Kiwis who haven't been home in some time may be in for a surprise when they see how things have changed, including the development of public transport systems, Wendelborn adds.
"I'm hoping they'll be delighted to see what is going on here and be keen to be a part of continuing to create our future."
She understands workers may be hesitant to come home because of concern over the toll Covid-19 is taking on economies worldwide, fearing it could lead to a recruitment freeze here.
"But that's not the case; here we are in the opposite situation because of the spending there will be on infrastructure."
If we don't have that returning workforce, it could end up costing the country, she says: "If we don't have those skilled Kiwis coming back, we have to find that talent from around the country, and while there are some incredibly talented people here, it can be difficult to find enough to go around – it's a small pot when you look at the scale of upcoming projects.
"I regularly talk to leaders of other engineering-based consultancies about how we can share the talent that we have so we can apply the right skills to projects at the right time, rather than having a merry-go-round of talent.
"If we fall into the trap of poaching talent from each other, we actually escalate costs in the industry – and that is a cost implication for the country and for the taxpayer."
She's hoping many expats will be enticed not only by the thought of coming home to family and our much-admired way of life here but also the fact that, if they join Beca, they will work for a company that's made a huge difference to the country in the 100 years it's been operating.
"It is fantastic to be able to drive around and say, 'Oh, Beca was involved in the Sky Tower, and the Waterview interchange, and the Britomart station'," says Wendelborn. "And actually, Arthur Gray, who started the company in 1920, was involved in the War Memorial Museum.
"There's barely a part of the city, and also many other places in New Zealand, that we haven't touched, which is very cool.
"But it's not just about what we've done already – we're looking ahead to the next 100 years and finding new ways to innovate and respond to the challenges. We hope those Kiwis overseas will want to come home and help us do that."
For more information visit https://www.beca.com/returninghome