News | 23 November 2023
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Meet the woman behind the Moa Point digestors

Fresh out of school and looking for her next step, Chloe Cross took a chance on doing some construction work experience at office buildings in Moscow with her uncle. This sparked a life-long love for engineering – a passion that brought her to New Zealand, where she now works as a Project Engineer for the Moa Point sludge minimisation facility.

Woman in high vis sitting at a table.

Originally from the Isle of Man, Chloe has spent her career working in different pockets of the world such as London and Canada. Her early stages of work focused on tunnels in London. 

In 2017, she made the move to Wellington to further her career in engineering. This decision was one she made on a whim, she says. 

“I was offered roles in Wellington and Sydney, and I didn’t know much about either place so chose Wellington and moved five weeks later.

“Now I just love Wellington. You can access so much here, there’s great places for hiking and biking, and everything is on your doorstep. There’s a lot of engineering demand here too so it’s an amazing city to be in for my career.” 

Her first major project in the region was to work on Transmission Gully where she oversaw the bridgework. She then moved on to HEB Construction and worked rebuilding wharves affected by the Kaikoura earthquake. 

After working in major structures for a few years, she has taken on a whole new challenge as the project engineer at the Moa Point sludge minimisation facility.

A group of women wearing orange high-vis vests and hard hats on a construction site.
Chloe shows members of the National Association of Women in Construction the construction site of the sludge minimisation facility.

She says the role has a lot of structural work but has a new element in the mix – water.

“I’ve never worked with water before. I’m in charge of developing the digestors, which are two big concrete tanks that break down the sludge molecules and makes it easier to dewater and dry.

“The entire plant needs to be operational in three years, so it’s a big job preparing everything because we have a tight timeframe and a small space to work with, all while working on a facility that’s the first of its kind in the country.”

Chloe has been finding the role really stretches her and helps her grow her skills. 

“This structural work has been really interesting but the environment of working with a range of people makes it even better. The team is so diverse, and they all have experience from around the world, and it’s great to see women owning this space.”

Chloe believes that one of the best parts of the project is seeing other women take the lead and in future would like to see women make up some of the workforce.

A group of women wearing orange high-vis vests and hard hats standing in two rows smiling. They are on a construction site with large pipes and a hill behind them.

“A lot of people think women aren’t interested in this stuff but it’s a space that we can take up too. This project highlights that we have awesome women in management positions. We are one step closer to having more diversity in the field.”

The new facility, expected to be finished in 2026, is a crucial investment for our community, designed to meet waste sludge minimisation and carbon emissions goals, thereby creating a healthier environment for us all.

The new product will be much easier to transport, and we won’t need to pipe raw sludge 9 kilometres through the city to Southern Landfill to be partially dried and buried in waste anymore.

 In July 2024, a levy will be introduced to ratepayers as part of a financing initiative to support the construction of our new Moa Point sludge minimisation facility. 

To find out more about Moa Point sludge minimisation facility, visit our website.