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A Tribute to Warren Smith MFFMANZ

By July 27, 2022No Comments

It is with much sadness that we acknowledge the death of Warren Smith, MFFMANZ. (See service details below.)

Warren completed a Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Auckland, becoming a Chartered Member of Engineering New Zealand.  He had extensive experience working in the Asia-Pacific region, in fields such as facilities management, project management and engineering design.  He returned to New Zealand in 2010 and founded Operating Partners (New Zealand).

Warren often talked about his last large overseas project, where he was responsible for establishing the Facilities Management department for the Marina Bay Sands Integrated resort complex in Singapore.  In this large project, Warren utilised his engineering knowledge, skills and extensive experience to manage the progressive and successful Phase I handover from construction of the $8 billion resort.  At this time Warren had a team of 175 people working on the greenfield establishment of the Facilities Department.

More recently Warren worked at the Auckland University of Technology, and also provided AUT students with the benefit of his engineering knowledge in topics such as renewable energy.

Warren served on the FMANZ Board from 2014 to 2019. He was Chair of the Maintenance and Service Standards Committee from 2016 to 2020, writing the first draft of the Fire Service Contract and drafting the Lifts and Escalators Service Contracts. Warren was also Chair of the Membership Committee from 2015 to 2018, undertaking a comparative study of industry associations’ membership structures and proposing FMANZ’s membership categories that were adopted by the Board and now provide the stepping stones for members’ professional development and career pathways. Warren served as Chair of the Awards Committee from 2015 to 2019 and as Awards Adjudicator in 2020. He created and oversaw the original points system for the Association’s Service Awards and was a Foundation Trustee from 2014 to 2017. Warren was a Member of FMANZ (MFMANZ) and was recognised for his dedicated service and contribution to FMANZ with a fellowship (FFMANZ).

Warren was a highly personable, knowledgeable and approachable colleague who will be sadly missed. Our thoughts are with Warren’s family at this sad time.

Service Details

Warren’s family are holding a get-together with friends and family to celebrate and remember Warren’s life and achievements on Friday 12 August at 2.00pm at Bucklands Beach Yacht Club (in the Half Moon Bay Marina complex).

If you have any photos of Warren that would be suitable for a photo montage tribute or if you would like something read out or to share a story during the service please send email Warren’s son Antony at If you are unable to make it in person but would like to attend there will be an invite-only Livestream available. Please send your name and email to Antony at the above email address.

Tributes from some of Warren’s friends and colleagues at FMANZ

Warren was such a great bloke and we will miss him immensely.  Family man, surf lifesaver, budding aviator and car restorer; and with a raft of great tales from a career spanning the globe.

He was softly spoken but underneath that quiet exterior was a steely and determined character.  Consummately professional, with an enviable FM resume and outstanding engineering expertise, Warren had an engaging personality and a quirky sense of humour that endeared him to his colleagues across the Estates Group.  He made a real difference at AUT – to our FM operations, to our construction projects and to our sustainability endeavours.  

We are all the richer for having known him – and are all the poorer for no longer having him with us.

David Curry, FFMANZ

Warren was a true technical expert, extremely passionate about the Facilities Management industry and the people who work within it.  He was instrumental in several significant initiatives, including our membership structure and the Lift Contract.  I valued his wise counsel around the Board table.

Bruce Kenning, CFFMANZ, Board Chair

Warren was an early contributor to the Association and lent his considerable experience and expertise to the development and success we see today. Firstly though, Warren was a fiercely loyal person with a dry humour that would often take you by surprise.  He’s one of those people who would plant a seed of an idea and let you think it was your unique thought.  Never seeking the limelight, he always knew where his energies were best placed.  He is always someone I consider a true friend.

Kia Maia, Kia Kaha, Kia Manawanui

John Braithwaite, CFFMANZ

I had the great pleasure of working with Warren during my time as FMANZ’s Chief Executive.  Warren was dedicated to the Association and contributed his wide-ranging technical and professional expertise to supporting FMANZ’s development and membership.  I admired Warren as a colleague and gentleman.  My condolences to Warren’s family, the FMANZ Board and members on our very sad loss of Warren.

Gillian Wess, Former Chief Executive, FMANZ

With Warren’s passing, I have lost a great friend, colleague and mentor.  Warren was a proud family man and he balanced his work with PRISMA and AUT to make sure that family always came first.  He had excellent engineering skills and a genius for finding pragmatic solutions to complex technical problems. It was wonderful to see how he managed building services audits on behalf of PRISMA and trained his young son Andre in the finer details of building services engineering.

Warren achieved amazing results at AUT and was instrumental in many technical improvements and sustainability initiatives; he was highly respected by the team for his pragmatic approach. He was also a great mentor for many younger colleagues at AUT giving freely of his time to young engineering students; his ‘building services walks and talks’ were highly appreciated. Although he was a quiet and introverted man at times, when he talked, oh boy you had better be listening and reflecting on his wisdom.  At social events his innate cheeky sense of humour was always on display.

Warren was well travelled and had an amazing international career.  All that knowledge and experience was of great value in how he contributed to the wider FM community in New Zealand. He contributed immensely whilst on the Board of FMANZ with wise counselling but also putting lots of time and effort to get ‘stuff’ in place. As a member of the Institute of Directors, he brought much needed governance professionalism to the FMANZ Board table.

On a personal level, I was heartened by his unfailingly ethical behaviour and for his loyal support over the years. I will miss him dearly but I’m sure he will live on in our memories, and with the gratefulness of having him in our lives.

Farewell Silver Fox; I will see you “one the other site” for the final contract meeting when all our KPIs have been achieved.  We will miss you and thanks for enriching our lives.

Our thoughts are with Warren’s family at this difficult time.

Jack Crutzen, CFMANZ