About Us

The Hynds Smarterwater Story

Smart technology built into the infrastructure system of cities – is the way of the future!

The traditional way of managing a city’s water system often presents issues like flooding, and sewer overflow – resulting in degradation of water quality and significant health risks to the end user.

Smart technology delivers near real time data to asset owners through a virtual network of sensors showing the location and performance of each relevant asset on their infrastructure grid. Instead of being reactive, asset owners (city, district or regional council) can become predictive, anticipate potential failures before they occur, and take evasive action. This significantly reduces the chance of flooding, overflow and other failures.

The whole community benefits from the introduction of smart IoT technology.

Smarterwater are part of the Hynds Group

Founded in 1973 by John and Léonie Hynds, the privately owned Hynds Group of Companies is New Zealand’s premier product supplier for the management of water and water based waste in the civil and rural infrastructure markets.

The Hynds Group now comprises nine business units including metal, concrete and plastic manufacturing; product importation and distribution; and trade supply. With over 800 employees now, Hynds remains proudly family owned, and has built its reputation on customer service and innovation.

Hynds Pipe Systems is the largest operating unit within the Hynds Group of Companies, incorporating five manufacturing plants, a nationwide team of Engineered Product Managers, Contract Account Managers, and a network of 33 merchant branches throughout New Zealand.

The Team

Sales Team

Aaron Hynds Director

Aaron Hynds | Director

Aaron is a Director of Hynds Holdings, and Research & Development Director for the Hynds Group. Aaron was five years old when his parents started the business and has grown up alongside the company as it also grew, from a single site in the garage of their South Auckland Papakura home manufacturing retaining wall components in 1973, to an Australasian business, now employing over 800 people.

Aaron spent 7 years in Japan in the 90’s from the age of 18, training in old martial arts. On his return to New Zealand, Aaron re-started his career at Hynds and undertook a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business conjoint degree at Unitec in Japanese and Information Systems Management. He has worked in multiple roles within the Hynds Group of Companies including technical sales, purchasing, sales, production planning, ICT technician, ERP security and hardware management and Group Business Development Manager.

Aaron saw the opportunity to create smart infrastructure to enable asset owners to monitor the performance of their assets in real time. Over a period of 10 years Aaron investigated various technologies to enhance infrastructure performance, and now leads the Smarterwater Team in developing solutions for 3 waters asset stakeholders.

Aaron’s key aspiration is to create “clean, affordable water for everyone”.

Chris Miller | Commercial & Sales Manager

Chris Miller | Commercial & Sales Manager

Following a Management and Engineering Cadetship in Engineering, Chris has work at many levels in sales and management with technology-based companies. With 30 years’ experience in the three waters industries, Chris also has extensive experience in hydro generation, pulp & paper, petrochemical and food & beverage sectors.

Chris brings a wealth of both technical application knowledge, and commercial understanding to the role. His breadth of experience includes working in hazardous area training and application in Singapore, instrumentation and process control throughout New Zealand, sales, product category, and inventory management,

Delivery of diverse customer-based solutions is prominent in Chris’s planning. He has delivered on projects such as the largest irrigation butterfly valves in New Zealand in the Central Plains Project, and the mechanical service packages for buildings such as the Price Waterhouse Coopers Tower and the Metropolis Apartments.

Chris believes people and skills are the most important assets in business. Protecting both through superior health & safety practises and business development initiatives is a responsibility he values. Chris enjoys leading his talented team, as they focus together on delivering world class results.

Sabrina Hou | Project Delivery Specialist

Sabrina Hou | Project Delivery Specialist

Sabrina is a Project Delivery Specialist at Hynds Smarterwater. Prior to this, Sabrina spent five years working in a variety of other project delivery roles within the Hynds Group – including irrigation projects, and wastewater treatment system commercialization. Sabrina has a deep understanding of the business operation network and ERP system.

Sabrina earned her Bachelor of Commerce in Management Science from University of Canterbury and later attended to Auckland University to further study in Project Management. Sabrina is bilingual in English and Mandarin which has benefited her professional career. Her down to earth attitude, positivity, and wide range of skills make Sabrina a highly valued member of the Hynds Smarterwater Team.

Engineering Team

Patrick Barciela | Innovation Manager

Patrick Barciela | Innovation Manager

Patrick has a Degree in Engineering and Master of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship from The University of Auckland. He is passionate about innovation, creativity and new product development. He is constantly looking for new trends and emerging technologies. Patrick thrives in knowledge sharing and fast paced environments.

Originally from Argentina, Patrick’s previous roles in the Hynds Group have included Product Manager of concrete products and as Project Delivery Manager for the successful delivery of more than 250 km of irrigation pipelines, fittings, and valves to North Otago Irrigation Company expansion, BNR Mangare Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion, Amuri Irrigation Scheme construction, and Central Plains Water Ltd stage two.

Patrick enjoys encouraging his team to peak performance and constantly seeks optimal smart solutions for infrastructure, efficiency, management and monitoring.

Lixin Qian | Software Engineer

Lixin Qian | Software Engineer

Lixin is a Software Engineer at Hynds, specialising in IoT based Smarterwater innovations at Hynds. He has a Master Degree of Information Technology and prior to coming to Hynds worked predominantly in software development in enterprise software (storage and cloud) and embedded software (firmware).

Lixin is passionate about cutting-edge technologies and innovative ideas to create new products that transform people’s lives.

John Meerabux | Product Development Engineer

John Meerabux | Product Development Engineer

John has eight years experience as Product Development Engineer working in the design, research and development of pipes, access chambers and valves used in the water and sewer industry. Prior to that he worked in drawing and estimating of steel tanks and pressure vessels.

John earned his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and Graduate Certificate in Business from the Queensland University of Technology. He uses CAD and Finite Element Analysis software in product design. John is passionate about improving the world and finding applications for the latest technology. He also volunteers on Australian Standard committees in the water and sewer industry, representing Engineers Australia.

Kevin Carlyle | Product Development Specialist

Kevin Carlyle | Product Development Specialist

Kevin is a fully qualified craftsman, plumber, and drainlayer. He has been with the Hynds Group of Companies for over 23 years working mainly out of Hynds’s Tauranga Branch. His experience includes roles in sales, as Branch Manager, Contracts Manager, and Central Region Pricing Team managing large contracts with the Branch Managers of Hamilton, Tauranga, Taupo and Rotorua branches.

In 2006 a chance discussion with John Hynds lead to a new position of Product Development Manager to ensure Hynds was future-proofed with a plan to keep abreast of emerging technologies.

Together with Aaron Hynds they investigated what was happening in the rest of the world bringing international perspective and innovative thinking to Hynds total pipeline solutions plan for New Zealand. Visiting significant international exhibitions and manufacturers brought a new dimension to Hynds inventory decisions – cementing the Hynds Group’s position as industry leaders.

Having secured exclusive agreements with world leading European, Asian and American manufacturers, the Hynds Group (through its Hygrade Water business) is the leading importer of water related products for civil infrastructure in New Zealand – with a sister business in Australia.

Kevin is excited to be part of the Smarterwater Team, continuing his passion for research, innovation and development. His past business experience with key customers enables him to bring a practical sales and marketing lense to the team’s progress.

Sean Hynds | Customer Support Specialist

Sean is the Smarter Water Innovation Team’s Customer Support Specialist, visiting sites to maintain and install Smarter products.

As part of his career development plan, he has been exposed to many parts of the Hynds Group business, including the Gillies Foundry, branch business, and pre-cast concrete manufacturing.

Sean lived in Belgium for 8 months in 2019 doing internships, learning a lot of different perspectives of various businesses. His goals are to expand his knowledge and add value to the team.

Sean speaks Japanese fluently, and a little bit of Dutch since living in Belgium.


The Hynds Group of Companies affiliations include: