Page 1


Hamm and VÖgele

APRIL 2017

smoothing the road ahead

INSIDE: 2017 National Excavator Operators’ Competition – highlights ConExpo in Las Vegas – not just about big machines Kapiti Expressway – reviewing the first completed section A work in progress – Auckland International Airport


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INSIDE: Regulars 4 Editorial 6 Upfront 12 Contractors’ Diary 18 On the cover 50 Classic Machines 54 Motoring 56 Innovations 58 Civil Contractors NZ update 58 Advertisers index

Comment 44  Peter Silcock CCNZ 45  Ari Moore & Kate Henderson Kensington Swan 46  John Pfahlert & Philip McFarlane Water New Zealand & Opus 48 Rod Auton Crane Association of NZ

49 Janet Brothers

Life Care Consultants

Highlights / Features 14 2017 National Excavator Operators’ 


The 16th NEOC held at Feilding last month was twodays of intense skill sets between 10 contestants representing regional competitions around the country.

20 The ConExpo 2017 Experience 

Charles Fairbairn files his report from the front line of ConExpo, the Las Vegas strip and the top of the Hoover Dam.

24 Taranaki’s heavy mover 

At last year’s Heavy Haulage Conference, industry veteran Sandy Southcombe sat with Mary Searle Bell to reflect on his long career as a house mover.

26 Filling the cracks

When Kaikoura was severely shaken in the massive earthquake last November, Hawkes Bay contractor Tim Dodge was moved in a completely different way.

36 Kaikoura – the work so far

The eventual clearance of $2 billion worth of slips

ON THE COVER Auckland-headquartered civil construction firm Independent Construction has put its faith in Hamm compaction equipment and Vögele asphalt paver technology, in order to help complete the hard yards in a demanding 24/7 industry. See page 18

blocking SH1 north of Blenheim could take until Christmas.

40 A work in progress – Auckland

International Airport Auckland International Airport is currently undergoing extensive development and has plans for future expansion.

Training 38 Latest Certified Civil Tradespeople C  ongratulations to the newest Certified Civil Tradespeople from around the country.


20 APRIL 2017 3


PUBLISHER Contrafed Publishing Co Ltd Suite 2.1, 93 Dominion Road, Mt Eden, Auckland PO Box 112357, Penrose, Auckland 1642 Phone: +64 9 636 5715 Fax: +64 9 636 5716

Don’t throw away your shovel Heavy haulage veteran Greg Sheehan hit a sore nerve last month with his argument that the new health and safety regime is making recruiting young folks into our industries difficult. We published his comment, ‘Killing us softly with H&S’ last month and our website traffic soared into the stratosphere. You can read it at Greg’s comment had hardly gone live when WorkSafe phoned me and asked for a right of reply. We have published it on page 6, along with another answer from Associate Minister of Transport, David Bennett. In the contracting and extraction industries the new H&S regime is contenious. For a start it requires, in some circumstances, managers to sit formal exams in an industry where most knowledge is learnt on site. Secondly, it appears there is no such thing as a workplace ‘accident’ any more. Some one has to be made an example of with punitive fines and damages. These fines and damages are totally out of sync with accident prevention and penalties outside of the workplace. Is it sensible to expect someone to behave like a saint when they enter the worksite gate when the civil accident laws and fines are so lame? The Kiwi-invented ACC programme did away with our right to sue for damages, which is a strong incentive overseas for avoiding damages to other people. There’s a strong argument that this has encouraged a reckless Kiwi culture. Don’t you think it odd, if not unjust, that employers are required to pay ACC premiums (for a ‘no blame’ Government insurance scheme) then get treated like criminals if something goes wrong and they have to make a claim? You might not know this – employers can’t take out liability insurance to cover workplace fines in this country. On a more cheerful note, I took a lot of pleasure at attending the National Excavator Operators’ Competition in Feilding last month. This is a very well run event, thanks to a small army of volunteers. This competition is not only a public display of industry skills, but a way of honouring the best talent from around the country when it comes to macinery. We have published NEOC 2017 highlights on page 14. Next issue (May) we will cover the technical nitty gritty of the competition tasks and skills required of the contestants. Contractor magazine sponsors the One Day Job and its cup. This year it was won by Brandon Crowley. He had won the BOP regional compeition, narrowly beating his dad, Craig. If you look at page 17 you will see Brandon putting the final touches to his winning work with a long-handled shovel. And isn’t it nice to think that in these days of GPS technology, hybrid motors and acrobatic tilt buckets – a tool unchanged for thousands of years can win the day. Keep on shifting dirt for a better future. Alan Titchall Editorial Manager PS Malcolm Abernethy announced his retirement from CCNZ this month, after 16 years with the association. On behalf of all of us here at Contrafed, all the best Malcolm; it has been great working with you over the past decade, especially on technical roading features. Your columns were always thoughtful and well written and our readers will miss them.

GENERAL MANAGER & EDITOR Kevin Lawrence DDI: 09 636 5710 Mobile: 021 512 800 Email: EDITORIAL MANAGER Alan Titchall DDI: 09 636 5712 Mobile: 027 405 0338 Email: REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Malcolm Abernethy, Mary Searle Bell, Richard Campbell, Hugh de Lacy, Cameron Officer, Richard Silcock, Chris Webb. ADVERTISING / SALES Charles Fairbairn DDI: 09 636 5724 Mobile: 021 411 890 Email: ADMIN / SUBSCRIPTIONS DDI: 09 636 5715 Email: PRODUCTION Design: TMA Design, 09 636 5713 Printing: PMP MAXUM

Contributions welcome Please contact the editor before sending them in. Articles in Contractor are copyright and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the permission of the publisher. Opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the shareholding organisations. @NZContractormag nz contractor magazine nz contractor magazine The official magazine of Civil Contractors NZ The Aggregate & Quarry Association The New Zealand Heavy Haulage Association The Crane Association of New Zealand Rural Contractors New Zealand The Ready Mixed Concrete Association Connexis

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Northland Jimmy Brewin 021 860 074

East Cape, Hawkes Bay & Wairarapa Heath Stewart 029 247 3929

Auckland Bryce Mason 021 682 403

Kapiti Coast & Wellington Carl Southee 021 981 850

Waikato James West 029 299 8909

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The level of risk by having a child present will depend on the site and the nature of the work being undertaken. The truck operator, driver and a business running a site would need to have a discussion to determine the risks associated with having a child onsite and what appropriate management actions need to be taken to ensure everyone’s safety. In some cases it will be appropriate that children are banned from site. Mr Sheehan mentioned about the “good old days”, which is usually stated alongside “it’s just common sense”. We don’t believe that common sense in itself is enough to ensure the safety of workers and anyone else, including children, in the workplace. If common sense was enough, New Zealand would not be one of the worst performing countries in the OECD list for fatalities and injuries in workplaces. To improve the culture around health and safety in New Zealand businesses need to change and that is why discussions such as this are important. It is fair to say that as a country we are relatively immature in our approach to health and safety, opting in many cases to use a checkbox and paperwork approach. The outcome of this is that companies will more frequently go straight to imposing blanket rules as risk controls without having fully considered other options that may be appropriate for the circumstances of their work, such as bans on children riding in the cab of trucks. But consider this, as a driver if you need to go inside to deliver a package, what do you then do with your child in the cab as they would now be unsupervised? This is a risk that would need to be managed. Modern health and safety is about identifying risk, assessing the likelihood and using a risk-based approach to managing that risk. We are not expecting companies to remove all risk, but ask that you do what is reasonably practicable to keep people safe. It is important that the risk controls are effective and proportionate to risks that arise from particular work activities. It is also essential that companies frequently communicate with each other and with workers about the hazards and the risks that arise from work and that we never assume that others understand the risks or the agreed ways in which they are to be managed. Finally, I’d like to pick up on another of Mr Sheehan’s points, which was about supporting on-the-job learning. WorkSafe is actually pro learning on the job as we have just recruited 26 trainee inspectors, who will learn on the job. The crux for us though, is making sure that the on-the-job training is done in a safe environment so that they can go home safe at the day’s end.

Killing me softly – H&S debate in action Last month Contractor magazine ran an opinion piece from Heavy Haulage veteran Greg Sheehan of Sheehan’s Transport Assistance (see Page 48, “H&S is killing us softly”). Greg’s letter was shared with a number of outlets, including the Prime Minister, the Minister of Transport, various industry associations and media. Nearly 3000 people have read the article on Contractor’s website alone. In the letter, Greg made the point, “Without being able to access the basics required to learn about this fantastic industry, WorkSafe and the rules surrounding it are now slowly strangling any desire on the part of your people to be a part of road transport and are the cause of health and safety regulation now killing our industry through a severe lack of young entrants.” Greg’s letter hit a nerve, attracting many online comments that support his stance, including “I bet most of the H&S type people won’t even partly understand the reality of what Greg Sheehan is (correctly) pointing out, in this article. And many of them will consider it beneath them to even bother trying to understand good advice from someone who they won’t recognise as knowing his stuff.” It also attracted more formal responses from WorkSafe (below), and David Bennett, Associate Minister of Transport (next page). For completeness, we’ve also included Greg’s response to the Minister’s letter. What’s clear about this debate is that for whatever reason, those driving the changes have a long way to go to win the hearts and minds of industry rank and file.

By Brett Murray, WorkSafe New Zealand’s GM Operations and Specialist Services. Healthy debate is part of how we will raise the standard of health and safety in businesses across New Zealand, so I thank Greg Sheehan for his article ‘H&S is killing us softly’ published on www., and in the March issue of Contractor magazine. The Health and Safety at Work Act (2015) (HSWA) is not prescriptive and therefore does not prevent young children riding as passengers in trucks while onsite. The Act requires businesses to manage any additional risks from the presence of a child in order to keep that child, workers or others safe from harm. However, there is a requirement from the Health and Safety Regulations (2016) that children must be under direct supervision of an adult and not in an area where high risk activity is taking place.

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Greg Sheehan’s response to Minister’s Letter Dear David, Thank you for taking the time to reply to my letter regarding young people in the road transport industry. I can’t help feeling that you have missed my point! Government is to be applauded for some of the initiatives to enable young people to gain Class 1 drivers licences. These initiatives will offer the opportunity for young folk to enter the workforce, but the current requirements of Worksafe NZ and the pressure that they have placed on all industries, preclude young people from the practical experiences required to gain the knowledge so necessary to get a foothold in to this fantastic industry, road transport. With the best will in the world, the training organisations tasked with teaching young people to learn to drive a car or even a truck, only teach them the actual driving part of obtaining a drivers licence. Not one of these organisations even know anything outside of how to steer, change gear, brake or general road code knowledge! Please tell me, who do you go to learn how to trail a load of metal on to a new road, how to back into a paving machine with a load of hotmix? How does a ratchet strap work and do you need corner boards with that? Where do you learn about correct chaining and load security for a 20 tonne digger on a trailer? Why aren’t logs all loaded with the butt end at the rear end of the load on the truck? And why can’t you load pallets of yogurt on to a flat-top semi and tarp it? Driving schools don’t teach these things! While I respect your comments about some young folk having literacy and numeric skills, it is also very apparent in older persons that I train in industry related unit standards. Some people I encounter are experts in certain driving skills and have talents taught to them at an early age by their Dad, or someone close to them, but have trouble putting things on paper. However, the important thing is that they were able to learn at an early age from practical experience. Worksafe NZ and some of your colleagues go to great lengths to say that they do not preclude young people from riding in trucks – “as long as all the necessary safety requirements are met”. How very true! None of us want any of our kids to come to harm, but if they are not allowed entry into say Port of Auckland wharves, construction site areas, or forestry skids, because they ‘haven’t been inducted’, or ‘haven’t got a drivers licence or form of ID’, how can they learn? There is a fantastic opportunity for our tertiary institutions to offer training in all of the matters that I’ve raised simply by recognising that this training is available through parents, family and wider relationships in road transport, as well as involving ports, extractive industries, forestry, construction and roading just to name a few, and encouraging participation in a learning scheme for young people actually on the job. (Abridged) APRIL 2017 7


Bridge demolition begins The first major demolition project in the programme to restore the Main North Line linking Picton and Christchurch is about to get underway. Bridge 90, near Hundalee in North Canterbury, will be taken down and replaced with a temporary bridge. The project is being tackled by KiwiRail and its recovery partner NCTIR (North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery). The bridge was severely damaged in last year’s Kaikoura earthquake. KiwiRail group general manager Network Services Todd Moyle says “it will be demolished using a ‘nibbler’ similar to that used to remove Wellington buildings damaged in the same quake”. “A temporary bridge using steel spans KiwiRail keeps in reserve for such emergencies will be built on the existing foundations after the damaged superstructure and piers are removed. “The temporary bridge will be suitable for all types of trains. “Using the temporary spans is part of KiwiRail’s push to reopen the Main North Line as quickly as possible. “The line is a vital link in KiwiRail’s network that provides just in time services, shifting freight from the North Island via the interisland ferries to Christchurch and on through to South Island customers. “Before the quake KiwiRail was moving one million tonnes of freight over the line each year. “The partnerships we have in the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery alliance with NZTA and other alliance members are really paying off. “The work on Bridge 90 is important to the rebuilding programme because it will allow work trains to travel north with equipment for other large projects,” Todd says. See more on Kaikoura’s recovery on pages 26 and 36.

Hynds couple recognised Leonie and John Hynds are among the 2017 Laureates to be inducted into the prestigious Business Hall of Fame. This honour recognises John and Leonie’s significant contribution to the economic and social development of the country through manufacturing, engineering and infrastructure. In addition to their contribution to business, John and Leonie have contributed significantly to the community and continue to do so through the Hynds Foundation. John and Leonie set up a manufacturing operation in their backyard in Takanini, Auckland in 1973. The Hynds Group is now made up of six business units in New Zealand and Australia employing over 700 people. “Leonie and I are thrilled to receive this honour,” says John. “But we are particularly pleased as it recognises our company, and the many people we have employed both previously and now, who have contributed to its ongoing success.” The Hall of Fame was set up in 1994 by the Young Enterprise Trust, and Auckland Chamber of Commerce. A Gala Dinner celebrating the new inductees will be held at The Langham on July, 27, 2017. More information: www.

Immigrants should fund us says tax expert Mark Keating, a senior lecturer in tax law at the University of Auckland Business School, says the government should impose a flat levy on most immigrants to help cover the extra infrastructure and service costs from population increase. In 2016, Treasury estimated the extra spending required on hospitals, schools, roads and other infrastructure to cope with population growth – which is largely driven by immigration – at $100 billion over 10 years, he says. “These figures suggest that New Zealand’s existing population of taxpayers will shoulder a huge additional tax bill to settle and assimilate its record number of new immigrants,” says Mark. “New Zealand is a desirable country with excellent infrastructure and public services,” he says. “Immigrants get to share in all these benefits, so why shouldn’t immigrants also contribute to them?” He suggests a flat immigration fee of $10,000-$15,000 per immigrant would provide a source of additional revenue to offset increased costs. In the year to January, there were 89,670 permanent and longterm arrivals to New Zealand, excluding refugees, Australians and returning New Zealanders. At $10,000 per arriving person, that 8

would generate $896,700,000. At $15,000 per immigrant, it would total $1.345 billion. “At present, our government simply gives away New Zealand residency – and passes the increased cost of building the necessary infrastructure on to current residents. Rather than continuing to be too squeamish about charging immigrants for residency or citizenship, perhaps we should embrace the idea and tax them appropriately,” Mark says. He acknowledges the negative historic association of past poll taxes on immigrants. Under the Chinese Immigrants Act of 1881 we imposed a “poll tax” on all Chinese immigrants. At its peak, the tax was £100 a person (equivalent to approximately $17,000 today). The poll tax allowed otherwise “undesired” immigrants to buy their way in to New Zealand in return for paying a fee to the government. It was eventually scrapped in 1944, and the government rightly apologised to the Chinese community in 2002. “Obviously targeting poll tax on racial grounds is indefensible,” he says. “But shorn of its racial overtones, what is wrong with taxing all would-be immigrants regardless of which country they come from for the right to move to New Zealand?”

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ConstructSafe scheme success A new online safety test for construction workers is being rolled out across Northland to help reduce the number of injuries in the region’s second most dangerous industry. The ConstructSafe scheme was developed by the Construction Safety Council and has so far had almost 400 workers tested in Northland, with a 75 percent pass rate for the region. ConstructSafe administrator Martin Riding says the test has already been taken by about 5000 people nationwide since April 2016. There had been no national standard for safety in the industry and traditional general training was time-consuming with no measured outcome, he adds. “ The test identifies gaps in knowledge, which managers can then address with specific training.” He says the recent health and safety regulation changes also meant that the onus was on employers to make sure contractors avoid hazards and workplace accidents. “We are hoping to roll this out nationwide this year,” he says. Murray Clements, managing director of Clements Contractors, and Northland chairman of Civil Contractors NZ, says 13 of his 44 staff have taken the test. The company includes civil construction, quarry and transport divisions. The tests were delivered with the help of Whangarei health and safety consultant Helen Smuts-Kennedy of Safety In Mind, the only accredited ConstructSafe tester. Clements says a proactive approach was vital. “The major issues in construction are around working with heavy machinery, and also strains from lifting; it’s labour intensive. “The test takes about 40 minutes. We have now developed some leaflets about signage.” The test records the competency for workers in roading, domestic and commercial construction, specialist trades, civil construction, utilities and consulting. Injury reports were brushed under the carpet 10 years ago, but now the industry wants to see its incidents reported, Murray says. The Construction Safety Council was established in 2009 by chief executives and presidents of Registered Master Builders Federation, Certified Builders Association New Zealand, Civil Contractors NZ, New Zealand Specialist Trade Contractors Federation and Site Safe New Zealand. 10

Construction equipment recovery forecast Global sales of construction equipment are expected to increase seven percent this year, according to forecasts from market intelligence company Off-Highway Research. The number of machines sold in 2017 is expected to reach 695,142 units worldwide, compared to the 650,133 pieces of equipment sold in 2016, which represented the bottom of the industry’s economic cycle. David Phillips, managing director of Off-Highway Research says: “Sales of construction equipment last year were affected by weak economic growth worldwide and low global prices for many commodities. These factors had a knock-on effect for the demand for most types of machinery, particularly equipment used in mining and other extractive industries. However, with commodity prices rising as 2016 went on, sales picked up in a number of key markets.” Of significance is the expected return to growth for the Chinese market, after five years of steeply falling sales. However, even with the 13 percent rise in sales forecast for 2017, demand in China will still only be some 30 percent of what it was in the boom years of 2010 and 2011.

More industry consolidation Aussie-based Downer has bought construction firm Hawkins from the McConnell family. The deal does not include Hawkins’ offshore operations in Indonesia, Australia, Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific. Downer has not said what it paid for the company (likely in a range of A$50 million to A$100 million) other than it is ‘debt funded’. Hawkins’ contracts include the SH16 Lincoln-to-Westgate upgrade, the construction of Auckland’s Park Hyatt Hotel (with China Construction) the Pier B extension at Auckland Airport, Wellington Airport’s Rongotai control tower, Wellington Council’s Arlington housing project, the Christchurch Town Hall, and Christchurch’s Avon River Precinct. Michael Sharp, Downer’s head of corporate affairs, says the company intends to maintain the Hawkins brand and keep on its experienced managers. The McConnell family reportedly was forced to sell its interest in construction firm McConnell Dowell after the 1987 sharemarket crash. The family then set up McConnell Group, eventually owning 100 percent of Hawkins. It has been a year of consolidation in civil contracting after Fletcher Building bought Higgins Group Holdings last year for $303 million, with the exception of the Horokiwi Quarries, which are a 50-50 joint venture between Higgins and Fulton Hogan. Meantime, Downer EDI says it is enjoying a period of “very strong operational and financial performance” after posting an 8.5 percent gain in first-half profit to A$78 million and raising its full-year guidance to A$175 million. In late March it launched a A$1.26 billion takeover of Spotless Group. After buying Hawkins, the company becomes the country’s number two vertical construction company after Fletcher Building.

Next stage of $1.2 million sewer upgrade The next stage in Timaru District Council’s major upgrade of the 1.8 kilometre Domain Ave sewer main is beginning soon. Grant Hall, Timaru District Council’s Drainage and Water manager says: “This is part of the ongoing investment in improving the Temuka sewer network. “The new trunk main will be installed at a lower level and steeper grade than the existing sewer, which will allow connecting pipes to be installed at steeper grades when they are renewed over time. “The contractor will be mostly using an open cut method for laying the new sewer main which in this instance is the most cost-effective method.”

Rural roads a national concern Ruapehu Land Transport manager Warren Furner says rural councils need to balance infrastructure investment against affordability as increased truck volumes place pressure on rural roads and aging rural bridges. “Increased economic activity around the district has seen the anticipated number of vehicle movements and especially the number of Heavy Commercial Vehicles (HCVs) on our rural roads increase steadily over the past few years. “Reasons cited include the start of the massive forestry harvest around the central North Island, an increase in larger HCVs servicing farms, council’s own aggregate trucks and more tourism vehicles accessing remote locations.” Ruapehu is of the view that everyone needs to take off their ‘parochial hats’ and work collectively at finding national solutions for these national issues, he adds. “All stakeholders involved including councils, government, NZTA and trucking companies need to work together to find the best solution. “One suggestion is that NZTA could permit HCVs to pay lower road user charges if they use specially designated transport routes that avoid network weak points such as old bridges and weak pavements. “Even though the designated route may be the longer way around the trucking companies are compensated through lower road user charges and NZTA and local ratepayers save from not needing to build a new bridge. “This is generally acknowledged as demand pricing to influence consumption. “For the benefit of NZ Inc, Ruapehu believes it is important that we take a ‘whole of life-least cost’ approach toward managing the road network.”

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Single biggest roading project for the north Whangarei mayor Sheryl Mai says she wanted to jump for joy and you could not wipe the smiles off the faces of councillors when they heard the surprise announcement of a half-a-billion dollar roading project for the Whangarei District. Minister of Transport Simon Bridges announced that work would begin on a four-lane highway to stretch from Whangarei to the Port Marsden Highway roundabout at Oakleigh in 2019. “He made this announcement, out of the blue at the sod turning ceremony for the Kamo Shared Path and everyone burst into spontaneous applause!” she says. “This is outstanding news! I am still stunned!” The project involves the construction of a four-lane upgrade to State Highway One between Whangarei and Point Marsden Highway, an investment of $400 to $500 million over the next five to seven years. Northland Regional Council chairman, Bill Shepherd, who also chairs the Regional Mayoral Forum says: “This is the biggest shot in the arm for economic development in the Northland region in recent times.” Chairman Shepherd says the Mayoral Forum, which includes mayors from Whangarei, Far North and Kaipara Districts, as well as Northland Regional Council, has been working hard to raise awareness of the need for central government to invest in Northland infrastructure. “More and more we are finding when we speak with one voice, great things happen for Northland. “This latest development is a testament that a joined-up approach can achieve better outcomes for our region as a whole.”

Transport Agency and DOC team up The Transport Agency is teaming up with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to protect a native fur seal breeding colony at Ohau Point while contractors are clearing slips on the coastal Kaikoura road and rail corridor. Transport Agency Earthquake Recovery manager Steve Mutton says the agency and its partners in the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) are committed to mitigating any impacts on wildlife as rebuild work progresses. “The slips brought down by the November earthquake at Ohau Point are massive, and the task of clearing them is huge. Ohau Point is also home to the largest fur seal breeding colony on the east coast of the South Island. It is an ecologically and culturally significant site, and the importance of protecting the unique coastal marine environment is a key factor as we develop our plans for the restoration of this section of the transport corridor.” In addition to working closely with DOC, the Transport Agency has also engaged an independent marine scientist to help develop a strategy to manage the seal habitat and protect seals during construction activity. The first phase of the strategy involves a two-week trial, now underway at slip site 7, a 20,000 cubic metre slip north of Ohau Point. The trial is using ‘seal-proof fencing’ and onsite seal herding to keep adults and pups away from the immediate base of the slip site, clear of falling rocks and debris while helicopter sluicing and slip clearance work is carried out. DOC regional manager Roy Grose says early observations of the trial have shown encouraging results. “After some small adjustments, the fencing is working well to keep the seals out of harm’s way. Inspections have shown no seals on the landward side near the slip base, which is a successful result.” There are estimated to be more than 1500 seal pups between Halfmoon Bay and Paparoa Point, about half of which are north of Ohau Stream. Meanwhile, crews are continuing working with helicopters and monsoon buckets to clear the slips north of Kaikoura of loose material to allow safe access for the work crews . Steve says, “We know that people are anxious to see progress on the ground, and we’re working hard to re-open SH1 and the railway line as quickly as possible to re-connect communities and help get the region back on its feet.”

More work at Katikati Following the Government’s announcement of the $520 million Waihi to Tauranga programme in April last year, the Transport Agency included a bypass around Katikati to the programme. “While the Transport Agency will need to undertake further work to finalise the details, they are committed to removing state highway traffic from the town centre,” says Transport Minister Simon Bridges. “The investment being made through this programme will transform State Highway 2 between Tauranga and Waihi, including significant safety improvements which will reduce fatal and serious injury crashes on the route, while at the same time reducing congestion and supporting strong growth along the route.”


Event & Venue


2017 17-18 May 21-24 May 17 Jun 19-21 Jul 23-25 Jul 2-5 Aug 16-19 Aug

Green Pavlova: NZRA’s Parks and Open Spaces Conference, Wellington 5th International SaferRoads Conference, Auckland CCNZ Auckland branch gala awards, Auckland AQA/IoQ Joint Annual Conference, Viaduct Events Centre Auckland Local Government New Zealand Annual Conference, SkyCity,, Auckland CCNZ Annual Conference and AGM, Dunedin Events Centre NZ Heavy Haulage Association, Napier Conference Centre, Marine Parade

Please send any contributions for Contractors’ Diary to, or phone 09 636 5710 12


‘66 1940



‘98 1970



‘16 2000

Eric (with a “c”)


was leading the charge for expanding the family firm’s reach beyond european shores. Rumours of construction growth and mining prospects in the Asia Pacific region provided the perfect excuse for a big OE. Fortunately for him (and us) the whispers were true, and although we’d been ‘worldwide’ for ages, we knew that our Swedish flair for precision european design and componentrycoupled with a state of art assembly facility closer to this rich, new world would allow us to become extremely competitive and create new opportunities for our antipodean customers. So we bought Samsung in 1998. In doing so we also became the first foreign company to invest in Korea. We dig that.

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2017 National Excavator Operators’ Competiton

Battling Hitachi Zaxis 130 (13 tonne) excavators donated by CablePrice on the main course. They had to dig out a trench under a wire and make their way under the wire to the other side. Here, two evenly matched competitors make their breakthrough at the same time.

The 16th NEOC held at Feilding last month was two-days of intense skill sets between 10 contestants representing regional competitions around the country. It is an annual competition, hosted and organised by the Manawatu branch of the CCNZ, that recognises the best excavator operators in civil contracting and is a public show case for the industry in general. And it would not be possible without the sponsorship of CablePrice, Hirepool, Humes, First Gas, Z, and Connexis. We have selected a few pics representing this year’s event and will publish a full competition feature in the May issue of Contractor.

Alistair McIntyre (Doug the Digger) and NEOC event organiser Malcolm Abernethy, CCNZ executive officer, with the FieldDays newspaper showing a photo of the popular mini digger for kids. 14

The extended tilt grab was a new innovation for contestants this year and was well liked for its versatility in the multiple tasks they were required to perform.

To see more NEOC 2017 photos go to our You Tube channel:

Crowds around the children’s mini digger.

Warren Yee from Connexis, a major sponsor of the two-day event, and Tricia Logan, CCNZ events manager who for the past two years has lifted the competition awards night.

Neil Ritchie, aka Turbo Tonsils, has been the master of ceremonies at the national competition for as long as anyone remembers. His lively commentary keeps the crowds informed.

Above: The competition wouldn’t happen without the intense work of volunteers from the host branch – CCNZ Manawatu – including those who prepare the fabulous catering over two days. Pictured is Lynette Elenkiron (her husband Trevor is one of the judges each year), left, and Le-ann Hodgson, also known as ‘Mummy Bear’. Left: Chow time and everyone turns a hand at the BBQ, even Hirepool, one of the major sponsors, and CCNZ chief executive Peter Silcock.

APRIL 2017 15


The tension is always high at the Saturday awards night.

NEOC winners (from left): Sam Scott, Manawatu (NEOC 2017 runner up); Steve Galbraith, Galbraith Earthmovers, Hawke’s Bay (winner); Brandon Crowley, Crowley Excavator (third place and Contractor magazine One Day Cup winner); and Jason Toomer-Reti (Humes Good Bastard Award).


Brandon Crowley representing the BOP on his one-day job task, and winner of the Contractor Magazine One Day Job Cup.

Two Hitachi excavator models were used for the event. The smaller Zaxis 55U (5.5 to tonne) was used for the smaller tasks and the Contractor magazine One Day Job. This was contestant Mike Bowe from the Waikato in action on the first day.


䤀一吀䔀刀䰀伀䌀䬀䤀一䜀 倀刀䔀䌀䄀匀吀 䌀伀一䌀刀䔀吀䔀 䈀䰀伀䌀䬀匀 倀䠀  㠀  ㌀  㐀㠀㠀 吀伀䐀䄀夀

APRIL 2017 17


Esau Mann (left), and Glen Ruma.

Hamm and Vögele smoothing Auckland-headquartered civil construction firm Independent Construction has put its faith in Hamm compaction equipment and Vögele asphalt paver technology, in order to help complete the hard yards in a demanding 24/7 industry.

INDEPENDENT CONSTRUCTION has recently added to its machine

fleet with specialised equipment from Hamm and Vögele; two globally-recognised German brands, distributed throughout Australasia under the road technologies division of parent company, Wirtgen Group. “We looked at a few different supplier options, but having worked with both Hamm and Vögele machines when I was with another major operator, I was pretty familiar and comfortable with the technology on offer,” says Esau Mann, from Independent Construction. “The Hamm and Vögele brands are trusted by a lot of civil earthworks and construction companies, so it didn’t take much to convince Glen that this was the hardware we needed.” Glen Ruma says that, with the rapid growth of Independent Construction, it was vital that whichever machine supplier the company chose, had to offer machines that had a reputation for consistent performance, and also a back-up support service that was local and able to respond quickly. “This is a true 24/7 business and we just can’t factor in breakdowns,” says Glen. “That’s why we always buy new equipment; this gives us the peace-of-mind that we have a distributor with all the right parts and all the knowledge needed to respond quickly if anything were to go wrong. “Wirtgen New Zealand is literally down the road, so that was 18

definitely a factor in our decision to go with Hamm and Vögele for our compaction and paving gear.” While the Independent Construction team has project work on in Northland and the Waikato, the bulk of its week-to-week work is in the busy Auckland market. The sometimes confined nature of a lot of the urban work the company is engaging in dictated the specification of the machines Esau and Glen looked at. “For our rollers, we wanted to get a good amount of power, but we also didn’t want machines that weren’t manoeuvrable in tight environments,” continues Glen. “We went for tandem rollers from Hamm’s HD Compactline range; a Hamm HD 14 VO with both vibrating and oscillating drums, and a pneumatic-wheeled Hamm HD 14 TT. They’re both in the five-ton category but are under three metres long, so offer good operating weights and shorter dimensions. “We can transport them quickly as a result; both at the same time on a low-loader if we need to. This makes job planning logistics easier to manage because we can get one or both of them to opposite ends of the city if it ever came to that,” he says. In addition to large-scale footpath contracts, Independent Construction has recently completed a major project at a public swimming pool in Albany north of Auckland, along with ground works in schools, large car park sites and on subdivisions. The company, which has around 120 staff at present, also counts rehabilitation projects with local councils as regular work.


the road ahead While featuring notably different rolling applications, both the Hamm HD 14 VO and Hamm HD 14 TT are unified by a number of innovative features, including an ergonomically-designed operator station boasting great outward vision for the driver and a uniformly laid-out, simple-to-use instrument panel, low machine height and rugged and reliable Tier 4i Kubota engine technology. The Hamm HD 14 TT also features a 3-point swivel joint for optimum driving comfort, while the Hamm HD 14 VO offers the operator an especially good view of the drum’s outer edges thanks to its concave front-end design. Additionally, Esau and Glen run a Hamm HD 10C VV tandem roller offering dual vibratory drums. Esau says that a roller offering oscillation was high on the must-have list for them. “Oscillation is the way things are going now and because we’re working in urban areas, around houses and shops and sometimes completing night-work, we needed a machine that is less impactful on its surroundings. “Because the oscillating drum stays in contact with the ground, rather than using a hammer action like a traditional vibrating drum, it’s not as noticeable or intrusive for residents or buildings.” In addition to the Hamm rollers, Independent Construction has also recently purchased a new Vögele Super 1303-3 wheeled asphalt paver. As with the company’s roller fleet, a paver which offered decent material through-put, coupled with a reasonably compact footprint was key. The Vögele Super 1303-3 has a base width of 1.85m and an overall length of under 5m, making it a good machine for confined urban environments. The bonus for a busy team like Independent Construction, is the machine’s transport width is minimal, but with an extended screed

the team can pave wider sections; Esau says that with a standard lane width being 3.5m, his crew can go beyond that if need be, but still have a machine that – thanks to its new Pivot Steer functionality – can be used on smaller urban paving jobs. The Vögele Super 1303-3 also features a powerful 74.4kW Deutz engine, a laydown rate of up to 250 tonnes-per-hour, electric screed heating, simple operator controls through the recently-introduced ErgoPlus 3 console, a clever Pave Dock system which makes material loading safer and easier, and an ECO operating mode which reduces noise, fuel usage and wear and tear on parts. “I also really like the tamper vibe functionality in the 1303 because it takes the work off the rollers,” says Esau. “Where we might have needed two rollers completing four or five passes in the past, we can have just one roller on-site with the paver now. “The key thing to remember with this sort of technology on tap, is that your job set-up becomes much more critical. “You can have the best gear in the world on paper, but if you don’t go through and input all the right parameters at the beginning, then you’re not going to get the best out of the machine. But set the paver up right and let it do its thing, and it’s an awesome tool. “In fact, set-up is a straightforward process with both the Hamm and Vögele machines; we looked at these processes with other brands, but it just seemed like a lot of hard work. These machines are very simple to use in order to get the best out of them,” Esau concludes. “You’re only as good as the quality of your work in this business, so you have to invest in technology that’s going to help you achieve that quality.”

APRIL 2017 19


ConExpo 2017 experience Charles Fairbairn attended ConExpo in Las Vegas this year and files his report.

LAS VEGAS IS THE centre of the universe when it comes to

convention centres and big time events. The city of neon lights hosts 22,000 conventions per year, or five to six per day. Most barely register on the city’s maniacal pulse. However, Conexpo-Con/Agg, the machinery and construction equipment show hosted by American Equipment Machinery (AEM) is a different proposition. Excitement levels prior to the show kicked in when I and other Kiwi delegates were somewhere on the edge of Nevada airspace, on a United Airlines flight from San Fransisco. The pilot spoke like a boxing promoter over the intercom: “Ladies and gentlemen shortly we’ll begin our descent into Laaas Vegaaas…” There was time to get settled at the Flamingo hotel on the famous Strip and see some of the city action before work duties kicked in. City by-laws allow adults to carry alcoholic drinks in public and the vibe was one of mellow enjoyment. I booked some shows to see during the week, and these warrant a separate comment. What I did notice was signs, in malls and on neon billboards, welcoming Conexpo delegates to the 2017 show. I arrived by taxi on the first day to the venue and found myself one of 120,000 delegates exploring floor space covering 2.5 million square feet (as the Americans say), and see the sheer scale of this show first-hand. Spread across six halls and open arenas, two and a half thousand vendors were set up in booths and begging for business. Some of the booths covered so much floor-space they had customer service desks and a floor-plan for navigating directions. The big equipment manufacturers, Gough, Volvo, Komatsu and Hitachi were all based in one large hall with a lay-out that must have taken months to choreograph. Luring delegates to participate or engage was easy when you had a virtual reality experience to offer. I ticked ‘Operating a horizontal drill’ and ‘Operating at height’ off my bucket list. And it was good to bump into fellow kiwis. Michael White from Equipment Share was working the floor like a pro when I located his booth. Jeremy Doherty and Bevan Zachan from Doherty Attachments stopped by for a chat, and on the exodus home I’d met Matt Bloy from CB Civil and Drainage. After day one I was a wreck, having walked 15 kilometres, my feet were hot and sore, and my head was spinning. The overall mood probably accounted for much of what I was experiencing. A fellow publisher had likened the mood and access to industry information a ‘turkey shoot’ and AEM had circulated a press-release stating that equipment sales in North America had contributed US$416 million to the economy in 2016. This was a large, exuberant crowd, doing business in a friendly confident fashion. If you get the chance to ever go to this event in the future don’t hesitate. 20

Viva Las Vegas! City of shows MY ACCOMMODATION in Las Vegas was at the Flamingo, in

the middle of The Strip. Locals call it the Flaming-O and like all the casinos on Las Vegas Boulevard, it’s hard to turn off from the fascinating flow of people coming and going. It’s bloody noisy outside too and I needed earplugs to get to sleep, despite being on the 10th floor. At least the Flaming-O was a normal looking building, and not trying to pass itself as, a pyramid, a Venetian palace, an east coast American city or a Roman market place. Vegas has major problems with credit card fraud and identity theft. My driver’s licence has more fingerprints after one week than in the 28 years prior to which I’ve been a licensed driver. Buying a coffee or the newspaper? You need a photo ID. Buying a coffee at the same place three days consecutively? You need a photo ID. Drivers licence requests and sleep issues aside, I found spare time to see plenty of the city outside conference commitments. At any one time there will be world class acts performing in town, either long term gigs or short-term residencies. Musicians, magicians and troupes of dancers entertain the crowds every night. I saw two shows and went to a couple of exhibitions and museums. The first was an adult circus show called Zumanity and performed by Cirque du Soleil. It was promoted as an R-18 rated affair. It was a bit of a waste of money to be honest and things could go further than watching flexible ladies swilling around in a large champagne glass or a dwarf with anger management issues being dangled from a trapeze. The second live show, also a Cirque du Soleil affair, was a Michael Jackson tribute show, and was as memorable as Zumanity was tawdry. A young bunch of dancers performed some sensational dance routines and a hologram of Jacko accompanied them at the curtain call. At the same time, in the same casino (The Mandalay), a lesser-known artist named Billy Idol was also playing. Las Vegas was built, at least partially, by money laundering mobsters, so it was well worthwhile going to the Mobster Museum. Located in old Las Vegas, a few miles north of the Strip, I learned that crime doesn’t pay. Also on my activity list was a visit to the Luxor casino to see the R.M.S Titanic – a show based on items that had been removed from the wreck site. In a town built on escaping reality, I was going against the flow in getting poignant over corroded bed-pans and reading glasses extracted from the bottom of the Atlantic. Getting around the city was easy, and I used Uber or hailed a cab to visit two nearby shopping malls. After five nights I was starting to fade, so it was timely to exit after a full schedule. APRIL 2017 21


A vertiginous stroll The state of Nevada is home to the Hoover Dam, one of the seven wonders of the modern world. While I was sampling the future of civil construction at Conexpo, I was also up for a monument tour. The Dam is only 30 kilometres away from Las Vegas and without it there would be no city in the otherwise dry Mojave Desert. For visitors to the city of neon, the dam is a must-visit. Built during the Great Depression to contain the Colorado River, the structure is a symbol of American civil construction advancement and, 81 years on from its commissioning, is still a dam fine spectacle. I engaged a local tour company and did a half day trip. I’d advise doing a pre-organised tour if you want to fully appreciate the visit. Plus, tour parties get taken inside to see the electric turbines. We also walked across the top of the structure and peered over the steep sides. It’s a vertiginous stroll. This was no ordinary worksite. A town (Boulder City) was built nearby to house the 5000 workers during the project. During the Dam’s construction the thermometer would regularly crack 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius), yet work continued around the clock. Officially, 96 workers died during the build. Yet this was at the height of the Great Depression, and workers could earn good money. There’s a two-lane road across the top of the dam structure, with Nevada one side and the state of Arizona on the other. 22

Looking up river you can see Lake Mead, the large reservoir created by the dam. If our Rob Muldoon had ‘Think Big’ strategy for large-scale industrial projects back in the 1970s, then Herbert Hoover had a Think Huge’ strategy. Lake Mead has a surface area of 640 square kilometres and the dam’s massive turbines generate enough power ever year to supply 1.4 million homes. Until as recently as 2010 interstate traffic used the road atop the structure, meaning visitors to the monument were negotiating serious traffic while simultaneously genuflecting on American construction achievements. A concrete span bridge, officially titled the Mike O’CallaghanPat Tillman memorial bridge, now spans the river gorge high away from the dam road. If a twentieth century concrete monument fails you as a spectacle, then the world’s highest concrete arch bridge provides some twenty first century relief.

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APRIL 2017 23



heavy mover At last year’s Heavy Haulage Conference, industry veteran Sandy Southcombe sat with MARY SEARLE BELL to reflect on his long career as a house mover. Sandy Southcombe

SANDY SOUTHCOMBE HAS been moving buildings in Taranaki for very nearly 50 years. His first move, in late 1967, was an office building, which he hauled on a Thames Trader truck and a $50 trailer. Sandy’s grandson Chris now leads Taranaki Building Removers, which boasts a fleet of International trucks and trailers, as well as a yard full of second-hand buildings, but Sandy is still very much in the thick of things. His passion for the industry began when he was a young boy at school. He would keep scrapbooks, collecting pictures of “anything to do with wheels”. “I’d pinch the odd day off school and watch a house being moved,” he says. After Sandy finished the fifth form at school, he started working in his father’s sawmill in Opunake. When he got his HT licence he began delivering the timber. After his father died, Sandy carried that mill on for a while, but then, at the age of 23, he “put a bit of a trailer together” and he was on his way. “The house moving started off bloody slow so I had to do other things,” he explains. Sandy spotted a gap in the market and began building hay barns and implement sheds for farmers. He would sometimes prebuild the sheds and then transport them to site. “It sort of all evolved from there,” he says. “As you got better known you got more of the house removal work. “But the big hold back in those days was actually getting a transport licence. They were like a court case. They had a kind of judge – an air vice marshall, and I used to say, what the bloody hell would an air vice marshall know about road transport?” The regulations at the time allowed you to transport things you made yourself – and Sandy prebuilt and shifted things like car sheds – but working for someone else was classified as hire and reward, and that, says Sandy, is what he needed a licence for. “You could get a temporary permit, but your opposition could still oppose that,” he says. “But I soon got the right to get temporary permits unopposed, which allowed me to build up a bit of a business.” The country was divided into zones back in those days, 24

and Sandy’s zone in Taranaki – Zone Six – started at Mokau in the north, stretched right over to include Taumarunui and extended south to Whanganui. “The good licences were for the whole of the North Island. For years they would have been your retirement scheme when you sold your business – but that’s all gone now. So guys that paid for them had bought nothing,” he says with a wry chuckle. “In those days, once you got a transport licence, it was compulsory to belong to a recognised association. That was Road Carriers, but they didn’t do a lot for us house movers because of what we did.” Fortunately, in 1979, house movers were invited to join the Heavy Haulage Association, and Sandy says he couldn’t get there quickly enough. “Straight away you were in with guys of a similar sort. Your problems are similar. I’ve been to every single conference since then and made a lot of cronies over the years. “I’ve always said about the association, ‘don’t underestimate the social side of it’. You could be glaring at some bugger for years then get talking to him and find he’s no different to you.” Taranaki Building Removers has made thousands of shifts over the years. Over the course of a few months in the early 1970s, Sandy moved 25 houses and 15 cowsheds for Kiwi Dairy Company. During the 1970s and 1980s the company hauled more than 500 brand new buildings for Keith Hay Homes. However, it hasn’t all been buildings. Sandy says the most unusual thing he has moved in his career is a 42-tonne concrete pioneer monument in New Plymouth. “We only had to move it a few yards but it was years and years old, and we didn’t know how robust it was. I said to the crowd I priced it to, ‘if it falls to bits I’ll probably have to leave the country’.” Fortunately, it didn’t and he was able to continue doing what he loved. “I enjoy something a bit different – rolling a house sideways and the like. It makes you stop and think about how you’re going to do it. Whereas with hydraulic jacks and hydraulic trailers nowadays, it can make house moving a little bit hohum. But something out of the ordinary, I enjoy that.”

These days, Taranaki Building Removers has a team of five, with Sandy’s grandson Chris “stepping into the breach and running the show”, as Sandy terms it. “I don’t do the manual work that I used to, but I go on most of the moves.” Now aged 72 – or “64 plus GST” as he puts it, Sandy still lives in the company yard at Bell Block in New Plymouth. He and his wife Kaye bought it from Keith Hay Homes in 1993 and a few years later shifted a house onto the property. “We enjoyed living there, and I still do.” Kaye died about six years ago, and now

Sandy’s 19-year-old grandson lives with him, an arrangement that suits them both nicely. Four years ago Sandy got the Gus Breen Memorial Award for services to the industry. The accolade came as a big surprise. (His award was covered in the November 2013 issue of Contractor). “I’ve never been so embarrassed in all my life. I didn’t do anything towards deserving that.” Seems Sandy’s peers disagree. It’s clear to see that 50 years on, Sandy is still dedicated to and passionate about things on wheels – especially buildings.

Top: Little International C1840 hauling large house, 1973. Above left: Those small Internationals really could pull big loads – in this case a hall in 1974. Above right: Sandy with his Gus Breen Memorial Award at the 2013 Heavy Haulage Association annual conference.

APRIL 2017 25


Filling the cracks

“People don’t realise how much you get out of giving,” says Tim. “I didn’t. “It has changed me as a person.”


When Kaikoura was severely shaken in the massive earthquake last November, Hawkes Bay contractor Tim Dodge was moved in a completely different way. He was compelled to get down there and help. BY MARY SEARLE BELL.

WHEN CANTERBURY WAS hit with several big earthquakes, Tim had wanted to go down to Christchurch and help with the repairs, but hadn’t been able to. So, when the magnitude 7.8 quake shook Marlborough, he was determined to use his skills and machinery where it was sorely needed. “On the news we only heard about the people in town – the farmers were forgotten,” he told Contractor. “People were helping them – repairing fences and the like – but there weren’t any diggers. “I went to Civil Defence and a farming organisation to find out who needed a hand but they wouldn’t give me names. They told me to stay away,” he says. Undeterred, he persevered. Through a mutual friend, Tim was introduced to Rick and Julia King, who own Middle Hill Station in Clarence, which was devastated in the quake. The damage to the King’s 3500-hectare station has been estimated at $1.5 million. In a December interview with Stuff, Rick said all their infrastructure had been damaged, and the house was only partly liveable. “This new faultline, the Papatea, has gone through the cottage, wool shed, sheep, cattle and deer yards. Insurance only covers certain things, and does not include tracks and fences.” The Kings were one of many farmers in need of help. “Soon I had three farms lined up, which was enough for me to head south,” says Tim. He loaded his 10 tonne Cat onto his transporter, and his five tonner onto the back of his truck – “just in case I got buried in a slip and had to dig myself out” – and set off. When Tim and his diggers arrived at Middle Hill Station, Rick seemed a bit apprehensive. However, he gave Tim a list of jobs and left him to it. Tim soon got to work rebuilding fence lines and tracks, digging up the damaged irrigation system and relaying the pipes, and filling the massive cracks that had appeared in the land. Rick was impressed with the amount of work Tim got through – and, even more, that his work wasn’t just limited to moving dirt. After three days at Middle Hill Station, Tim moved onto the next farm – working tirelessly from 7am to around 10pm each day, and sleeping in a shed at night. In his 11 days in Marlborough, he happily gave his time and expertise to seven farms and ended up with “some of the best friends in the world”. So much so that Tim and his wife went back over Waitangi weekend to holiday with their new friends. Tim stresses that his philanthropy was selfless: “It wasn’t meant to be about me, I was just minding my own business.” But the Kaikoura farmers weren’t about to let this act of charity go unacknowledged. The King family, along with the Chaffey family who Tim had also helped, ran a half-page ad in the Hawkes Bay paper profoundly thanking Tim for his

time and efforts. “For me it wasn’t a big thing, but for them it was massive,” Tim says. “Before I got there, Rick had been beside himself about his farm – shattered – but afterwards he had started to regain hope for the future. “People don’t realise how much you get out of giving,” says Tim. “I didn’t. “It has changed me as a person.” Tim and his wife set up Dodge Contracting 28 years ago. Over that time the company has fluctuated in size – at its biggest it had a permanent staff of 18, more recently it’s been just Tim and his son Matt operating the machinery. Things are changing though, with two new operators recently hired (along with a new accountant), and Tim stepping back to focus on growing the business. The company has also been upgrading its machinery, recently buying two new Caterpillar excavators to add to the fleet. “We have focused our energy on getting our quality of work right and getting good machinery,” says Tim. “We are selective – we don’t do just digging, we do lovely jobs.” This focus on quality has paid off, with Dodge Contracting taking out CCNZ Hawkes Bay regional award for projects under $200,000 for the past three years running. Tim admits to some satisfaction in fending off the ‘big boys’ three years in a row. Last year’s winning project was the construction of a walkway through Otatara Pa – a political minefield involving iwi, DOC and the Historic Places Trust. “It was a very political but very cool job, and it turned out to be our most profitable,” says Tim. Winning the awards has prompted Tim to get more involved with CCNZ, and he urges other contractors to do the same, saying the benefits are well worth it. When he was about to head to Kaikoura, his local branch of CCNZ talked to Z Energy, which then gave Tim a $300 credit on his fuel card to help him get down there. Once in Marlborough, the local farmers wouldn’t let him buy diesel for his machinery, digging into their own pockets to keep him fuelled up. “I think I came home with more diesel than I went down with,” he laughs. The farmers’ appreciation ran to more than fuel though, providing him with all his meals, and happily obliging his Paleo diet requirements, which excludes grains, dairy, and processed foods. In fact, one farmer’s wife followed him from farm to farm each day to give him a Paleo lunch. Such was the level of appreciation for Tim’s work. But Tim says he was just happy to help out. He describes his trip as very satisfying and says he was “pretty emotional” coming home. “If I never do anything else in life, that work’s enough.” APRIL 2017 27



First section of

Kapiti Expressway opens 28

It took just over three years to construct the first section of the four-lane Kapiti Expressway, some four months ahead of schedule. RICHARD SILCOCK was there for the official opening and reviews challenges that faced the contractors. FOLLOWING A FANFARE of events to celebrate

the early completion of the 18-kilometre Mackays to Peka Peka section of the Kapiti Expressway, traffic is now using this road of national significance (RoNS), albeit there is still some work that the contractors have yet to complete. At the official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on February 16, project director for the M2PP Alliance, John Palm said that there was still some work to complete and this included finishing the roundabouts at

the north and southern end of the expressway where it joins the existing SH1. The Alliance, comprising NZTA, Fletcher Construction, Higgins Contractors and Beca was formed to design, construct and deliver this first section of the expressway at the outset of the planning and consent process which involved both the Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC) as a partner and the local community. Over 5000 people have been involved in bringing the $630 million expressway to

Above: Waikanae River Bridge looking west towards Kapiti Island Opposite page: Minister of Transport, Simon Bridges (left) cuts the ribbon to officially mark the opening of the expressway assisted by (from left), Grace Ahern representing young people of the area, local MP Nathan Guy, and Ruby-Mei Franklyn representing local Maori. Open day pictures a section of the expressway looking south with signage and lane separation in place.

APRIL 2017 29


Above: A section of the expressway looking south with signage and lane separation in place. Right: Checking levels during the laying of OGPA. Below right: Crews regularly laid asphalt at night.


fruition, which was originally scheduled for completion in June this year (refer Contractor, November 2015 and August 2016). Travelling from Wellington, the expressway starts just north of Paekakariki on SH1 and runs nearly parallel to the coast to rejoin SH1 at Peka Peka, bisecting the coastal suburbs of Raumati, Paraparaumu, Otaihanga and Waikanae. When the new route through Transmission Gully is completed in 2020 at a cost of around $850 million it will join the expressway at Mackays Crossing. John Palm says the project was challenging to deliver, with a range of community, environmental, cultural and engineering issues to work through. “We knew we must embrace new technology to get this [project] across the line and that has been done throughout by achieving

efficiencies and some New Zealand firsts in terms of the construction – such as the production, on-site of the largest Super-T beams ever made here,” he says. “The 30-metre beams were an integral component in many of the 18 bridges that were constructed for the expressway.” Some of the challenges experienced by the contract team during the three-year plus construction included relocating a natural gas pipeline and other utilities, the creation of 14 hectares of wetlands, dealing with sand, peat, soft subsoils, river silts and a high water table, and building the expressway to withstand major earthquakes and a 1-in-100-year flood. “Work involved a range of engineering techniques to strengthen and compact the ground. This included pre-loading parts of the alignment and using dynamic compaction

Top: Whole route: Graphic showing the route of stage-1 of the Kapiti Expressway. Above left: Pedestrian overbridge and footpath approach, with hand railing to be completed. Above right: Native plantings line the expressway.

APRIL 2017 31


Above: The Alliance, comprising NZTA, Fletcher Construction, Higgins Contractors and Beca was formed to design, construct and deliver this first section of the expressway Above right: Extensive stone work beneath the Wharemaukie Bridge.


around the bridge foundations,” says John. “Concrete lattices were also built to interlock the bridge piles and minimise movement, and stone columns were placed strategically to further compact the ground. “Sixty-ton, iron reinforced silos were constructed to strengthen the bridge piers, the manufacture of which entailed the fabrication of special bracing spreaders to ensure the silos did not buckle when installed into the pile casings.” During the final six months of the project the team had to deal with a particularly wet winter and spring. This severely affected the laying of the final open graded porous asphalt (OGPA) pavement, hampered completion of bridges and roundabouts, the erection of traffic signals and road marking. “OGPA seal was used to minimise road noise for both motorists and communities and provide a far smoother ride,” says John. Construction teams also had to work around or over ‘live’ local roads in some areas. For example at the Poplar Avenue intersection and double roundabout, traffic had to be rerouted temporarily to allow for the building of the expressway on and off ramps. Likewise, the Raumati Straight that runs over a peat swamp and which now forms part of the expressway was drained, compacted, widened and resealed, while traffic used alternating sections of the road. Similarly, construction workers had to work above ‘live’ and busy Kapiti and Te Moana Roads while building overbridges. “As well as the road infrastructure itself we leave a landscape around the new expressway that the community and users of the road will be able to enjoy,” says John. “This includes a 16-kilometre shared cycleway and pathway

alongside the expressway route which has been enhanced by the planting of over 1.4 million native and exotic plants. “We have spent in excess of $200 million locally and utilised local resources wherever we could,” he says. “We gathered our team from the coast [Goodman Contracting of Waikanae did most of the earthworks which involved moving three million cubic metres of earth, sand and peat, refer Contractor November 2015], across the country and from abroad and they came together to provide a superb team.” Group manager infrastructure for the KCDC, Sean Mallon said they expect traffic patterns and volumes will change over time on the district’s local roads as people get used to using the expressway to travel between the coastal towns, to Wellington or up north. “While improvements have been made to key local roads and signage in preparation of the expressway opening, we expect it will take some time for people to get used to the road layouts and accessing the expressway on-ramps,” he says. At the opening, Minister of Transport, Simon Bridges said the expressway will result in faster, safer and more reliable journeys through the region and improve the coast’s resilience to major weather events such as those recently experienced. As well as the official opening, there was a public open day on Saturday 18 February allowing people to walk or bus a five-kilometre section of the expressway and enjoy some of the entertainment and festivities provided for the occasion. The second, $330 million section of the expressway, from Peka Peka to Otaki is scheduled to commence early next year, with

the same Alliance team contracted for the work. Consideration is being given by the current government to then extend it to Levin and maybe beyond, providing an uninterrupted, four-lane link from Wellington Airport north as the Wellington Northern Corridor.

Both the local MP, Nathan Guy and Palmerston North mayor, Grant Smith were in favour of the corridor extending further north saying it made sense and would facilitate and ease the movement of freight and traffic in the lower part of the North Island.

Above left: Maori inspired motifs on a two-tier retaining wall near Waikanae. Above right: Erecting barriers on the Waikanae River twin bridge.

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– the work so far The eventual clearance of $2 billion worth of slips blocking SH1 north of Blenheim could take until Christmas. By HUGH DE LACY. LIKE SH1, KIWIRAIL’S main trunk line between Christchurch and

Blenheim remains blocked by multiple huge slips north and south of Kaikoura, and the best estimates of when those will be cleared range from “a year to god-knows-when”, as one local put it. Clearing the railway line is expected to be a bigger job than building it in the first place – and that took from 1872 until 1945. From the north the line has been cleared through to Lake Ellesmere, but 150 kilometres of it remains impassable. Inevitably the response to the Kaikoura quakes has been compared to that of the 2010-2011 Canterbury quakes which killed 185 people. The Kaikoura disaster repairs will probably cost about a 10th of the $40 billion it’s taking to get Canterbury back on its feet, and the two disasters are notably different in other respects, according to Steve Mutton, the NZTA’s earthquake recovery manager. “The Kaikoura event was really different – different risks, different stakeholder needs, different complications, and it had to be considered in its own right,” he told Contractor. “The principles are the same as SCIRT [the Stronger Canterbury Infrastructure Rebuild Team] where you have strong collaboration between stakeholder parties and very strong stakeholder engagement, but with Kaikoura they had to come up with a different response.” Apart from Wellington, which caught the edge of the mighty upheaval and will lose a couple of dozen high-rise buildings, the Kaikoura series affected mainly rural populations, with the greatest damage being to the transport infrastructure. This prompted the establishment of SCIRT’s little brother, the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery organisation (NCTIR, which the locals pronounce as the ironic acronym ‘nectar’), comprising NZTA, KiwiRail and the major construction companies. Initially NCTIR put the recovery cost at between $1.4 billion and $2 billion, but a more recent assessment has a $2 billion price-tag for clearing the slips and repairing the road north of Kaikoura alone. It’s the slips that present the biggest problem. “There are nine of them and they are massive: one in particular is 300 metres high and contains enough material to fill 300 Olympic-size swimming pools,” Steve says. After canvassing a range of options on how to approach the task, and with the southern access restored, NCTIR launched into the northern biggies back in mid-February. There are four local excavating companies in Kaikoura, 36

and a large chunk of their resources has been committed to building access around each of the slips for heavy machinery, and also to provide footpath access to local residents cut off from the highway. NCTIR has about 100 staff on the job, including designers and a crew based in Kaikoura, and there are other crews still working on upgrading the southern access routes. Until the recent switch in focus last month to the northern access, the biggest concentration of work parties was along the coastal strip between Goose Bay – where SH1 descends from the Hunderlee Hills – and Kaikoura. “We knew how critical it was to get that route open. “It’s still very fragile and we’re using a lot of aerial gear to clear slips,” says Steve. As many as six helicopters at a time have been used in sluicing operations to make the job safer for ground-based machinery. Steve won’t speculate on how much spoil was shifted from the Goose Bay-Kaikoura section, but getting rid of the spoil has presented its own problems, with the shoreline a protected area where simply dumping the stuff into the sea is not a feasible option. Instead the spoil has been stockpiled in the short term. North of Kaikoura the government made an Order In Council allowing NCTIR to dump spoil within the coastal marine area, and the NZTA has developed what Steve calls, “a very robust environmental management plan” to implement it. The same Order In Council established a Restoration Liaison Group which began meeting in mid-January to establish its terms of reference. In Kaikoura itself the biggest challenge is getting the whalewatch dock facilities dug back out after the quakes raised the sea-floor there by more than a metre, restricting access for tour boats to just a couple of hours either side of high tide. To local businesses dependent on the tourist trade, no less than to the Ngai Tahu-owned whale-watch fleet, this is almost as important as road access. Work on the harbour began in late December 2016 and was expected to take six months.





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Latest Certified Civil tradespeople Congratulations to our latest Certified Civil tradespeople, all of whom achieved their certification through Recognition of Current Competence (RCC). They are:

Gregory Robinson of Mike Edridge Contracting, Pelorus Bridge – #CTC0000022 Civil Trades Certified in Road Construction and Maintenance, with endorsements in Road Construction and Earthworks.

Nicholas Middendorf of Headstart Pavements and Excavation

EJ (Edward) Heke of Downer NZ

Paul Hewitt of Downer NZ

Paul Hewitt of Downer NZ, Tauranga – #CTC0000024 Civil Trades Certified in Road Construction and Maintenance, with an endorsement in Road Maintenance. Luther Potgieter – #CTC0000025 Luther achieved his Civil Trades Certification while working for Downer NZ in Tauranga, and has recently taken up a new role with Services South East in Gisborne. He is Civil Trades Certified in Road Construction and Maintenance, with endorsements in Construction, Road Maintenance, Earthworks and Concrete (Non-Structural). Nicholas Middendorf of Headstart Pavements and Excavation, Tauranga – #CTC0000026 Civil Trades Certified in Road Construction and Maintenance, with an endorsement in Road Construction and Earthworks. Wayne Collinson of Connell Contractors, Hamilton – #CTC0000027 Civil Trades Certified in Pipeline Construction and Maintenance, with an endorsement in Trenched.

Wayne Collinson (left) receives his certificate from Adrian Gozdz of Connexis (right 38

Leighton Read of Underground Brown

Aaron Waitai of Downer NZ, Taupo – #CTC0000028 Civil Trades Certified in Road Construction and Maintenance, with an endorsement in Road Maintenance. Leighton Read of Underground Brown, Christchurch – #CTC0000029 Civil Trades Certified in Pipeline Construction and Maintenance, and the first person in the country with an endorsement in Trenchless. EJ (Edward) Heke of Downer NZ, Tauranga – #CTC0000030 Civil Trades Certified in Road Construction and Maintenance, with an endorsement in Road Construction and Earthworks. Richard Dodd of Fulton Hogan Civil South, Christchurch – #CTC0000031 Civil Trades Certified in Road Construction and Maintenance, with an endorsement in Concrete (Non-Structural). • For more information on Civil Trades Call Connexis on Freephone 0800 486 626 or go to

Michael Collett is presented with his certificate onsite by Higgins CEO David Geor (left) and Canterbury Regional Manager Maru Rout (right).

Michael makes his mark Hearing challenges aren’t a barrier to success in the civil industry for one long-time Higgins Christchurch employee. Michael Collett has worked in the civil industry for more than 25 years and has just achieved a New Zealand Certificate in Plant and Equipment Level 3 through Connexis. Higgins representative Kingsley Hannah says: “Having witnessed and assessed Mike on many machines, and spoken to lots of the guys about his work ethic and ability, it gives me great pleasure to have been able to help Mike to achieve a well-deserved qualification.” Connexis customer service area manager Southern, Fiona Malloch, says that Michael achieved the New Zealand Certificate – his first ever industry qualification – through Recognition of Current Competence (RCC). “Michael is passionate about the civil infrastructure industry and was highly motivated to achieve the qualification, which Higgins fully supported, providing sign language interpreters for his assessment. It truly was a highlight for me to assist Michael to reach his goal,” she says. Michael says achieving the qualification hasn’t been easy, partly due to his hearing. “I’m proud of myself. At times it was difficult, but I got there thanks to the patience of my workmates who helped me along with my desire to be the best in the job!” He adds, “I love driving diggers, it’s my passion, and this award has made my challenges along the way all worth it.”

APRIL 2017 39


Top strip: Whites Aviation photos taken as the runway’s construciton took shape. PHOTOS COURTESY OF AUCKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Above: A shot of Roadmakers’ Euclid 16TDT being push loaded by an Allis-Chalmers HD-16. Two Euclid TS-24s go about their business in the background. PHOTO COURTESY OF RICHARD CAMPBELL

Right: It’s never been easy finding a car park at the airport. Aircraft at the air pageant that celebrated the official opening of the airport in January 1966. PHOTO COURTESY OF AUCKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT


A work in progress Auckland International Airport is currently undergoing extensive development and has plans for future expansion. RICHARD SILCOCK looks back on its history and current and future development. FLYING INTO AUCKLAND a few days after their historic flight

across the Tasman in 1928, Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm landed in a grass paddock at Mangere. This paddock with a short grass airstrip running alongside the shores of the Manukau Harbour was home to a few dairy cows and a small fledgling local aero club. A number of other trans-Tasman aviators followed Smith, including Jean Batten who completed her epic solo flight from England in 1936, landing at Mangere after first making landfall at New Plymouth. Today it is the site of Auckland International Airport. Officially opened in January 1966 it is the largest and busiest airport in New Zealand, covering an area of some 1500 hectares. The main concrete runway extends nearly 3.7 kilometres and is capable of handling an all-up aircraft weight of 225 tons. A secondary runway/taxiway parallel to the main runway extends 3.1 kilometres. In addition there are numerous taxiways and aircraft hardstand areas, an international terminal (originally built in 1977) and a domestic terminal (this was the original multipurpose terminal) which was upgraded in 2013, a multi-storey car parking building, large aircraft hangars, aviation workshops, jet-engine testing bunkers, a 1.2 million litre aviation fuel storage depot, a 1.1 million litre water storage reservoir, and an extensive and expanding retail shopping park. There are on average 162,000 aircraft movements each year with 30 airlines (another two international airlines will begin operating early this year) currently operating in and out. As at 31 December 2016 the airport handled 18 million passengers per annum. Auckland International Airport is listed on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges and has a capital value of around NZ$6.85 billion. The airport was first mooted back in 1929 with both the Auckland City Council and the Auckland Chamber of Commerce seeking agreement with the government on a suitable location, financing and construction. Over the next 20 years debate continued over the best site, the cost to construct, the length

of the runway and the sharing of the cost between 25 local territorial authorities and central government. Following construction of the RNZAF base at Whenuapai at the beginning of WW2 and the subsequent use of this facility by civilian aircraft after the war ended, a decision on Mangere was further delayed. It was not until 1948/49, following a report by a British Civil Aviation consortium, which stated “Whenuapai cannot be made to comply with the new international air safety requirements”, that Mangere was again considered. Following extensive investigation and surveys by American airport consultants Leigh Fisher and Assocs, which found in favour of the Mangere site, the land was purchased by the government in 1959 and approval given for construction to begin. The Fisher Report in recommending the site said ease of road access from the city, favourable wind direction and excellent aircraft approach/take-off paths over either the harbour or surrounding farmland made it ideal. It also advocated a shorter runway parallel to the main one and provision for a cross-wind runway. Funding was one of the biggest issues facing the airport committee and as reported in the Auckland Star: “they [the Auckland local authorities] nearly all want a new airport, but in typical Auckland fashion they want someone else to pay for it!”. As a result there was talk of a more modest airport with a shorter runway, however with the advent of jet aircraft, agreement was eventually reached for a runway of 2.59 kilometres. (It was extended to 3.7 kilometres in 1973.) The Ministry of Works (MoW) was tasked with the design and construction. The first stage, involving the clearing of vegetation and topsoil, was commenced in late 1960. Excavations for the runway foundation involved moving tonnes of earth and to allow for the runway length some 64.7 hectares was reclaimed from the harbour utilising material from the excavations. At the height of construction some 170 bulldozers, scrapers, dump trucks and draglines worked the APRIL 2017 41


Levelling newly poured concrete for one of the new aircraft hardstand areas as it ‘cures’ using a long handled spreader.

site from dawn until dusk. Peat and pumaceous sand with extremely high clay/moisture content was an issue, however this was overcome by using drag lines to remove it. Problems were also encountered when it came to laying drains due to the high water table. Despite extremely heavy rain in early 1962 delaying the earthworks, by May of the same year the earthworks for the runway and most of the taxiways had been completed and resembled a shallow one-metre deep canal system. The second stage of the project was awarded to UK firm Taylor Woodrow in collaboration with Wilkins & Davies Construction of Auckland under contract to the MoW for the paving of the main runway, taxiways and aircraft hardstand areas. The excavated runway areas were filled with base course 10.1 centimetres thick, 382,277 cubic metres of compacted scoria to a depth of up to 93 centimetres and a layer of stone chip before the concrete pavement was laid to a depth of 35.5 centimetres. The total paved surface for the runway involved 185,000 tonnes of concrete. Ducting for lighting and other utilities was placed in position as work progressed with over 193 kilometres of electrical wiring, 9.6 kilometres of service ducts and 80 kilometres of drains either embedded or under the concrete. At the same time work commenced on the foundations and concrete floor for the TEAL (now Air New Zealand) aircraft hangar, workshops and maintenance facility. Piles for the 30.4 metre high control tower began in July and a month later a start was made on the foundations for the cargo building which doubled as the interim dual passenger terminal during the initial period of the airport’s operation. Over 12 kilometres of roads, along with kerb and channelling within the airport perimeter and some 80.9 hectares of grassed areas utilising the topsoil from the runway excavations was also completed. With the arrival of Air New Zealand’s first DC8 passenger jet 42

in July 1965 and the transition from Whenuapai, commercial operations began at Mangere on November 24th of the same year. At the official opening on 29 January, 1966, Prime Minister, Hon Keith Holyoak, said the airport was: “A milestone in the history of New Zealand aviation in general and for Auckland in particular as it signified Auckland’s growing importance as a commercial centre and as a gateway to New Zealand.” Since the opening, the stand-alone international terminal has been constructed and the runway extended. There have also been various upgrades to both the domestic and international terminals (the latter in 2005) to cater for the increase in the number of airlines, size of aircraft etc, the creation of more parking areas, and the development of the retail area in the northern precinct. Currently, extensive work is being carried out on the extension of some existing taxiways, the construction of a new taxiway and the addition of new hardstand areas to the west of the international terminal to accommodate the A380 aircraft now operating into the airport. This work, which is being carried out by Brian Perry Civil (BPC is a trading brand of Fletcher Construction), also includes the installation of underground fuel pipes and is expected to be completed soon. “Twenty-two thousand cubic metres of concrete has been used for the taxiways and hardstands which are equivalent to six ruby fields in size,” says Matt Findlay, project manager for BPC. “We are utilising our own onsite concrete batching plant to maintain supply and doing a lot of the work at night to minimise disruption.” A huge Bidwell concrete paving machine, which straddles the width of the taxiway, is being utilised to lay 500 to 550 cubic metres of concrete per day. Additional access ramps are also being installed to cater for the A380 aircraft. Many aviation experts and pilots rate the airport as one of the best in the world. The flight approaches over the harbour or open country are seen as almost ideal, with the main

The new taxiway required the pouring of 27,000 square metres of concrete. This giant Bidwell concrete paving machine is able to lay concrete at a rate of 500 square metres per day.

runway aligned to the prevailing south-westerly or nor-westerly wind. The airport is equipped with the latest navigation and landing aids, including a twin locator approach guidance system, instrument landing systems (ILS), and very high frequency omni-directional radio and radar. Plans are in place to extend the airport further over a 30-year time-frame with an additional runway (2150 metres) capable of handling smaller aircraft. General manager for airport development, Graham Matthews, says it is predicted the airport will become a global hub by 2044 with a throughput of some 40 million passengers per annum. “Over the next five years we will spend in the region of $1 million per day in development,” he says. “This will include a $180 million expansion and makeover of the international terminal, further expansion of the aircraft hardstand areas, and construction of a new five-star hotel. Work will also start on the construction of a new domestic terminal that will form part of a single, integrated terminal building.” It is also understood consideration is being given for a future rail or light rail link to the city by Auckland City. The development and infrastructure that now comprises Auckland International Airport has come a long way since those daring aviators of the 1920s and 30s landed on a grass strip in a paddock alongside the Manukau Harbour. It is fitting that Jean Batten’s small single-seat aircraft is proudly displayed in the departure lounge of the international terminal.


• See next month’s follow up story in Contractor’s May issue on historical classic machines and the Auckland Airport runway build.




APRIL 2017 43


ConstructSafe – providing powerful information PETER SILCOCK, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, CCNZ

DO YOU WANT TO ensure that the people working on your sites have entry level health and safety knowledge? If they don’t, would it be useful to know about the gaps in their knowledge so they can get the right training and development? If the answer to either or both of those questions is ‘yes’ then a simple solution is now available – ConstructSafe testing. ConstructSafe is run by the not-for-profit industry organisation the Construction Safety Council (CSC). Unlike many other, some quite dubious, schemes out there it is not training for the sake of it. It is simply an assessment of an individual’s entry level construction industry health and safety knowledge. Many schemes that clients have specified in the past require people to undertake training (without knowing if it is needed or not) or to subscribe to a particular system (even though the contractor may have a perfectly good system already in place). ConstructSafe tests an individual’s knowledge. There is no hiding in the back of a training room, hoping that you won’t be asked a question or simply nodding when someone asks you if you understand. The test which is based on a freely available competency framework developed by the CSC uses visual and audio assistance which makes it accessible for people with low levels of literacy. Candidates touch/click the screen or choose from a multiple choice list. Each test includes 50 questions drawn from a larger question bank. Over 5000 people have now been tested and the average time to take the test is 38 minutes. Using mobile test centres, the interactive internet-based testing (overseen by test supervisors) has meant that many workers have been tested onsite. It is not however a breeze. A score of 85 percent is required to pass and to date about three quarters of people achieve that. If people don’t pass they get feedback and another chance to re-sit within one month at no cost from the CSC. In fact, a standard part of the test, whether you pass or fail, is that the system provides feedback on the areas of weakness and strength. So, even those who pass get some great information about where they can improve. Many contractors are already seeing the benefits of the system saying that it is enabling them to better target their training budgets and customise individual training requirements. The other major benefit is that the test is faster and easier to deliver onsite so there is less downtime involved with people travelling to centralised training centres. Strengths and weaknesses can also be analysed at a national or

By passing the ConstructSafe assessment workers prove that they have the base level of health and safety knowledge. It provides evidence to everyone that the individual knows how to protect their own and their workmates’ health and safety. region-by-region level and with the right approvals the system can also provide you with overviews of groups of people, eg, companies. ConstructSafe has already generated some powerful information. For example, the testing is showing that there is confusion about some signage. We can pick that up because we can look at the pass/fail rate on particular questions. The industry can then take action to review the signs or provide more information to people onsite. The CSC makes no apology about the pass rate. The industry is serious about improving health and safety. ConstructSafe is a major step forward and has quickly become the civil construction standard. More clients now need to update their processes and systems to support, endorse and accept ConstructSafe. NZTA, Wellington Water, Auckland Area DHB, Whangarei District Council – roading, and a number of other clients have committed to ConstructSafe as have our major civil contractors Fulton Hogan, Downer, Fletcher Infrastructure, HEB, CPB and McConnell Dowell. Over the next few weeks CCNZ will be making presentations to three meetings involving many council representatives and our regional managers and branches are presenting ConstructSafe to councils all over the country. By passing the ConstructSafe assessment workers prove that they have the base level of health and safety knowledge. It provides evidence to everyone that the individual knows how to protect their own and their workmates’ health and safety. More importantly it empowers us all by providing information to help us better manage our health and safety. For further information, www.constructionsafetycouncil.

Postal Address: PO Box 12013, Thorndon, Wellington 6144 Physical Address: Margan House, 21 Fitzherbert Terrace, Thorndon, Wellington 6011 Phone 0800 692 376




CONSULTANTS PLAY AN important role in the successful delivery of

projects. They are usually involved far earlier than contractors and have a significant influence on a project’s procurement and delivery strategy. On top of this, the consultant team is the main point of contact with the contractor during construction and is expected to drive performance. However, all that influence is not necessarily reflected in the legal structure of most projects. This is a big issue in the construction industry and something we should be taking steps to remedy. The diagram (top) shows the legal structure adopted in ‘traditional’ construction projects in which principals engage consultants directly, then source and engage contractors at a later stage. Importantly, this is a separate contract structure and the ‘only’ common connection between the two is the principal. The effect of this is that all parties’ incentives are separately aligned to the principal under the separate contracts. Not to the interests of the project, or even the principal’s best interests. Many issues can arise during the project directly related to that project structure. These range from poor tender documents, especially as a result of compressed tender timeframes, to omissions from design documents, resulting in increased variation claims and slow progress on site. In all those situations, a contractor will be entitled to an extension of time and a variation for additional costs. This extends beyond the design consultants to project managers’ conduct during projects, particularly the timeframes for response to a contractor’s requests for information. This has a significant effect on the project including delayed completion and additional costs, for little or no benefit. Typically this results in a principal simply telling the contractor and consultant team to sort this out among themselves. There is no legal basis for that approach. There is no direct relationship between the contractor and consultants in the traditional structure. The principal is likely left in the position of having to pay the contractor its variation costs and to extend time, and only being able to recover those costs from the consultant where it can establish a breach of the consultant’s duties under its contract. These duties will be different depending on the services each designer is engaged for.

in design development and tendering placed pressure on timeframes for engaging the contractor. The Trust wanted construction to start so that prospective students would see construction underway and still enroll at the college. TTPM therefore issued a letter of intent on November 17, 2003 approving works to commence and the contractor to recover costs up to £75,000 while the contract terms and price were finalised. The contract price was agreed in February 2004 based on an agreement of the value engineering that Kier had suggested. However, there were other outstanding items, particularly agreeing which party would bear the additional consultant costs from the value engineering process. That issue was ultimately not resolved. However, TTPM and the Trust continued to issue revised letters of intent progressively increasing the value that Kier could claim. The last letter of intent approved expenditure up to the full contract price. Kier completed the works to a good quality, but significantly late. Kier claimed extensions of time and prolongation costs. The Trust claimed £750,000 in liquidated damages. The Trust and Kier attended a mediation where they agreed to sign a construction contract, Kier waived its claim for prolongation costs, and the Trust dropped the liquidated damages it was pursuing. The Trust subsequently commenced proceedings against TTPM for professional negligence, claiming that TTPM should have procured the execution of the construction contract. The Trust claimed that failure resulted in a loss to the Trust, as it was unable to claim liquidated damages against Kier. The judge said that TTPM should have taken positive action to remove obstacles to finalising the construction contract, and should have applied additional pressure to Kier commercially at a senior level, including withholding further letters of intent. This was because the risk to the Trust increased with each subsequent letter of intent. On the basis that TTPM owed those duties to the Trust, and had breached that duty, the judge held that the Trust could recover £226,667 from TTPM, having regard to the chance that Kier would have signed the contract and some other causation issues.

For example

What are the lessons learned?

This issue was demonstrated in Ampleforth Abbey Trust v Turner & Townsend Project Management (TTPM), a UK case dealing with the scope of a project manager’s duties. In this case, TTPM was the project manager on three separate projects for the provision of new boarding accommodation at Ampleforth College on behalf of the Trust. The case concerned the third project, known as the ‘H5 works’. Kier Northern was appointed as the contractor for this third project. This was to be a design and construction contract. The project followed what is all too often a ‘typical’ path. Delays

First, while letters of intent are a valid step in certain projects, these are only an interim step and need to be followed by a formal document. Second, issues need to be dealt with promptly. Take steps to address them, don’t prolong the situation. Finally, consider the right structure of your project at the start to ensure everyone’s incentives are aligned to produce the best result for the project, this could include engaging a contractor early for input during the design phase, or looking at a design and construct model, to name two options. APRIL 2017 45



WE CAN’T PREDICT when an earthquake will occur but it is

possible to manage infrastructure to ensure that as little damage as possible occurs and that underground utility networks are able to function during and after earthquakes. In order to recover quickly from major earthquakes, underground utilities must be able to absorb, accommodate, and recover from the effects of a seismic event in a timely manner. It’s with this in mind, following the Canterbury quakes, that Opus International Consultants and GNS Science worked together to develop new guidelines and comprehensive standards for underground utilities in a specifically New Zealand context. The project, Underground Utilities – Seismic Assessment and Design Guidelines, was funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE). The guidelines have been designed in compliance with the National Infrastructure Plan, Civil Defence Emergency Management Act (2002), Local Government Act (2002) and Health and Safety at Work Act (2015). They are aimed at providing a user-friendly framework for asset managers, designers and local councils to integrate seismic resilience into buried infrastructure and help drive infrastructure resilience into businesses. Specifically the guidelines enable practitioners to: • A ssess the vulnerability of existing underground utilities to seismic events.

Establishing Target Post-Event LOS

Assess the System’s Vulnerability Improve Resilience of Existing Systems Providing New Seismically Resistant Utilities


• I dentify and prioritise measures to improve the resilience of current networks. Resilience is defined as making a network less susceptible to damage incurred by seismic activity. • D esign and install new utilities that have an acceptable level of resilience to earthquake events. These guidelines integrate data generated and models based off the Canterbury quakes along with international research. This has produced a unique New Zealand specific model for seismic resilience design. While the model can be applied to all underground services, the report mainly focuses on wastewater, stormwater and potable water infrastructure.

Preventative actions and smart design are essential The seismic resilience framework breaks down the complex challenge of infrastructure resilience upgrades into a simple, easy-to-follow process.

Establishing a target post-event Level of Service (LOS) Establishing a target post-event level of service is an iterative process. Frameworks are provided for balancing the legally required level of service needed by importance level (IL) 3 and 4 infrastructure with flexible, consultation based levels for IL 1 and 2 structures.

• Define desired levels of service

• Assess system vulnerability (where and how system will be affected) • Estimate restoration time • Identify where levels of service are not met

• Identify and prioritise system improvements and investments • Upgrade infrastructure strategically

• Continue to monitor, upgrade and build seismically resistant infrastructure • Consult with affected community – reassess desired levels of service

The cost benefits of resilient infrastructure The guidelines report points out that the cost-benefit ratio of resilient infrastructure has been estimated by the United Nations to be up to 1:10. In Canterbury, the quakes caused extensive damage to 300 kilometres of sewer pipes and 124 kilometres of water mains. The cost to rebuild all horizontal infrastructure was estimated, in mid-2013, at just over $3.3 billion. Some of the findings from the Canterbury quakes and incorporated into the guidelines include: • T he earthquake motion and the way the ground responds has far more influence on damage than shaking and other forces resulting directly from earthquakes. • A xial forces along pipes cause the majority of the damage. Most of the damage occurs at pipe joints. Bending and other transverse loading tends to only cause damage in brittle pipes. • A ll utility materials sustained damage in the earthquakes but modern flexible pipe material generally suffered a lot less damage than older, more brittle pipe materials. • L arger pipelines typically sustain less damage than smaller pipelines. Service pipe connections sustain the most damage. Even modern PE service pipes sustained significant damage in the earthquakes. This was attributed to failure at mechanical couplings where inserts had not been used. • G ravity pipes located in areas where liquefaction or lateral spread occurred experienced significant differential ground deformation, causing their grade to be reduced and dips to occur. This affected all pipe materials. • T he performance of the ground influences the ability of the system to remain in service. Experience in Christchurch was that if the ground liquefied then the wastewater system blocked regardless of the amount of damage sustained. This is because of sand and silt entering through gully traps and manholes even where pipelines were undamaged. • T he time it takes to restore service is affected by both the amount of damage incurred and by the ground conditions. Ground conditions affect ground stability and liquefaction during aftershocks which hinders access for repair and inspection. • T he quantum of damage sustained to non-critical pipes often controlled the time it took to restore service. For example, the lifting of the boil water notice on the potable water system was largely governed by the time it took to repair the multitude of small leaks that occurred on service connections rather than the condition of the larger pipelines that the services were connected to. • A lternative means of providing service, such as the provision of portable toilets can be used but they take time to install and the public can only tolerate them for so long. • R estoration of service involves several phases. It may take many years to fully restore service to the pre-earthquake condition. Priorities and needs change as restoration progresses through these phases. The guidelines specify increasing levels of design sophistication based on the importance level of the utility. For instance, most utilities will not require any further specific design but utilities in the two most important categories will require the equivalent static design method and finite element modelling.

Adopting procedures outlined in the guidelines can mitigate or avoid damage due to liquefaction, surface rupture and slope. More importantly the limitations of damage predictions can also be assessed using the guidelines, and a ppropriate redundancy can be designed into the system. Assessing the system’s vulnerability The guidelines establish parameters for earthquake design using peak ground accelerations that can be readily derived or calculated. The damage of earthquake movements to a utility can then be estimated using fragility function processes and break rate modelling provided in the guidelines. The response of the ground to earthquake activity is also taken into account by procedural outlines. This is a lesson taken from the Canterbury earthquakes which revealed permanent ground deformations significantly influence the amount of damage to buried utilities, the extent of service lost and the required time to restore service. Adopting procedures outlined in the guidelines can mitigate or avoid damage due to liquefaction, surface rupture and slope. More importantly the limitations of damage predictions can also be assessed using the guidelines, and appropriate redundancy can be designed into the system.

Improving resilience of existing systems This section uses economic analysis to quantify resilience improvement measures by reducing exposure to hazards, increasing the speed and effectiveness of response, increasing the flexibility of the system to adapt and improving the robustness of utilities. The guidelines illustrate how this can be achieved in a cost-effective way entailing minimal expenditure.

Providing new utilities that are seismically resistant The guidelines provide structure for resilient utilities by strategically avoiding areas of poor ground performance, limiting consequential damage to other utilities as well as providing sufficient redundancy, robustness and ease of repair.

The road to recovery is paved with prior planning The most effective post-emergency systems have been carefully planned well in advance and can move away from an emergency stage quickly. The use of this guide comprehensively enables service providers to do so in a uniquely New Zealand way best suited to tailor recovery to local needs. • For more information go to Underground Utilities – Seismic Assessment and Design Guidelines APRIL 2017 47



YOUR KNOWLEDGE AND experience governs what you do in your

business and your life, and it is change that pushes growth and adds to your experience and knowledge. Changes in regulations and rules can add or subtract to and from your business especially if you are unprepared or have not been involved in the process. Changes in technology can increase human capability through easy access to information. It encourages innovation and creativity and improves communication. It helps businesses to increase production and helps staff to upskill. Technology improves on human resource management and can save time. It creates mobility and employees can work from anywhere at any time. There is a cost and that is the resistance to change. Employees and management alike fear for their place and their ability to cope with new technology. There is an old saying: “If you keep doing the same thing, then you will keep getting the same results.” This may mean that you are happy in your comfort zone and that is a good thing, or maybe stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t appeal to you. Doing something different scares you. “The key to change is to let go of your fear.” These days, the business climate means making sweeping changes to grow and survive. We live and work in a knowledgebased economy and global transformations can completely change how we do business.

Think globally and act locally. Today, the creation and application of new knowledge is essential to the survival of most businesses and there are many reasons why this is so. Knowledge has become a commodity in the global market and yet many companies don’t realise the value of knowledge. Our problem as an organisation is that we don’t know what we don’t know. Technology, business and social change is accelerating and as things change so does our knowledge base erode. In some businesses, as much as 50 percent of what you knew five years ago, is probably obsolete today. Knowledge is a perishable and is increasingly short-lived. If it is not used, then it rapidly loses value. To overcome this issue, businesses need to create a knowledgesharing culture. This is where knowledge sharing becomes the norm. Collaboration and sharing will ultimately make the business more effective. This doesn’t mean a business has to be politically naïve or open about absolutely everything. The purpose of knowledge sharing is to help an organisation to meet its business objectives.

Acting productively on the knowledge. Learning to make knowledge productive is as important if not 48

more important than sharing knowledge. A study in 2014 found that the average worker who interacts with others spends an estimated 28 percent of their work week managing emails and nearly 20 percent looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks. This means that streamlining knowledge management could have a significant impact on the productivity of an organisation. So, by making information accessible and well organised it will help unlock the value of the collective knowledge held by the employee. Enhancing knowledge in an organisation can lead to significant benefits for the employee and employer. The following are ways to achieve those benefits: • Using socialisation as a tool – You will have heard of the old saying that a person gets more done networking in a social environment than sitting at work. Maximise that in your business. • Encourage dialogue and collaboration – Today’s employee wants to feel that their voice is heard within the organisation and they place a high premium on collaboration. They are active users of mobile and social technology, and do not want to stand on the sidelines. Create opportunities for employees to share their thoughts and ideas with each other and allow for improvisation. • Solicit feedback and questions – Ask employees for help and solicit opinions, expertise and advice. Share what you do and ask your team how they would do it differently. • Generate new ideas – Open up crowd-storming and collaborative brainstorming. This allows you to identify potential change and collect a broad range of perspectives to develop solutions in an intuitive, user-friendly forum. • Centralise information – Develop a centralised repository where your business knowledge can live and so employees can access it when they need to. SafeCrane is a knowledge repository that has been created by the Crane Association of New Zealand (Inc) to provide guidance on how to create a safe workplace for crane operation. This information has been obtained from industry stakeholders and is there to guide and make crane businesses more productive through the sharing of knowledge. The Crane Association of New Zealand is committed to sharing this knowledge with the industry and can be viewed at www. Ultimately, employees are more likely to share information and grow a company’s productivity and competitive advantage when they feel heard, have access to the knowledge and resources they need, and have a positive environment with leaders who are committed to collaboration.


Diet and weight loss – keep it simple JANET BROTHERS, LIFE CARE CONSULTANTS

WE ALL KNOW that our weight has a lot to do with how we feel

about ourselves and our level of productivity, not only at work but also at home. Our weight is all about how much energy goes in and how much energy we use – it doesn’t get much simpler than that! So how come a high percentage of our population have overweight issues? There are so many conflicting theories out there and often one option will work for one individual but not for the next person. Going back a few years, fat used to be the big no no, and then it was cholesterol and now it is carbohydrates. I wonder if proteins will be the next enemy? The Paleo diet has come and gone. It is a diet based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit and excluding dairy or cereal products and processed food. All diets can be easily ‘sold’ – in the Paleo diet, it says eat saturated fats like we used to in the caveman era – but no processed foods. What they don’t say is that cavemen’s life expectancy was 32 years of age! The no carbs, high fat diet is also convincing when they say that if there are no carbohydrates for energy, the body will start to use fat for energy – this sounds good too. What happened to ‘everything in moderation’? Our bodies are complex structures and we need many vitamins, minerals,

carbohydrates, fats and proteins for optimal health, so variety is not only the spice of life but also the best means for a healthy diet. Excluding one food type is often not sustainable, but also how can the body function at its optimal level without a full complement of fuel? We tend to enjoy eating and often eating is an important part of our social life so how can we manage our diet and our weight when food is such an integral part of our life? We all know that some foods are really high in their energy source and other foods are relatively low as an energy source, so if we enjoy eating and don’t want to pile on the weight we need foods which allow us to eat as much as we like but not require us to run a marathon every night just to use the energy we have taken on board. As an example – a meat pie for lunch can leave us feeling hungry, however for the same amount of energy input we can have three Vogel sandwiches filled with chicken and salad and feel full or better still have two at lunchtime and one at smoko and have sustained energy for the day. This is only good news for people who like to eat and enjoy food! So, the morale of the story is to forget all the fads, everything in moderation and variety is the spice of life. If you want a pie on a cold winter’s day that’s cool; you probably just don’t need one every day of the week. And the more you like to eat, the healthier the food needs to be so you don’t add to the overweight and obese statistics of our country.


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A view taken inside Hewco’s Huntly manufacturing facility in the late 1960s. In this photo you can clearly see two finished LD3 Scoopmobile wheel loaders with the prefabricated components of at least six others on the workshop floor. To the extreme right of the photo there is a Moore rubber tyred compactor awaiting a paint job. (Photo: Author’s collection)

Forgotten companies – Hewco Our country has produced over the years many forward thinking and innovative companies. In the mid-1940s another one was born, in Huntly of all places, producing imaginative designs and filling the needs of industry – Hewco. By RICHARD CAMPBELL. THE HUNTLY ENGINEERING and Welding

Company, Hewco, was the brainchild of John ‘Jock’ Wright who founded the company in 1945 when he was just 22 years old. A finer example of the ‘number eight wire’ mentality, partly created by our isolation from the rest of the world, would be hard to find. It was that ‘can do’ attitude which was at the heart of Hewco and the rather diverse range of equipment that it manufactured. Being so far away from international suppliers meant that some times, folks had to make do or improve on what they had as tariffs made buying new equipment expensive, sometimes requiring overseas funds. 50

All the heavy equipment suppliers of the time had to forecast what spare parts they thought they would need months in advance as parts orders were sent by sea, a journey that could take eight weeks or more. Fast container shipping was quite a way into the future and there was no airfreight service in those days. If something broke down, you had to hope your dealer had the necessary parts. If not, you worked out a way to make the machine operable again or it lay idle. Hewco filled that void to quite a large degree by repairing machinery and manufacturing new equipment using local components or adapting existing

items that were in plentiful supply. It was a very innovative company. Many of Hewco’s creations were powered by the reliable 52 horsepower Fordson Super Major diesel agricultural tractor. It would be hard to imagine how Hewco could have built the machines it did without this tractor which was in widespread use throughout this country and the Commonwealth. Hewco used the Fordson in ways that the original designers would never have dreamed. Probably the most spectacular of these creations was the ‘Twin-Six’ motor scraper. It was extremely ingenious in its design



1. The Hewco Log-Lugger, a one-off design which attempted to take on Clark & Timberjack skidders in the forestry scene. Fordson is well to the fore in this design and even credited in the decals. The machine was probably just too light to take on the bush which is why this is the sole example. PHOTO: AUTHOR’S COLLECTION

2. The extremely successful LD3 Scoopmobile, built under licence from Moore of Australia. Interestingly, Moore didn’t design the machine either; the actual origin of the machine is American from the Mixermobile company which became part of Wabco. Scoopmobiles could be fitted with pallet forks or a logging grab and were very popular amongst those with limited budgets. They were powered by a Perkins 4-270D diesel engine and had a powershift transmission. PHOTO: AUTHOR’S COLLECTION


3. Home grown Hewco 10-ton straddle carrier awaits delivery to its new owner. The Fordson Super Major power pack is well in evidence. Based broadly on the American Hyster, the Hewco had a flavour all its own, especially with that modified truck cab! The rear wheels were driven by roller chain drive. PHOTO: AUTHOR’S COLLECTION

4. A Hewco six cubic yard hydraulic scraper with Clyde Engineering decal on the side arms. This dates the photo as post-1962 after Clyde bought Hewco out. The scraper was based on an American Heil design which was originally cable-controlled, Hewco adapting it for hydraulic operation. Ejection was roll-out and occurred after the apron had reached its maximum height. This clever sequencing meant only two hydraulic circuits were required to operate it. 4


APRIL 2017 51


1. H  ewco Roll-Pax test compactor designed for heavy compaction of near finished surfaces. Of extremely simple design, the Roll-Pax was fitted with four 18.00 diamond tread tyres and could be ballasted with water or sand up to 25 tons. Attachments of this type were popular in the 1950s & 1960s for ‘proofing’ dams and airport runways. They never wore out! PHOTO: AUTHOR’S COLLECTION



2. Unusually featuring a Massey-Fergusson powerplant, this rubber tyred asphalt compactor is a variation of the Moore design that Hewco normally produced. It is the only one the author has seen in this configuration and may have been a one-off for a special customer. PHOTO: AUTHOR’S COLLECTION

3. This rather Heath-Robinson looking object is one of the first mass-produced Hewco items, a fertiliser spreader. Study the photo well – there are exposed gears chains and belts everywhere but it was a simple device and it worked. You can’t ask for more than that. PHOTO: AUTHOR’S COLLECTION



and execution featuring a Fordson engine front and rear and a licence built Heil six cubic yard hydraulically operated bowl (that Hewco was already manufacturing). The transmissions were electro-pneumatically shifted – true Kiwi ingenuity. Hewco built and sold nine of these machines, with one going to Australia where it was marketed by Steelweld with a view to production in Australia. Hewco also built a single engined Fordson powered scraper prior to manufacturing the Twin-Six, however only one of these was built. Although many of Hewco’s inventions were one-offs to fulfil a particular need, there were quite a few others that went into serial production. Built under licence from Moore Australia was the LD3 Scoopmobile wheel loader, and a range of Moore-designed multi-tyred asphalt compaction rollers. These were very popular with city councils

which, more often than not, had limited funds, but didn’t have to go through the import licensing channels in order to get what they needed. Home grown serial production items were the ‘Roll-Pax’ pneumatic-tyred test roller, ‘Roll-Chief’ steel wheel self-propelled road roller, a 10-ton capacity wood straddle carrier, logging trailers, dozer blades for Track Marshall crawler tractors, fertiliser spreaders (one of Hewco’s first massproduced products), fruit pressers, conveyors ‘Load Lugger’ skip body conversions for Ford D series trucks, and the highly successful ‘Hydrapax’ series of refuse disposal bodies which could be fitted on the chassis of most trucks of the day. In fact, Hewco’s range of products was so diverse that this article cannot do the company justice, so I have included as many photos of the interesting goodies that came out of Huntly as is possible within the space available. Mention must also be made of Hewco’s larger parent, Clyde Engineering, which bought Hewco in 1962.

4. A Hewco ‘Quad-Major’ 4x4 tractor, one of only three manufactured. The Quad-Major was aimed directly at the agricultural market and designed to take on the Ford County. The Fordson Major heritage is well in evidence. Hewco cleverly grafted the final drive and gearbox of a second tractor onto the rear to get four-wheel drive. The author understands that they were particularly well suited to discing. PHOTO: AUTHOR’S COLLECTION 5. Mounted on an International 504 tractor, this is a Hewco drill rig. Hewco designed several drills and post hole borers over the years. It probably fails to meet several OSH standards these days but was a cheap and simple tool for the times. PHOTO: AUTHOR’S COLLECTION

6. The legendary ‘Twin-Six’ motor scraper. This is the prototype under test at what the author believes is O’Reilly’s opencast mine in Huntly. Things of note are the fact that the machine is right hand drive, the extreme rear length and the hydraulic pump sticking out from the front engine. A total of nine of these machines were built. Later builds had a guard around the pump and a diagonal bar from the top of the gooseneck to the front of the radiator for added support.



7. Of all the products that Hewco manufactured, this one, the Hydra-Pax refuse body, was the most popular and sold in the greatest quantity. Most city councils had one or more of these at one stage or another. The HydraPax was a true Kiwi success story, entirely designed and built here. This one is mounted on a Bedford chassis.


Clyde Engineering was the transmission dealer here for Euclid, Detroit Diesel and Allison, so the acquisition of Hewco seemed a logical step in its diversification. Clyde took some pride in marketing Hewco’s products and ran the company as an engineering subsidiary. This went well until the mid-1970s when hard times struck and the company was sold off and liquidated – a very sad ending to such a pioneering Kiwi company. Some Hewco machines can still be found operating and a few others have been preserved for posterity, notably a ‘Twin-Six’ motor scraper that survives in the collection of the late Graeme Craw in Dargaville.



For the Model Collector Unfortunately I know of no models ever produced of Hewco equipment. If any do exist, I am very keen to hear about them.


APRIL 2017 53


Cellphone vehicle safety checks Road charging and compliance technology provider EROAD has launched a new mobile app called Inspect, which provides operators with the ability to perform quick and easy pre- and post-journey safety inspections. By CAMERON OFFICER. EROAD developed the app to help customers meet increasingly stringent health and safety obligations. Company CEO, Steven Newman, says such pressures are being felt by transport operators globally. “Keeping vehicles and assets safely maintained is a complex problem for our customers,” says Steven in a press release accompanying the product launch. “We’re delighted to be helping solve that problem with a simple, elegant solution that they can customise to suit the vehicles in their fleets, to improve safety and reduce the administrative costs of manual inspections.” The company says its Inspect app eliminates paper and offers a ‘one-size54

fits-all’ approach to inspections. The Inspect app guides drivers through inspections, enabling operators to assign configurable inspection templates to a vehicle or asset. It also automatically records and saves the information input by drivers, providing an accurate record of inspections that operators can rely on for safety compliance. Following the safety assessment, Inspect allows operators to submit reports electronically. It interfaces with EROAD’s web application, Depot, with exception-based reporting that shows vehicle managers or maintenance staff back at the office items that have failed an inspection or require attention. Configurable templates mean drivers can select an inspection type – truck,

tractor, vehicle or equipment – and assign it to a vehicle in Depot. Steven says the app – which is available for both Android and Apple devices – would be useful not only for heavy vehicle operators, but to anyone operating a vehicle or a fleet of vehicles in their business. “With web access to the information, it makes it easy for fleet managers to stay ahead of maintenance to keep vehicles in prime operating condition. Plus, clear records exist of all checks to demonstrate an operators’ care and attention in looking after their vehicles and their drivers,” he says. “We see a wide scope for this product because it isn’t just the big trucks that need regular inspection checks.”

Upgraded Foton Tunland hoping to offer more bang-for-buck WE’RE ABOUT TO SEE AN upgraded Foton Tunland arrive in

New Zealand, with the local distributor anticipating the new specifications and what it calls “improved on-road driving dynamics” will see it prove popular as a smallto-medium business fleet solution. The previous generation Tunland, which debuted in 2011, offered a good platform at a good price, although in this reviewer’s opinion, featured a thrashy gearbox that was anything but refined on the road. Foton New Zealand says the new truck (known internally as the T3 model) features multiple product enhancements with upgraded specifications, features and improved on-road driving dynamics. I’ve been unsuccessful so far at snaffling even a brief drive in the new model, but on paper at least the Tunland looks to have had a wide-ranging makeover. Highlights include an all-new dashboard with an updated infotainment system and Bluetooth integration, a new dual-box centre console, selectable 4WD control in allpaw versions, as well as improvements to seat trim and cabin materials. Mild nips and tucks have been executed

around the exterior, but nothing dramatic-looking. The upgrades aren’t just cosmetic though. Under the bonnet the Tunland’s Euro 5 compliant Cummins 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine features a new Bosch electronically controlled, high pressure, common rail fuel injection system and a new Variable Geometry Turbo. These improvements increase power output to 130kW and peak torque to 365Nm. The price looks reasonable too; a Foton Tunland double cab 4WD with manual transmission will be sold for $36,990 + ORCs, which is pretty good going. Of course, there is also a lot more competition in the cheap ute sector these days, with rival models – offered at similar prices – from the likes of SsangYong and Mahindra finding plenty of owners. Great Wall is also set to reenter the New Zealand market in the next few months; the Foton will need to offer a compelling package to compete. I’m looking forward to sampling a Tunland for myself as soon as one becomes available and will be reporting back in a future issue.

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Evolutionary JT40 HDD Ditch Witch has added the innovative new JT40 horizontal directional drill (HDD) to its industry-leading fleet of drills. The new unit is equipped with two, seven-inch LED displays for a direct, transparent view into all critical machine functions and operations. In addition to the digital displays, the machine’s realtime carriage-position indicator tells the operator the exact carriage location, for increased productivity and more intuitive operation. A multifunctional, radial operator control is highlighted on the display for better control efficiency, including mud flow, rotation and more. New to the JT40, tracker information is integrated into the advanced displays for enhanced visibility into all jobsite functions beyond drill operation. The evolutionary JT40 is available with the option of a fully enclosed

cab, with premium heat and air capabilities, or an open operator’s station designed with integrated vandal covers. Both options feature a premium ergonomic seat, extended legroom and place the operator at a 45-degree angle, which provides industryleading visibility of all critical vision points. Featuring a unique add-a-pipe design, operators are able to manually insert multiple sticks of drill pipe once the pipe box is empty, improving overall productivity. With the drill’s fold-out, lift-off service doors, operators also gain easy access to daily maintenance points. The JT40 has no daily grease zerks, allowing operators to spend less time on maintenance and more time drilling.

A Doosan fan Luke Michell, operations manager for Auckland contractor, Green Civil recently added DX140LCR and DX235LCR (12-14 tonne range) excavators from AB Equipment to Green Civil’s increasing Doosan fleet. Green Civil bought its first machine, a Doosan DX 225LC some eight months ago and added a further one six months later and then supplemented the fleet with a Bobcat E55 excavator. “Despite some unwarranted stigma that has surrounded the brand in the past, as well some of our own reservations, I can honestly say that the performance and reliability of our Doosan fleet is providing us with tremendous value for money,” says Luke. “My partner Wayne Green and myself reckon that Doosan is just perfect for the type of work we do which involves installing foundations, general earthworks, drainage and paving on several residential subdivisions across Auckland.” One of the projects Green Civil is currently involved in is a mixed residential and commercial apartment block in Albany. There is a lot happening on this small site where access is critical meaning the zero tail swing of the recently purchased Doosan DX140LCR is really coming into its own. “The DX140 is an awesome machine,” says Luke. “Truly this machine is doing a lot more work than we expected. In fact it’s doing as much as 250 hours a month which means it’s working constantly with no problems,” says Luke. “Even with the zero tail swing models on the Doosan excavators we’ve also found them all to be well balanced, have great digging power and a fantastic reach.” For further information call 0800 303 090. 56


Lithium jump starters Jump starters are a great emergency idea to fall back on should your vehicle suffer a flat battery, but most of them are heavy and rather cumbersome to lug around. Not anymore. Projecta has a new range of affordable jump starters that are compact enough to carry around in your glovebox, thanks to the latest lithium technology. They also use smart technology that prevents the lithium from over-heating when used incorrectly making them entirely safe. There are two models in the new Projecta ‘Intelli-start’ 12V Lithium Emergency Jump Starter range now on sale here – 900A and 1200A, which are suited to most motorcycles, passenger cars and four wheel drives. Featuring advanced lithium battery technology, these new jump starters are powerful yet compact and lightweight – they can be up to 90 percent lighter than old technology lead acid jump starters. Compared to lead acid jump starters, the high output lithium technology also provides a much longer storage life without requiring recharging. This allows the units to be stored in a vehicle glovebox, centre console or vehicle boot, in the knowledge that they’ll be ready for use when called upon. When

recharging is needed, this is a fast and easy process via a handy USB lead. Despite their compact dimensions and long storage life, Projecta’s ‘Intelli-start’ emergency jump starters provide enough power to bring life to even the biggest of engines. The 900A variant offers 280A of clamp power to start vehicles with engines up to 3.2 litres (diesel) and 6.0 litres (petrol).

Meanwhile, with 400A of clamp power, the 1200A model has enough grunt to start diesel engines up to 4.5 litres and petrol engines up to an enormous 7.0 litres. Other benefits of the latest Projecta jump starters include the ability to act as a power bank, enabling charging of any phone types as well as tablets and other portable devices such as SatNav systems. They can also provide power to run camping lights.

Komatsu’s Intelligent Machine Control Komatsu has released the PC210LCi-10, the world’s first Intelligent Machine Control (iMC) excavator, which features a revolutionary and fully factory-integrated 3D GNSS machine control and guidance system. With an operating weight of 23.3 tonnes, the PC210LCi-10 is powered by a Komatsu SAA6D107E-2 diesel engine – complying with US EPA Interim Tier 4 emissions requirements – rated at 123kW. At the same time Komatsu has extended its innovative ‘intelligent’ dozer range in New Zealand, with the release of three additional machines with an iMC system, delivering productivity, efficiency and cost-saving benefits to customers around the world. Komatsu’s new intelligent dozer offerings are the D65EXi/PXi18 (21-23 tonnes operating weight), the D85EXi/PXi-18 (29.5-30.5 tonnes) and the D155AXi-8 (41 tonnes) – which follow the launch of the D61EXi/PXi-23 in late 2014. In addition, the new dozers are the first Komatsu machines fitted with Komatsu’s ultra-low emission Tier 4 Final engines, which combine outstanding performance with reduced fuel consumption. According to Phil Pritchard, Komatsu NZ’s regional general manager, the iMC dozer concept allows all machines in this range to carry out both bulk and final trim dozing in fully automatic mode from start to finish, delivering final grade performance and accuracy.

“This allows them to significantly increase productivity and efficiency for New Zealand contractors – up to twice as productive as dozers fitted with ‘bolt-on’ third party machine control systems according to users and operators – while reducing the cost of each metre of material moved,” he says. Komatsu’s iMC technology also provides a solution to one of the major challenges facing our construction industry: The lack of skilled operators at a time when clients are demanding ever-higher levels of precision combined with increased productivity. Currently available across dozer and excavator models, the fully integrated iMC system has already shown its ability to deliver significant improvements in efficiency and productivity for contractors around the world compared with conventional construction processes. And now this concept is about to be rolled out for New Zealand contractors and operators, says Phil Pritchard. “Komatsu iMC is designed to let operators focus on moving material efficiently – from bulk excavation to final trim – without having to worry about over-excavation or damaging the target surface – vastly speeding up site earthworks, while delivering greater precision and accuracy.” APRIL 2017 57


CCNZ update Welcome to New Member DNS Civil Group Limited, Auckland Branch

Doherty Engineered Attachments becomes CCNZ Major Associate Member Based in New Zealand with a wholly owned subsidiary in Australia, Doherty Couplers & Attachments design, manufacture and distribute world leading, high-quality earthmoving attachments for the construction, demolition, quarrying and mining industries worldwide. Visit

Draft Government Policy on Land Transport 2018 The Ministry of Transport has released the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport 2018 (GPS 2018) for public engagement. Submissions close on Friday, 31 March 2017. CCNZ will be making a submission. We would welcome any comments you have or copies of submissions you make. These can be sent to Peter Silcock on The draft GPS 2018 continues to focus on the Government’s three strategic priorities for land transport – economic growth and productivity, road safety and value for money. It also carries forward the six national land transport objectives from the current GPS 2015. Conversations that have been had while developing the draft GPS have highlighted the need to focus on supporting the regions to grow, putting the right infrastructure in place for high growth urban areas, and ensuring that networks are resilient in the face of shocks and challenges – like the November Kaikōura earthquakes. Funding is increasing across all activity classes under the draft GPS 2018. The walking, cycling, and local road maintenance funding ranges have had an additional increase to support amendments made to the GPS 2015 last year.

Profile your company and reward your people: CCNZ National Awards The 2017 National Awards are open for entry and the information and application forms are available. Make sure your projects, company and people get the recognition they deserve and get involved with the National Awards this year. Call 0800 692 376 or visit our website for entry forms.

All award winners will be announced and presented at the CCNZ Conference in August in Dunedin. •C  CNZ Hirepool Construction Excellence Awards. Closing date for entries: 10.00am, Tuesday 6 June 2017. •C  CNZ Z People Awards. Closing date for entries: 5.00pm, Friday 19 May 2017. •C  CNZ Connexis Company Awards. Closing date for entries: 5.00pm, Friday 19 May 2017.

Recognise your people with Civil Trades Want to recognise the experience and expertise of your staff? Then get them enrolled in Civil Trades – Qualified people building quality infrastructure. Call Connexis on 0800 486 626 for further information. Congratulations to the latest Civil Trades Certified tradespeople: • Paul Hewitt of Downer NZ, Tauranga • Luther Potgieter of Downer NZ, Tauranga • Nicholas Middendorf of Headstart Pavements and Excavation Ltd, Tauranga • Wayne Collinson of Connell Contractors, Hamilton • Aaron Waitai of Downer NZ, Taupo • Leighton Read of Underground Brown, Christchurch • Edward Heke of Downer NZ, Tauranga • Richard Dodd of Fulton Hogan Civil South, Christchurch

CCNZ Call for Conference Papers The Call for Papers for the CCNZ 73rd Annual Conference closes on 7 April. The 2017 Conference is being held at the Dunedin Centre, Dunedin from 2 to 5 August and we invite you contribute to the Conference by submitting an abstract for consideration for oral presentation at the Conference. We value your input and encourage you to share your knowledge with the wider industry. For further information contact Melanie Robinson, Project Coordinator, ForumPoint2 Conference Partners, or 07 838 1098.

National Excavator Operator Competition Our sincere thanks go to the Manawatu Branch and national sponsors – CablePrice, Connexis, Z, Hirepool, Humes, First Gas and Contractor magazine.

A DV E RTI S ERS IND EX Boss Attachments


Hirepool 9

Synergy Positioning



Oil Intel

Thomson Reuters


Counties Ready Mix Concrete

Power Equipment


OBC 11

Connexis 43

Prime Pump

Ditch Witch

Simple Shelter


Super Tyre Warehouse


Gough Cat




Transdiesel 13 Wirtgen NZ Youngman Richardson

OFC, 18, 19 6






water MAY 2015 | ISSUE 189



Volume 14 - No 1| February-March 2017 | $8.95



A balance of value and performance

Hitachi ZW-5 wheel loaders hit NZ

Wellington – the resilience question The Water Debate – Malcolm Alexander

Silica mining in focus


Quarries old and new contributing to concrete

Working together for women – Fulton Hogan steps up Stretching bottlenecks – Auckland’s southern motorway Slip lessons in Northland – a tricky repair underway Killing us softly with H&S – a veteran’s personal view

Waterproofing road surfaces

Maximising technology use

Latest research into improved pavement maintenance INCORPORATING

Persistence brings rewards

Aggregate News

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Meeting customer needs

A new Hyundai R145CR-9 excavator shows off its versatility at Atlas Concrete

Bathurst Resources becomes our coal king

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20/01/17 10:46 AM

10/03/17 2:03 PM

A state-of-the-art quarry A look inside the re-opened Miners Road Quarry NZ LOCAL GOVERNMENT MAGAZINE PERSPECTIVES 2017

Silica – the new Southland coal Another look at the potential of our vast silica reserves


Seabed mining round two heats up Trans-Tasman Resources remains determined


Volume 13 - No 6| December 2016 - January 2017 | $8.95

Screening with brute power


The new Sandvik QE441 is Porter Group’s latest addition to its premium range of mobile scalping screens.



Talking rubbish Council or private collection? p20

BRIBERY & CORRUPTION Recent cases highlight concerns p28

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18/11/16 10:40 AM

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More funding & new plan boost lighting options p30

Four T2 leaders talk careers p36

How community events are helping build social capital p46



Aggregate News

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12/12/16 6:59 PM




Contractor, Q&M, EnergyNZ and Water Alan Titchall Email Phone +64 9 636 5712

NZ Local Government and EnergyNZ Charles Fairbairn Email Phone +64 9 636 5724 Mob +64 21 411 890

NZ Local Government Ruth Le Pla Email Phone +64 21 266 3978

Contractor and Q&M Charles Fairbairn Email Phone +64 9 636 5724 Mob +64 21 411 890


RUBIA WORKS 2000 10W-40 is a Low SAPS (low sulphated ash content) engine oil especially developed for earthmoving, mining and quarry machinery that are required to operate for long periods at full capacity or with repeated acceleration and idling cycles. Suitable for engines with or without Diesel Particulates Filter. Get in touch with the team at Total - 0800 TOTAL OIL (868 256).

Energizing performance. Every day

NZ Contractor April 1704  
NZ Contractor April 1704