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AUGUST 2012 $8.95


One word is all it takes to describe the value of good experience at Hirepool – priceless


The Tauranga Eastern Link is forging an economic link through the Bay of Plenty

CONTRACTING IN PERSPECTIVE 2012 The bigger picture – it’s not all about roads; what’s happening elsewhere?

BRAVE NEW WORLD OF UFB Changes are afoot to the colour coding of underground ducting


Vol 36 No 7

August 2012

Highlights Contracting in perspective 2012 – Part three................. 14 Hugh Green – A final tribute.......................................... 20 A Lifting Experience – Crane Association Conference...... 21 Boosting the BOP – Tauranga’s new Eastern Link............ 26


Red Telco ducts get green light – UFB Part two............... 32

Departments Editorial.............................................................................. 2 Upfront............................................................................... 4


A letter to Gerry Brownlee.................................................... 7 Cover Story – Hirepool’s priceless assets....................... 24-25 Projects............................................................................ 26 Training............................................................................ 34 Comment......................................................................... 36 Classic Machines – Caterpillar D10.................................... 36 Motoring........................................................................... 44


Book review – Cracking the VFM Code................................. 46 Products & Services.......................................................... 47 Advertisers Index.............................................................. 47 What’s On.....................................................................48

On the cover One word is all it takes to describe the value of good people with experience when the pressure goes on – priceless. Hirepool chief executive, Mark Powell, sings the praises of the company’s greatest asset. It’s people. See story on page


26 32



Wheels within wheels Over the course of the Perspectives 2012 series, we’ve introduced differing ideas and philosophies on how the tendering and contracts for our roading infrastructure should be managed. Many of these ideas have, in the past, been diametric opposites. And their proponents’ viewpoints have polarised many. Economic tensions, too, have exacerbated these sentiments. But economic reality (see NZTA CEO Colin Crampton’s point of view on page 39) is also driving some of these changes. And Contractors’ Federation CEO Jeremy Sole is working hard to minimise the impact on vulnerable contractors (his thoughts on this are on page 36). Hopefully you will have learnt something from this series; I know I certainly have, and feel much better prepared to understand what I see and hear. But wheels of change do move slowly, and the media can only reflect on what has happened. Trying to second-guess what might happen would be a futile exercise. So, because there is so much currently going on in this area we’ve decided to pause after this month’s update; to see what happens next; to give the impact of the various reports time to be absorbed; and just to see how a pragmatic approach and relationship-building efforts on all sides will affect the outcomes. What seems certain is that not everyone will be happy with the changes that have been signalled. However we trust that this series has presented multiple points of view without bias and that, by at least looking at the issues, we’ve shed some light too. Meanwhile, some wheels do keep turning; we’ve got some great pictures of what’s happening with the Tauranga Eastern Link, one of the RoNS currently being bulldozed through the Bay of Plenty. We take a look at the Waikato Cranes Rena salvage operation – winner of the Crane Association Crane Project of the Year Award. And we’ve got the second part of our look at the Ultra-Fast Broadband rollout. Keeping your workers up-to-date with what they see when digging, and knowing the difference by colour, will no longer be as easy as it once was. Sometimes great wheels stop, too. Just a few days before going to press, we heard of the passing of Hugh Green. A touching tribute from Gavin Riley is on page 20, and the various features we’ve published over the years, including this obituary, have been shared with his family in Ireland.

Kevin Lawrence Managing Editor

PUBLISHER Contrafed Publishing Co Ltd First Floor, 343 Church Street, Penrose PO Box 112 357, Penrose, Auckland 1642 Phone: +64 9 636 5715 Fax: +64 9 636 5716 MANAGING EDITOR Kevin Lawrence DDI: 09 636 5710 Mobile: 021 512 800 Email: EDITOR-AT-LARGE Gavin Riley DDI: 09 483 3562 REGULAR CONTRIBUTORS Richard Campbell, Hugh de Lacy, Peter Gill, Jeremy Sole, Alan Titchall ADVERTISING MANAGER Mike Bridgman DDI: 09 636 5724 Mobile: 021 228 4988 Email: ADVERTISING SALES Amanda Gilroy DDI: 09 636 5714 Mobile: 021 066 4914 Email: ADMINISTRATION/SUBSCRIPTIONS Teresa Gillies DDI: 09 636 5715 Email: PRODUCTION Design: TMA Design Printing: Client Focused Solutions Ltd 0272 55 1818 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.

The official magazine of The New Zealand Contractors’ Federation Roading New Zealand 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 InfraTrain New Zealand ISSN 0110-1382


Three more years boys! We have extended our commitment as the Principal Business Partner to the New Zealand Contractors’ Federation for another

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Len’s legacy Auckland mayor Len Brown has set his sights on leaving a legacy no mayor before him has managed – to build an underground railway. First mooted in the 1920s, the latest incarnation is known as the City Rail Link (CRL – not to be confused with its earlier name of City Rail Loop). The scheme, however farsighted, has many major hurdles to overcome before fruition. The biggest and most obvious is funding. It is estimated the CRL will take five and a half years to build at a cost of $2.86 billion (at time of spend). Generously, the Green Party has offered to fund 60 percent of the cost, though they’re a little vague on how they plan to take over treasury to do so. While the current government hasn’t committed money to support the plan, consensus has been reached that Auckland Council should proceed to secure the route. The CRL will require the future purchase of surface property from 210 owners. Underground portions of land from 70 interests,

including 12 unit title developments with multiple owners, will also need to be purchased for the tunnels and stations. The CRL will be built in two 3.5 kilometre long, twin tunnels up to 45 metres below the city, It will extend the existing rail line underground through Britomart, to Albert, Vincent and Pitt Streets, then cross beneath Karangahape Road and the Central Motorway Junction and over to Symonds Street before rising to join the western line at Eden Terrace. The CRL is part of Auckland’s Long-Term Plan for the next 10 years, “cementing the Mayor’s vision for Auckland to become the world’s most liveable city”. Investment across parks, sports grounds, stormwater, water, wastewater and community facilities totals $8.2 billion (stormwater and flood protection $973 million alone), alongside a combined transport budget totalling $9.3 billion, of which $5.3 billion is committed to upgrading roads and footpaths.

Letter to the Editor

Winning Subscribers

Dear Ed As the fortunate recipient of the prize of the RED WING boots, I would like to thank all concerned. I have been wearing these for two weeks now and they are the most comfortable and practical work footwear I have ever had. Thank you Nick, Contrafed, and Wholesafe. Regards, Allan Berkett Berkett Contracting Limited

Winners of the Contractor magazine hat (with lights) this month were Danielle Reckless of Write Away Communication; Shaun Ecclestone, McPherson Contractors; Tim Ross of C & R Construction; Diane Brown from Downer EDI Works; Alan Johansen, D & A Excavators; Craig Thompson of Thompson Contracting; Alan Knewstubb; P Quantock; John Kelly of Hose Supplies and David Hatfull of Guthrie Contracting. Congratulations to all; see page 12 for your chance to win again this month.




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Transmission Gully gets green light

After countless years of debate and conjecture, Wellington’s creaking road network is to be reinforced. The Environmental Protection Agency has finally decided to approve resource consent applications for Transmission Gully. With an estimated price tag of $930 million not everyone, of course, is happy with the decision. The Green Party has called it a poor decision and a “dead duck motorway”. Green Party transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter adds, “This is an old, expensive motorway project that will cost the country one billion dollars for no economic benefit”. On the supporters’ team, however, CentrePort chief executive Blair O’Keeffe says the decision is “positive for the region and will

support economic growth. This decision will boost the resilience of the regional economy by making it easier to move freight and people more efficiently.” Also pleased is Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee. He says “The Wellington region has been waiting for this day since early last century when the project was first floated, so I’m thrilled to hear a route through Transmission Gully is now set to become a reality. “Our capital city deserves better if it’s to reach its full economic potential, and the Transmission Gully route will help to unlock that potential.” Tender-writing pencils should be sharpened in anticipation.

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NZ Transport Agency physical works contracts June 21 – July 20, 2012 We normally show NZTA physical works contracts on this page – as we’ve been doing every month for many years. To our knowledge, for the first time, there’s nothing to report. So we thought you would be interested in this joint letter from Roading NZ, NZ Contractors’ Federation and the Association of Consulting

Engineers NZ to Gerry Brownlee, Minister of Transport, showing some of the work going on in the background that you might not otherwise hear about. Note: Auckland Transport has subsequently announced that it was able to achieve budget this year.

4 July 2012 port The Hon Gerry Brownlee, Minister of Trans Parliament Buildings, Wellington Dear Minister,


The need for smooth construction progra

$300 t what we understand may be a $250 to Zealand construction sector concerned abou the on have would this cts impa se We write as representatives of the New adver ruction programme and the long-term const ay highw State /13 2012 the in million reduction roading industry in NZ. ation (NZCF) and the Association of Consulting nd (RNZ), the New Zealand Contractors’ Feder r. By way of introduction, Roading New Zeala g consultants working in the roading secto eerin engin and s around 90 percent of contractor gh throu GDP and ce rman perfo omic Engineers New Zealand (ACENZ) represent econ nd’s Statement and plans to enhance New Zeala We fully support the Government’s Policy r. to that extent we have contributed investment in the land transport secto on gaining efficiencies in our sector and ed focus tives ise initia ort supp gly stron Our members initiatives have identified efficiencies to optim the NZTA Headway project. Both of these extensively to the Ministerial Task Force and value for money. ars contrary to: State highway programme because it appe We are concerned about a reduction in the ving New Zealand’s productivity; impro for e amm progr S) (RoN e ficanc nal Signi • the need to maintain the Roads of Natio s; cycle t ammes to avoid boom/bus • the need for smooth multi year work progr of the RoNS programme; letion comp the d aroun s tation expec • the public and because of: in the regions; Zealand construction industry, especially • the damage that will be done to the New sector to recover from. n ructio const which will be very hard for the this • the loss of skilled workers to Australia amongst various speakers for addressing ssion discu was there and Auckl in held it Summ of port on Trans tigati nd inves Zeala the t, New t At the recen cts over the life of the asse ng that can spread the cost of major proje nd. dema issue, including a wider use of debt fundi with future fuel excise tax and RUC revenues keep pace to avert a reduction other funding options, and ensuring that needed over the short and medium term be will tives initia these that ves belie taken to advance be can n actio The construction sector generally diate the Government explores what imme that ask We ty. activi n ructio const ay in State highw the up to $100 million reduction in these initiatives. ty comes on top of, and is aggravated by, activi ay highw ns State of tion reduc any We note that ild and the increasing lack of work in the regio the slow ramping up of the Christchurch Rebu Auckland Transport’s current programme, ience. in recent years. use of the resulting loss of skills and exper und impact on the construction sector beca Using dant. redun made tially poten These reductions in work will have a profo be will ) ltants contractors and 350 from engineering consu on top of the 13.5% is and force work We estimate that 1450 staff (1100 from n ructio const e bridg of the private sector road and data from Statistics NZ this amounts to 12% recession began in 2008. the since r secto the in ng worki drop in people and increased costs when work picks up lead to significant losses in productivity will that cycle Clearly we are in a boom/bust l again because: but it also means the industry loses critica dant which not only adds additional costs • during bust cycles, workers are made redun key skills, often to Australia; it and train additional people. to market dynamics and the need to recru Role of Construction in the New • during boom cycles, prices increase due s are identified in the repor t “Valuing the cycle t /bus boom of ts effec tive nega These and other eCoopers dated October 2011. truction Strategy Group by Pricewaterhous Zealand Economy” prepared for the Cons the substantial increase in Australia’s construction programmes coupled with nd’s Zeala New in ience to ase decre this that We believe will result in a loss of key skills and exper in Dec 2009 to $110 billion in Dec 2012 construction programme from $50 billion . try Australia along with increased emigration tenance Task Force. As mentioned, indus tunate given the findings of the NZTA Main gains ncy efficie cant signifi ify ident This loss of skills and experience is unfor to Force the Task with NZTA and Local Government through We believe that the has worked very hard over the past year ncy gains is a lack of skills in the sector. efficie these ving achie to ified ident rs across the sector. One of the barrie this skills deficit. you to current boom/bust cycle will exacerbate your reply. We would be happy to meet with s covered in this letter and look forward to point We thank you for considering the discuss further should you wish. Cos Bruyn Chair Roading NZ

Joe Edwards President NZ Contractors’ Federation

Graham Chapman President ACENZ

cc The Right Hon John Key Prime Minister Parliament Buildings Wellington



And the Winners are

The Wellington branch of NZCF had a record 13 award entries from 11 different contractors for this year’s awards. “Judging was difficult”, says Wellington/Wairarapa secretary, Andrea Carson, “because of the very high standard of workmanship submitted.”

NZCF Wellington Awards AB Equipment Category A (up to $500,000)

Daniel Renshaw Drainage Contractor

214 Evans Bay Parade

Holcim Category B $500,000 to $1 million

G P Friel

Haywards Substation

Winstone Aggregates Category C (Over $1 million)

Multi Civil Contractors

National Library

Hynds Group Image Award

Total Siteworks

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Tony Gibson of Waikato Crane Services, winner of the Crane Association Project of the Year Award. See page 33 for more details.

Daniel Renshaw (left) receives his Category A award from Mardi Pritchard of AB Equipment.

Enjoying the final night’s dinner at the 2012 Crane Association conference in Rotorua last month were (left to right) Kenji Nakai, Koji Shigemura and Keiichi Ishida, visiting from Hitachi Sumitomo Heavy Industries Construction Crane Co in Tokyo.

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Bauma China Bauma China, the international trade fair for construction machinery, building material machines, construction vehicles and equipment is on again this November in Shanghai. The spin-off of the long established bauma has been held every two years since 2002 – established in conjunction with local suppliers to reflect the rapid development in China. For the second time bauma China also incorporates ConExpo Asia. The frequency of the event also reflects the dynamism of the actively-growing Asian markets – and new products are timed to be released at bauma China accordingly. Held at the easily-accessible and purpose-built Shanghai New International Expo Centre in the Pudong district, bauma China 2012 is already setting records with over 1900 companies having applied to exhibit (1892 in 2010). With eight more halls available for this year’s event, suppliers who missed out previously can now exhibit. In total, 300,000 square meters are available for all the international key players to present their machines and products. In 2010 155,615 trade visitors from 171 countries attended the fair. Robert Laing, of Messe Reps & Travel in Auckland, has worked with the Contractors’ Federation since 1992, arranging tours and individual travel plans to the big international shows. He says at bauma China, all the international key players will be there, but you can also expect to see some exhibitors, especially from China, who for various reasons don’t exhibit at bauma in Munich. But they know they have a world-class event in China that attracts buyers from all around the world.

In 2010, 93 percent of visitors were decision-makers looking specifically for new solutions. Laing says some of the advantages of travelling as part of the “family” with Messe Reps and the NZCF include: • Complete and current information on the shows themselves; • Support and back-up of the Federation; and • Social and networking opportunities. Laing adds that these benefits were particularly useful when travellers to bauma 2010 in Munich were stranded in San Francisco following the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption. The group of 35 Contractors’ Federation travellers had an extra day in San Francisco, but when the airports opened again there were 3000 people trying to get to Europe. Laing says with his help dealing with hotels and airlines, he was able to get the group to bauma on the first flights to Munich. For bauma China 2012, costs start at $2299.00 per person. This includes return airfares to Shanghai with Air New Zealand, airport taxes, four nights twin share accommodation with breakfasts at the Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden, a 5-star hotel located in central Shanghai, and in walking distance to the Bund, Nanjing Road and with easy access by taxi or metro to bauma China. Options are available to fly Premium Economy and to stop in Hong Kong on your way to or from Shanghai. For further information please contact Robert Laing, Messe Reps. & Travel, 09 303 1000,

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Vocational Pathways launched Construction and infrastructure is one of the five sectors included in a new Vocational Pathways service launched by the minister for tertiary education, skills and employment, Steven Joyce, and minister of education Hekia Parata. The purpose of the pathways is to “show young people how their skills and knowledge will be valued in the ‘real world’ when they look for a job and start their career,” says Joyce. The Pathways are being released in draft form to allow for feedback, with the final version due in November.

Freight Focus First Understanding freight will be the first focus of the Upper North Island Strategic Alliance (made up of Northland Regional, Whangarei District, Auckland, Waikato Regional, Hamilton City, Bay of Plenty Regional and Tauranga City Councils), formed to collaborate with Auckland Transport, KiwiRail and NZTA on initiatives to reduce the costs of doing business in New Zealand – through an upper North Island lens. NZTA regional director Stephen Town says delivering freight efficiencies can reduce costs of trade – with the upshot being cheaper goods for New Zealanders and a competitive advantage for New Zealand importers and exporters.

Lifeblood stones squeezed dry A recent government decision to cut road funding to local councils will have flow-on effects to the standard of roads around the Opotiki District, says Opotiki District Council Mayor John Forbes. NZTA’s July 1 2012 reduction in its share of road maintenance funding is being exacerbated by rates increase caps being imposed by Wellington. The result, says Forbes, “will be a decrease in the standard of road maintenance. “There was really no option to increase funding to fully cover the shortfall as it would have put us in breach of our rates rise cap being promoted by government.“

NZTA Statement of Intent 2012-15 A Financial highlight of the NZTA Statement of Intent for 2012-2015, published last month, states: “We have budgeted revenue of $8.81 billion for 2012-15 to fund investment in land transport – $8.24 billion which includes our investment in the state highway network and funding we provide to approved organisations for the delivery of services. “We will be investing $3.84 billion in new capital across the state highway network as well as maintaining our assets with $973.80 million of expenditure.”

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the bigger


Roading may be in the doldrums but there are some bright spots within civil construction, as HUGH DE LACY discovers in this third part of his industry overview.


tick your hand up as a contractor with capacity to work on the North Island electricity transmission upgrade, or the nationwide ultra-fast broadband (UFB) roll-out – or in Christchurch – and over the next few years you’ll have more work than you know what to do with. For the fact is that while the biggest civil construction sector, roading, is in a crisis caused by the virtual freezing of its government funding for the next three years, the energy and telecommunications sectors are cashed up and under way with huge projects that they’re struggling to complete on time, and the re-building of Christchurch after the earthquakes is just getting under way. “Some firms are desperately scrambling for resources and have a large pipeline of work ahead of them, while others have invested time and money but the volume of work coming through is not consistent enough for them to be satisfied that things are going well. “It’s a really mixed bag,” Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the industry-funded New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development (CID), told Contractor. The actual level of overall non-roading activity at any time is difficult to assess because no single statistical tool covers it. There is a plethora of measures of industry activity, but no one substantive place that you can turn to find it, Selwood says. CID has been looking at either producing just such a tool itself or getting Treasury to do it, but so far no joy, and that leaves the CID having to glean an overall picture of non-roading civil construction from its anecdotal as much as its statistical data. That said, it’s clear that there are winners and losers at the moment within an industry that, as well as transport, comprises energy, telecommunications, resource exploration and mining,


water and “social infrastructure” like schools, hospitals and prisons. The losers are easily identified: the state highway roading sector and anything to do with local authorities, including local roads and public transport, and water infrastructure. “Most local governments have significantly reduced their investments over the past five years and there is major pressure in roading budgets, and serious concerns across the industry in that context,” says Selwood. Alongside roads, there’s the challenge of water services – waste, storm and potable – which are largely controlled by local authorities under public and central government pressure to keep rates down, and as a result are contemplating having to apply to water the same Whole of Life maintenance concepts being forced on the state roading network (see box). Local authorities are also moving towards a direct linkage between pricing and charging for water, and the money spent on its infrastructure. Selwood points out,“They’re getting away from local authority rates as the primary funding mechanism because that creates a gap between where your money is coming from and where it needs to be spent.” Social infrastructure activity reflects the same pressures as roading and water services. “The Government’s not wanting to rark up debt so, right across the whole government sector, capital expenditure is constrained by a lack of funding.” That’s the downside; now for the upside. This begins with the telecommunications sector which is powered by the $6 billion UFB roll-out, coupled with attendant rural broadband initiatives.

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“They cannot get enough civil contractors to get that work done as quickly as they want,” Selwood says. “There is a huge demand for what is basically a civil construction job of digging up the roads and filling them in again.” The $6 billion comprises $1.8 billion from the Government for UFB and $300 million for rural broadband, with the rest coming from private investment by the telecommunications companies. “That is a very busy industry, and [Telecom infrastructure spinoff] Chorus is the main player, trying to make faster progress in the face of challenges over consenting.” Another buoyant sector is energy, in which a $5 billion investment over the best part of a decade is upgrading the North Island transmission network, especially between the generation areas in the centre of the island and Auckland. “A large proportion of that $5 billion is now in train, so there’s very strong need for lines people and the like. “It’s progressing well, but not as fast as had initially been anticipated, in part because of resourcing problems,” Selwood says. Also within the energy sector there has been investment in geothermal electricity generation, in contrast to other forms of generation that have been mothballed or otherwise cut back in response to a flattening of electricity demand following the global economic crisis. The present surplus of electricity, “will change as demand picks up and the big coal-fired plant at Huntly is gradually taken out of operation over the next two or three years.” Selwood adds there are promising signs of increased activity on the horizon for the resources sector – minerals and oil mining and exploration – but it’s presently bogged down in



Whole of Life – What does it mean? Maintenance spending on state highways may have been effectively cut by the Government’s economic austerity, but there’s a strategy out there to not only absorb the cuts but to develop better and longer-lasting roads as well. Pushed particularly by Roading New Zealand (RNZ), which split from the Contractors Federation in 1989 to pursue a technology-based approach to road construction and maintenance, the strategy is called Whole of Life Savings. It recognises that a large proportion of the total cost of an asset over its lifetime is incurred by maintenance. That cost can be reduced both by taking it into account when designing the road in the first place, and by planning an on-going maintenance programme around the most effective options from a specified budget. RNZ is a member of the NZTA’s Road Maintenance Task Force, and claims that the Whole of Life strategy can deliver “gains in efficiency [that] can match the reductions in real funding.” It’ll do this by “collaborative-type contract models where all parties – road controlling authorities, asset managers, physical works managers, supervisors and operators – understand the asset, the levels of service required and the network cost drivers.” Implementing the strategy will require four “step changes” by the entire supply chain, RNZ says. The first step, the adoption of the Whole of Life strategy,

“a political quagmire over consenting and environmental issues.” That can be traced back to New Zealanders’ historical disinclination to explore and mine its extraordinary range of mineral resources, a hangover from the social consequences of the Industrial Revolution. There are signs though, such as a recent poll that showed two-thirds of New Zealanders support the present Government’s push to boost exploration and mining, that those prejudices may be mellowing, despite vocal opposition from some sectors. And then, strongly on the upside, there’s the $20 billion re-build of Christchurch, though that’s a bit of a mixed bag too, according to Selwood. “The re-build’s costing them more [than expected], and many of the projects that are in the pipeline are more expensive as well.” Of immediate concern to the Christchurch Earthquake


has been driven by contract prices sitting around 2008 levels – and likely to remain there for at least the next three years – demanding “smarter asset management by all parties working collaboratively.” Step two is ensuring that skilled people are involved right across the industry, “from buyers to network managers to operators. “We need everybody – clients, consultants, contractors – to have high levels of expertise.” Step three is aligning the scale and scope of maintenance contracts with “contracts of appropriate size, duration and work mix to deliver the best value-for-money long-term solutions.” The final step in implementing a Whole of Life strategy is ensuring a level of competition that will “weed out inefficient operators and ensure a healthy and sustainable industry.” The strategy seems to align with the NZTA’s intentions, stated in earlier articles in this series, to take a consultative and collaborative approach to the design and implementation of its state highway maintenance contracts, the outcome of which will be cheaper, fewer and longer-term contracts. While RNZ has been the principal driver of the Whole of Life strategy, it has had the support for the past seven years of the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development, and has been taken up by other developed countries, particularly the United Kingdom.

Rebuild Authority (CERA) is the slow pace of acceleration of the re-building progress, now expected to be not fully under way before the end of this year. This has variously been blamed on the insurance companies for their tardiness in settling claims, the local authorities for the slow pace of building consent issuance, and CERA itself for the time it’s taking to re-zone earthquake-affected land. The Canterbury residential re-build under the project management of Fletcher Building is progressing well enough towards CERA’s stated completion deadline of June next year, but there’s a growing realisation that the full recovery process could take as much as a decade. And it’ll probably take that long too for the wider civil construction industry to fully recover from the funding shortages which at present condemn some sectors to inactivity, even as others have got more work than they can handle.


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Roading There is a way... Finding efficiency gains to match the substantial reductions in maintenance funding across State highways and local roads is a huge challenge for the sector. Roading New Zealand believes that this can only be achieved through a step change in the way the sector operates in a similar way to what happened when the country’s roading work was contracted out in the 1990s. Its pretty clear that to do this is going to take a very different way of thinking and operating as there are no more efficiencies to be gained through the tender box which is currently operating at 2008 prices. Roading New Zealand believes that the key to achieving this required step change is through smarter asset management. Asset management to me is simply the art and science of managing the asset to optimise value for money over the life of the asset. Put even simpler it’s hitting the appropriate level of service and taking the 50 odd possible unique road treatments and applying them at exactly the right time and right situation over the life of the asset to either proactively or reactively counter the deterioration of the asset caused by weather and traffic. Deciding what you want and setting performance measures around this is key to driving sound asset management. A number of papers have been published showing the success of this performance-based approach in terms of maintaining road condition and standards as well as making cost savings. These are “Performance Based Contracting: Lessons Learnt from PSMC001 – Transfield, NZTA” which was presented to the 2009 INGENIUM conference and “Chipseal performance what the data tells us,” presented on the 2012 NZTA Road-Show. Some of you will be saying that this is what we’ve been doing for the past 20 years using the RAMM and dTIMs tools


Chris Olsen

and we’ve made considerable savings. That is correct but we need to be able to do this to a higher level of sophistication with a higher level of skill to achieve further efficiency gains. To bring this about Roading New Zealand believes that as a sector we need to: • Group networks together so that the synergies of better treatment selection scenario testing across larger packages of the roading network can be captured along with the synergies of better co-coordinating of asset management activities, economies of scale and emergency response; • Recognise that the contracting industry has become highly skilled in asset management over the past 15 years due to the introduction of PSMC and other performance-based contracts like P17; • Push asset management down the supply chain to those in the field and collaborate to make more practical and value decisions around asset management; • Upskill the sector in asset management through training and having the size of network packages big enough to justify employment of very high caliber people; • Set contract sizes commensurate with the larger network sizes; • Ensure a competitive market by maintaining current levels of competition. The PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) report states that this has been between 3 and 4.4 tenderers per contract on average over the past ten years. New Zealand is a small country and a long way from its international markets. The roading sector has a responsibility to increase this country’s productivity and export earnings by minimising transportation costs and thereby improving the standard of living for all New Zealanders. Lets do it.

By Chris Olsen, CEO, Roading NZ

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Hugh Green’s incredible story ends Retired contractor Hugh Green, who rose from a poverty-stricken boyhood in rural Ireland to become one of New Zealand’s most generous philanthropists, has died after a long illness. He was 80.

A very private man, he nevertheless was familiar to Contractor readers through a rare interview he granted the magazine in 2008 and a detailed review of his memoir which appeared this year in the May issue. In his book he wrote philosophically of his reaction to the news that his prostate cancer was terminal: “Something’s got to get you in the end – I just put my head down and kept going.” That is the way way he lived his crowded life, with spectacular results. A staunch Catholic, he left school in county Donegal in northwest Ireland at 12, and drove and wheeled and dealed in cattle before labouring and trench-digging his way through Scotland, England and Australia. He arrived in New Zealand in 1952 at the age of 20, intending it to be a brief stop on the way home to Ireland. Instead, he stayed for the remainder of his life – though he would remain homesick for, and retain strong links with, his native land. With fellow Irishman Barney McCahill he formed Green & McCahill. The pair’s enormous work ethic meant that when they replaced manual digging with machines, the company quickly became one of the most successful civil contractors in the country. It also prospered through Green’s shrewd business, tendering and people-judging skills – and his ability never to lose sight of the basics. “Everything we did was a bigger version of two simple processes – digging holes and filling them up again. Moving dirt was our job,” he said. Eventually the partnership dissolved as major construction work declined from the late 1980s and Green became increasingly involved in land and property development and a return to cattle-dealing. The Onehunga-based Hugh Green Group ultimately encompassed 52 companies and Green amassed a fortune estimated at $350 million. Through the Hugh Green Charitable Trust he gave many millions of dollars to worthy causes in New Zealand and Ireland. 20 AUGUST 2012 CONTRACTOR

Such largesse was always distributed unobtrusively by a man so media-shy that it came as a surprise when he granted Contractor’s request for an interview at his workplace early in 2008. There was a further surprise when at the start of the working-lunch interview he revealed what was perhaps an inbuilt reservation towards people he did not know. “I phoned the Contractors’ Federation to find out if you were who you said you were. They said they’d never heard of you,” he declared in his broad Irish brogue, watching intently for my reaction. After 90 minutes he appeared to tire of fielding constant questions about his life and times and went home, leaving me to wade through piles of photographs for a handful that would accompany the article. I later wished I had told him that in half a century of interviewing people as a working journalist, his was the most remarkable and inspiring rags-to-riches story I had encountered. Additionally, his detailed recall of names, places, events and dates was amazing. Green’s stealthy and unwavering philanthropy did not go unacknowledged. In recent years he received an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Ireland, a papal knighthood from Pope Benedict the XVI, the Queen’s Service Medal, and Donegal’s Person of the Year award. In his memoir, with typical candour, he revealed he might have become Sir Hugh some years ago had he been willing to swear allegiance to the Queen – which, as an Irish Catholic, he most definitely would not. For the same reason he did not become a New Zealand citizen. The close of his memoir reveals a simple old-fashioned philosophy that drove his uncluttered existence and is hard to argue with: “We’re all the same. You come in with nothing and you go out with nothing, and you just need the bare essentials while you’re here. And that’s how I’ve lived my life.” Hugh Green is survived by his wife of 57 years, Moira, five children, grandchildren, and a great grandchild. By Gavin Riley




Over 100 delegates and guests enjoyed the 38th Annual Crane Association conference, held at the Novotel Lakeside in Rotorua last month.


he management team, lead by CEO Ian Grooby, had worked hard to produce a range of speakers and topics that would both inspire and inform. So it was appropriate that the guest keynote speaker was Gordon Tietjens, head coach of the world champion New Zealand sevens rugby team (now known as the All Blacks Sevens). He has worked at Bay Engineers for the past 28 years, now in the role of strategic sales director, a job created for him so he can continue his 18-year relationship with the NZRU through to 2016.

In May this year he was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame. Over that time, he says, he’s learnt a few things that he uses to motivate his players. “Losing isn’t the same as failure if you’ve given 100 percent,” he says.

Case Studies Case studies were popular too, with informative presentations by Scott Vallely, Heb Structures on the Kopu Bridge replacement.

The new Crane Association executive team, including the association’s first woman, Michelle Kedian. Vaughan Clark of Titan Cranes was elected vice-president for two years. Back row left to right: Dr Roger O’Brien, chairman of Opportunity Training; Tristan Williams, Lyttelton Port of Christchurch and immediate past president; Grant Moffat, Heb Structures and president; Allan Collins, Digital Training & Assessment; Tony Gibson, Waikato Crane Services; Ian Grooby, chief executive. Front row left to right: Vaughan Clark, Titan Cranes & vice president; Ron Brown, Transport Specifications; Michelle Kedian, Ian Roebuck Crane Hire; Scott McLeod, McLeod Cranes.



Chris Burrowes of Smith Crane & Construction gave an update on the on-going Christchurch deconstruction programme, and Mike Wall of Fletcher Construction highlighted the role of cranes in the Victoria Park Tunnel project. The Association’s impressive new website was explained by its developer, Scott McLeod of McLeod Cranes, and a panel from the NZ Police Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit, lead by Inspector Gwynne Pennell, covered major issues of concern from the floor – from travel permits, consistency with inspection policies and changes to Road User Charges.

Crane Project of the Year Waikato Cranes is this year’s winner of the Crane Project of the Year, also taking out the People’s Choice award. Managing director Tony Gibson says it’s the third time the company has entered the awards, and its third win – the first company to do so. As is well-known, the Rena went aground on the Astrolabe Reef on October 5, 2011, 22 kilometres off-shore in the Bay of Plenty. Gibson was initially approached by McLeod Cranes to supply a barge and crane even before he’d heard the news. Despite having no experience of operating a crane at sea, just two weeks later he was contracted to supply one Kobelco 7150 and one Liebherr LR1280 crane plus the riggers to remove the containers off the Rena for Svitzer Salvage. Gibson had already deployed the barge from Australia based on a verbal instruction from Svitzer prior to signing the contract, and subsequently contracted its lease from P&B Sea-Tow. Getting the cranes on to the Sea-Tow 60 involved negotiating with the Ports of Tauranga for assembly and a berth to walk the cranes on to the barge.A Naval architect was required to calculate the stability, buoyancy and ballasting of the barge, an engineer was brought in to calculate the deck strength and lashing requirements, and a Naval heavy lift engineer was needed to work out the cranes’ de-rated capacties. In his award entry, Gibson says “We have worked every day (seven days per week including Christmas and Easter) since the 7th of November, removing freight from either the Rena or the ocean; this has also included cutting up the wreck and removing these parts from the site. “Prior to this job we had no previous experiences of putting cranes on a barge, using a crane on a barge, or working out as sea. In doing this job we have learnt a lot and paid full retail price to learn. The learning curve was very steep, expensive, stressful and often frustrating.” The salvage continues. Runners-up for the awards were Titan Cranes for its work with Downer on stage one of the Caversham Highway improvements on the outskirts of Dunedin City, and Smith Crane and Construction’s stair replacement at The Palms shopping mall in Christchurch. This series of photos clearly shows the enormity of the task faced by Gibson and his team, including the scale and height of the containers. Because the team was on the barge for such a long period, practical considerations had to be effected. Note the supporting frame under the portable toilet, showing the extent of the pitch on the Rena’s deck. Health & Safety, customer liaison, staff management and the detailed planning required to achieve this salvage formed a major part of Waikato Cranes’ very detailed award entry showing evidence for all judging criteria.





under pressure One word is all it takes to describe the value of good people with experience when the pressure goes on – priceless… By MARK POWELL, Hirepool chief executive.


s anyone in a management or leadership position will confirm, having good people with years of valuable experience behind them can often mean the difference between success and failure. When you come under pressure, in business or sport, facing testing challenges, with no room for error, the value of having experienced professionals on your team becomes paramount. I was recently reminded of that often heard expression, “experience is something you just can’t buy” made by Pat Riley on the other side of the world. While his name may not be familiar to most New Zealanders, Riley is a legend in American basketball who in his time has coached the Los Angeles Lakers, the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat to countless NBA championships. Currently president of Miami Heat who were trailing the Oklahoma Thunder 3-1 in the best- of- seven series NBA finals a few months ago, Riley was sure that with the blow torch on the experienced ‘go-to’ Miami pair, LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, they would step up. History shows they did, sinking goal after goal in the final three games to lead the Heat to a 4-3 series win. Afterwards Riley paid tribute to his ace cards. “This is the kind of experience that can’t be bought at the free agent store and neither can it 24 AUGUST 2012 CONTRACTOR

even be traded,” he said, emphasising the significance of the experienced duo. While I’ve never met the man, and don’t understand many of bubal’s nuances, it is abundantly clear that in a contest where only 5 players from each side are allowed on court, there is no room to hide. Any weakness can be exposed - the more matchhardened and experienced your squad is, the better your chance of getting across the line first. It is the same in any business, particularly one like ours where energy and enthusiasm are no substitute for experience when it comes to problem solving or providing customers with a rental hire solution. And that is why ‘Hire the Experience’ has been our business mantra since my namesake Tenby Powell put together a consortium to acquire the Hirepool business, back in June 2003 – almost 10 years ago. For us it isn’t about having the biggest fleet of commercial or DIY hire equipment, the most modern or even the largest range of equipment, the best service attention or even the smartest looking branches - all key factors. People are our greatest asset, many of them with years of experience. At Hirepool we employ 439 fulltime staff across our 50 strong national branch network and 45 or 10 percent of our total workforce have been with us for 10 or more years, and

“ ”

Experience is something you just can’t buy.

another 10 for more than 20 years. Four have been with us in excess of 30 years - Stan Brzozowski (service person, Manukau) 32 years; Kevin Crowley (customer service, Penrose) 33 years; Kevin Enright (branch manager, New Lynn) 35 years, and as the’Godfather’ at Hirepool, Russell Keach (general branches manager, Auckland Northland) 37 years. There are another 35 with more than 10 years of industry experience. This may explain why we believe good people with experience are the key to our continued success for more than 55 years, and why ‘Hire the Experience’ remains our value proposition. And that is why it remains the key driver of our ‘Customer Intimacy’ platform. Experienced staff appreciate the value of developing and maintaining customer relationships. They understand why detail is important when it comes to the right equipment. With experience they take greater ownership of a problem and are better able to deliver the solution. As coach Riley says, you can’t put a price on experience. Which brings me to another key relationship for Hirepool – as the Principal Partner of the New Zealand Contractors’ Federation – which we recently extended for a further three years. It was back in 2005, to mark our 50th Anniversary, that Hirepool first signed up as the NZCF’s new partner, for what was then the largest commercial sponsorship in the Federation’s 60-year history, and as naming-rights sponsor of the annual Hirepool Construction Awards. At the time Tenby said it made “both commercial and strategic sense for Hirepool to forge a closer relationship with the NZCF” and that hasn’t changed. When we started our relationship with the NZCF Hirepool had 28 general hire branches nationwide. That number has now grown to 45 and with six vehicle rental and a further six marquees & party hire sites, we have 52 branches stretching between Whangarei and Invercargill. As a business, we understand only too well that NZCF members are the engine room of New Zealand’s development and growth. They play such a vital role in maintaining the country’s infrastructure of public services - so vital for a modern economy like ours if we want to compete efficiently in world markets. For us extending the partnership with the NZCF through to the end of 2014, making it a 10-year term, is about pay back and forging closer relationships with the organisation. We encourage staff to become involved with the Federation and are pleased that six are currently on branch executives with our Auckland Area manager recently completing a two year term as chairman of the Auckland branch . And now to the NZCF Annual Conference in Blenheim this month with ‘Fit for Recovery’ as the conference theme. That is especially appropriate with MP Hon Gerry Brownlee, Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, lined up as the keynote speaker. We all know rebuilding the earthquake devastated commercial heart and wider residential areas in Christchurch will take years, and Hirepool is in it for the long haul. We recently marked 10 years since opening our first general hire branch in Riccarton and now have two more branches in Hornby and Moorhouse Ave, on the edge of the Red Zoned CBD. After the two big shakes Hirepool was quick to step up and provide about 1,000 portaloo’s and hundreds of generators, excavators, diggers, tents, portable buildings, pumps, access equipment, trailers, scaffolding and other equipment. All three branches are able to source more equipment from all of our branches, to help move heaven and earth, if required. We are match fit and ready, supported by a group of very capable and experienced people. CONTRACTOR AUGUST 2012 25


Boosting the 26 AUGUST 2012 CONTRACTOR


When completed four years from now, the Tauranga Eastern Link will add thrust to one of the country’s growing regions. For the Fulton Hogan-HEB Construction alliance tasked with carrying out this complex project, the biggest challenge is tricky soil. GAVIN RILEY reports.



ew Zealand’s seven roads of national significance (RoNS) are designed not only to move people and freight around the five largest population centres more safely and efficiently but to enable economic growth rather than simply respond

to it. The 23-kilometre Tauranga Eastern Link (TEL) is one of the “magnificent seven”. Begun in late 2010 and due to be completed in 2016, it is the Bay of Plenty’s largest ever roading project and a key strategic transport corridor for the region. It will support the area’s growth, contribute to economic development through improved travel time, and provide both a more direct route to Tauranga’s port and a safer route between Tauranga and Paengaroa. It is being built for the NZ Transport Agency as a design-andconstruct undertaking by a Fulton Hogan-HEB Construction alliance, in conjunction with URS, Opus, Peters & Cheung, and Bartley Consultants. The total cost is $455 million, $35 million of which is for a series of enabling projects (see separate story). The TEL (see map) will run from the SH2 Te Maunga junction to the junction of SH2 and SH33 near Paengaroa. It will have four lanes, two in each direction; intersections for Mangatawa, Domain Rd and Paengaroa junction (SH2/33); urban design incorporating extensive landscaping; and an electronic free-flow tolling system. Some 140 people are currently employed on the TEL, a figure that will rise to more than 250 next summer season. The Fulton Hogan-HEB Construction alliance is responsible for more than three million cu m of earthworks, the building of seven bridges, about 550,000 square metres of new road, and the placing of some 300,000 plants. The Te Maunga-Domain Road section of the project consists of upgrading six kilometres of existing highway to four lanes and a median barrier. Key features include improving the Te Maunga intersection, creating a new and safer local road, access for properties previously fronting SH2, building interchanges at Mangatawa and Domain Road and left-in/left-out intersections at Bruce and Kairua Roads. The Domain Road-Paengaroa junction (SH2/33) section entails construction of 17 kilometres of new highway with four lanes and a median barrier. Key features include several new structures: a Parton Road overbridge, a 150-metre four-lane bridge across the

Kaituna River bridge site.


Seven TEL enabling projects Constructing the Tauranga Eastern Link has involved seven sizeable enabling projects. To date five have been completed and two are yet to be let. The projects are: • T ruman Lane 1.3km extension ($2.9 million) and lower Mangatawa drain higher stock banks ($344,000). Contractor: Higgins Contractors. Start: May 2010. Completion: May 2011. • Watermain relocation – SH2 Mangatawa Lane to Domain Rd. Contractor: Hawkins Infrastructure. Value: $3.18 million. Start: July 2010. Completion: January 2011. • Watermain relocation – Parton Rd. Contractor: HEB Construction. Value: $2.5 million. Start: March 2010. Completion: September 2010. •D  iagonal drain pump upgrade. Contractor:

HEB Construction. Value: $1.2 million. Start: October 2010. Completion: March 2011. • Kaituna Rd 2.1km extension. Contractor: HEB Construction. Value: $2.84 million. Start: November 2010. Completion: December 2011. • Maranui stormwater treatment pond enlargement. Tender to be let in August 2012. Estimated value: $1.2 million. Start date: September 2012. Completion date: early 2013. • Paengaroa weigh station relocation. Out for tender in September 2012. Estimated value: $2.5 million. Start and completion dates not yet announced.



Kaituna River, overpasses on Maketu Rd and the railway line, and an intersection at Paengaroa (SH2/33). Not included as part of the TEL, but planned for in the future, are interchanges at Papamoa East and the future Rangiuru business park. Fulton Hogan-HEB Construction alliance project director Andrew Johnson says the major challenge the team faced is that 12 of the 23 kilometres of carriageway are to be constructed over peat and other highly compressible soils. Up to five metres’ total settlement is expected during construction. “Through smart design and construction techniques this challenge has been overcome with different methods,” he says. Ground improvements such as the wick drains have been used to increase the rate of settlement, and the stone columns at three structure sites have strengthened the ground beneath to protect against liquefaction in the event of seismic activity. To ensure maximum settlement occurs pre-construction rather than post-construction, additional surcharge material is placed on top of the embankments. In peat areas the use of heavy-duty geofabric and geogrids has been used during placing of the structural fill, giving the ability to fill directly on top of the peat. “The future Domain Rd interchange design in particular was a major challenge with both peat and deep-seated marine silts beneath the bridge abutments,” Johnson says. To overcome long settlement periods, the wick drains with pre-load are being used.This has reduced settlement to nine months. Smart design is the use of lightweight polystyrene fill (weighing less than 30kg per cubic metre compared with 1.7 tonnes per cubic metre of traditional fill material) for the bridge abutment. “By using this design method, the requirement to relocate an existing power sub-station was eliminated, which was a significant cost saving to the project for the client,” Johnson says.

Mechanically Stabilised Earth (MSE) wall, Mangatawa.

By using this design method, the requirement to relocate an existing power sub-station was eliminated, which was a significant cost saving to the project for the client.

Construction timelines to date include…

April 2011:

May 2011:

July 2011:

The first section of foundation-fill construction is complete, giving access to begin ground improvements for the Kaituna River bridge. Work is well underway fencing TEL boundaries.

Access to both sides of the Kaituna River is now complete, including a 23m-wide, 1.5km-long haul road on the east side. Construction of erosion and sediment controls has been carried out. A sand blanket with a geotech fabric base has been placed in preparation for installation of wick drains and as a platform for two cranes, which will be used in the work. Three trial embankments have been completed and a fourth started.

Eight 40t dump trucks have been transporting 2500 cu m of sand a day from an area known as the “sand cut” to construct the foundation fill on the main alignment, which will be used by construction traffic. To date, five kilometres of construction fill have been completed. More than 540 stone columns have been constructed to a depth of 14m on both side of the Kaituna River to stabilise the ground for the bridge-approach embankments.

September 2012

June-August 2012:

May 2011:

From September till year’s end all three project zones will be busy. There will be piling and sub-structure construction on four bridge sites, plus the building of a stock underpass. Pavement construction at Te Maunga will allow the switch of SH2 traffic onto the new lanes, enabling the construction of the southbound lanes. The Domain Rd interchange will see the laying of temporary and permanent pavements, allowing the switch of traffic for the pre-load of the existing road to begin.

Through the June-August period earthworks are continuing with removal and re-laying of pre-load material, plus construction of structural fill and further pre-load. Piling to foundation level and sub-structure construction continue at two structure sites and start at a further two. Ground improvements will be completed at two mowing-boat culvert sites, network drainage and service relocations will continue, and construction of two local access lanes will begin.

The Maranui swale culvert (80m long x 21m high) at the Mangatawa interchange is now in place. Construction has begun in zone C of a 99m-long culvert and ground improvements have started at one of three large mowingboat culvert sites. These culverts will be 945m long x 5.6m wide x 3.5m high and are designed to allow a drain-clearing boat to travel through the existing drainage system. Foundation fill between Bruce and Dominion Roads has reached the level of the concrete protection barriers. More than 32,000 cu m have been placed to date with another 100,000 cu m of foundation fill and pre-load material to come. Three MSE walls have been completed.


East Coast main trunk and Maketu bridge sites.

For speed and efficiency of construction, permitting simultaneous activity, the project has been divided into three areas: zone A, Te Maunga-Domain Rd; zone B, Domain Rd-Kaituna River; and zone C, Kaituna River-Paengaroa. September 2011: The foundation fill between the sand cut and Domain Rd has been completed and more than 400,000 cu m of sand will be hauled to the Domain Rd interchange. Wick-drain operation is 40% completed. Three small trial embankments have been constructed.

November 2011:

December 2011:

The foundation fill is now completed from the Kaituna River to Domain Rd. It sits on the main alignment of the new highway and will soon have pre-load material placed on top. More than 17,500 (456,000 linear metres) of wick drains have been installed and 170,000 cu m of pre-load material placed.

Two large topsoil stockpiles have been created from the stripping of materials from the two sites for the Mangatawa interchange. Now the sites have been cleared, fill is being imported in preparation for construction of the bridge-approach embankments.

April 2011:

February 2011:

178,00 cu metres of material have been shifted in zone C (Kaituna River-Paengaroa). Three bridge embankments are under construction along with foundation fill for the main alignment. Some 33,000 cu metres of material have been shifted to begin construction of the Maketu Rd bridge and East Coast main trunk rail bridge. The Kaituna River bridge piling operation is underway on the west side, with pile casings being driven 55m into the ground.

The TEL will feature a number of MSE (mechanically stabilised earth) walls. Currently the Kaituna River bridge and Mangatawa interchange walls are underway. Work has begun on the TEL’s Te Maunga northbound lanes with the removal of material to subgrade level. Installation is underway of an extensive stormwater drainage system. Pipe thrusting has also started under Truman Lane and the railway line. In more accessible areas open trenches of up to six metres will be excavated to lay drainage pipes. More than 2km of pipe (300-1200mm in diameter), 45 manholes and 49 cesspits will be installed, linking the existing system with the TEL in the Te Maunga section.



Red telco ducting to


Contractors take note: changes are afoot (or, more precisely, underfoot) to the colour coding of underground ducting. BY NICK GRANT


s you’re no doubt aware, there have been well-established and widely understood best practice guidelines for a couple of decades about what the colours of underground utility services ducts represent. These colours were clearly codified in the Department of Labour Guide for Safety with Underground Services in 2002, along with guidelines for the colours and symbols used for markings on duct surfaces. Although this coding was still voluntary at that stage, the Guide nonetheless meant you could be pretty confident that when you dug up a section of footpath and saw orange ducting, what you were looking at was carrying electricity. Likewise yellow ducting (gas), blue or white (water), light grey (waste water/sewer), and dark grey (storm water/drainage). Green, meanwhile, meant telecommunications, although there were two acknowledged exceptions to this rule, with TelstraSaturn and TelstraClear respectively deploying purple and light blue ducting. This colour code was generally agreed to be a sensible arrangement to stick to, as it helped cut down on accidental damage to underground assets and – more importantly – limit deaths by electrocution, which 100 percent of contractors agree is an event that’s both inconvenient and undesirable. In fact, these guidelines were considered so useful that when it came time for the New Zealand Utilities Advisory Group (NZUAG) to draw up a National Code of Practice for Utility Operators’ Access to Transport Corridors they just adopted them wholesale. As a result, the relevant section of the Code, which was approved by the Minister of Infrastructure in November last year and came into force at the beginning of this year, simply stipulates: “Duct colours for the different Utility Structures must be in accordance with the guidelines as specified in Clause 34 of the Department of Labour Guide for Safety with


Underground Services (2002).” This meant that what had previously been merely recommended guidelines were now compulsory, a change that – in keeping with NZUAG’s ‘no surprises’ policy – had long been signaled to the sector. Despite this, however, there has evidently been some confusion on the part of the majority of the local fibre companies (LFCs) involved in the rollout of the UltraFast Broadband network. Only Chorus, it seems, has been consistently using green ducting when laying fibre optic cable. The other three companies – Northpower Fibre, Ultrafast Fibre and Enable Networks, which are responsible for a combined total of 30.6 percent of the UFB rollout – have apparently been using red and (much more worryingly from a health and safety perspective) on some occasions, orange. Why? Contractor understands that in the case of Northpower, at least, the company had been using red ducting for telecommunications for some years prior to green being mandated and specifically chose red for its part of the UFB initiative in order to differentiate its fibre from Chorus’ copper cabling, which is of course covered in green ducting. While Northpower has reportedly occasionally used orange ducting for telecommunications cabling (probably due it also being a lines network operator in Whangarei), it’s only used red ducting for UFB. Contractor also understands that when the then-Department of Labour (now the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment or MBIE) became aware that Ultrafast Fibre was at times using orange ducting for their fibre, the Department advised the company and its UFB rollout partner Crown Fibre Holdings against continuing the practice. In response to that directive, it seems, Ultrafast, Northpower and Enable decided to exclusively use red for their telecommunications ducting, a decision that apparently wasn’t

Duct colours for the different Utility Structures must be in accordance with the guidelines as specified in Clause 34 of the Department of Labour Guide for Safety with Underground Services (2002).

run by DoL before it was implemented. But surely the three LFCs should and would have been aware the best practice guideline regarding the use of green ducting was about to become mandatory? In the absence of a response from any of the companies by deadline, it seems fairly likely they took the view that, because the National Code of Practice refers to the 1992 guidelines when it comes to duct colours, they remained merely recommendations rather than instructions. (Contrary to that view, Contractor is under the impression that a mandated code has the force of law even when referring to voluntary guidelines.) Whatever the case, there was (and is) now the problem of at least six months’ worth of fibre optic cable having been laid around the country in red ducting that doesn’t comply with the Code. After being alerted to the use of non-compliant ducting by a member, the Contractors Federation spent several months working with DoL/MBIE on this, in the first instance sending out an alert to its members warning them of the issue. According to Malcolm Abernethy, who handles technical queries on behalf of the Federation, “It seems the Department of Labour aren’t too concerned about red ducting being used for UFB but they certainly don’t want orange. They’re very concerned about that.” Indeed, DoL/MBIE sent a letter to Crown Fibre Holdings on 5 July, noting the issue of colours other than green being used as ducting as part of the UFB rollout.“This is not a problem per se,” the letter states, “but unless there is certainty about which colours are to be used, there is a risk that confusion and harm may occur when subsequent work is undertaken.” The letter goes on to confirm the Department will soon be reviewing the Guide for Safety with Underground Services, including the various colours of ducting to be used, and that when it does: it “will recommend the use of either green or red

ducting for telecommunication”; TelstraSaturn and TelstraClear will be able to continue to use purple and light blue respectively; and there won’t be any distinction made between the colour of telecommunication ducting to be used for copper and fibre optic cable. The letter is at pains to stress that “orange ducting, which is used for electricity, should not be used for telecommunication”. So, at the risk of being repetitive, the practical upshot of all this is that now, when you uncover underground assets in green or red ducting (or purple and light blue), you’re dealing with telecommunications cabling (with red almost certainly being UFB). Always assume orange equals electricity. It’s arguable whether DoL/MBIE’s post facto decision to allow red ducting for telecommunications is a case of commendable pragmatism or unfortunate shortsightedness. Given the apparently ever-increasing number of players in the utility market, there’ll presumably be a corresponding rise in the desire to differentiate assets from those of their competitors. Surely a clear line in the dirt needs to be drawn and strictly adhered to sooner or later, preferably sooner? What’s certain is that a project as large as the Ultra-Fast Broadband Investment Initiative was always going to throw up a range of issues as it rolled out. Another one that Contractor has heard about is the allegedly unreasonably onerous remediation requirements UFB contractors are sometimes expected to meet. Despite the fact there is supposed to be a nationally agreed upon standard for remediation, for example, there are stories of some local authorities taking it upon themselves to issue 15 pages of conditions specific to their area. It’s an apparent problem that’s only just turned up on the Federation’s radar but, like any others that are concerning contractors, it’s one Malcolm Abernethy and his colleagues are keen to hear more about and help resolve. CONTRACTOR AUGUST 2012 33


InfraTrain launches procurement procedures qualification InfraTrain, the Industry Training Organisation (ITO), has recently launched the New Zealand Certificate in Infrastructure Civil Engineering (Procurement Procedures).


eveloped in partnership with the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA), the New Zealand Certificate recognises specialist skills and knowledge around tendering and procurement. It is aligned to NZTA Procurement Procedures, which aim to help councils, territorial authorities and other approved organisations obtain better value for money. The New Zealand Certificate replaces the National Certificate in Asset Management (Competitive Pricing Procedures), which was previously offered by InfraTrain. It is suitable for people working a range of sectors within infrastructure civil engineering, who are involved in tender preparation and evaluation. The qualification is especially relevant for teams working on activities valued at over $200,000 that are funded under the Land Transport Programme. For these projects,

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NZTA now requires that at least one member of the proposal evaluation team is appropriately skilled and qualified. The New Zealand Certificate covers key skills including initiating and managing all aspects of the procurement process; knowledge of contract conditions; and ethical tender evaluation. Skills for preparation of tender documents, or preparation and negotiation of contracts, can also be covered, depending on the requirements of the individual. The qualification is achieved on the job with no exams. Candidates are required to undertake a series of practical activities and to prepare a portfolio of evidence, which will demonstrate their skills and experience. “A stronger focus on value for money means that the tendering and procurement environment is becoming

A stronger focus on value for money means that the tendering and procurement environment is becoming increasingly competitive.

increasingly competitive,” says InfraTrain chief executive, Philip Aldridge. “This qualification meets industry needs by aligning skills to industry best practice. It is practical, relevant, and gives local authorities and other organisations confidence that their processes meet NZTA requirements.”

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A balanced philosophy for growth BY JEREMY SOLE CEO, NZCF


t might be surprising to many people who are about to read this column that the Contractors’ Federation does not have a philosophical objection to contract aggregation. But somehow we frequently find ourselves painted into the ‘anti-aggregation’ corner, and constantly having to reiterate NZCF’s philosophy that procurement models should firstly be determined by the scale, complexity and risk present in the work to be carried out; and that, for the industry to remain healthy, it is critical that clients recognise the need to have a growth pathway for contracting businesses in their area that are willing and able to grow. This philosophy does not discriminate against any procurement model but advocates for balance and allows for local environments and local issues and geographical context to play a part in selecting and structuring contract models. There will be some of you non-roading people who will, as you read this column, perhaps sigh a wee bit and wonder why the Federation is putting so much talk, energy and time into working with road maintenance procurement issues. The reason is that there is so much change going on in this space that has the potential to flow through to almost every aspect of local government civil asset maintenance and operations in New Zealand. So while much of this is activity is focussed around NZTA – it is also of critical importance to the rest of the industry. By the time this issue of Contractor hits your table, the Ministerial Task Force on Road Maintenance Funding will have all but completed its work and the NZTA Maintenance and Operations (NZTA M&O) discussion document will be almost ready to launch into its stakeholder consultation on 13 August. While we don’t currently know the contents of the NZTA M&O review document, we are advised that it aligns with many of the Task Force findings and we are advised that NZTA’s core principles in their review are a shift to performance outcomes, and a dramatic decrease in the number of State Highway maintenance contracts. This reduction is to be achieved through aggressive escalation in levels of aggregation coupled with extended contract terms. Notwithstanding the introduction above, there is a particularly significant lingering issue with both of these reviews at the time of writing this column; and that is around the on-going debate about where to draw the line in terms of appropriate levels of contract aggregation. Anyone who has been on ‘planet contracting’ in the past decade will be keenly aware of this debate and the opinions and misinformation, or more often lack of information, around this – from all directions. The interim Task Force report, which has been the subject of recent industry roadshows, and debates, appears to infer there is both room and appetite for greater levels of contract aggregation. However the discussions and the submissions tell a very different story. A quick evaluation of written submissions to the Task Force show that while 10 percent of submitters were in favour of increased levels of contract aggregation, 33 percent were strongly against this and 27 percent expressed significant unease about it. Interestingly the vast majority of these comments were made by elected councillors and senior council infrastructure staff, many of whom were well informed from having previously done their due diligence in this area. So we are seeing 60 percent of written submitters extremely nervous about increasing the 36 AUGUST 2012 CONTRACTOR

amount of contract aggregation – with the most significant reasons for concern being; loss of the local contracting industry, loss of competition, loss of innovation, and issues around lack of competition expected at the end of contract terms. Interestingly the summary data pulled from flipcharts from group discussions on the Task Force roadshows showed a similar pattern to written submissions with 13 percent support for further aggregation, 32 percent definitely not in favour, and 33 percent where concerns appeared to have matched or outweighed the positive aspects of increased levels of aggregation. Given 71 percent of these discussion groups were reluctant to increase levels of aggregation, this again highlights serious concerns about the sustainability of current and increased levels of aggregation. I should note that the group discussion flipchart information was somewhat subjective given the cryptic one word bullet points that most groups used to support their verbal presentations – but in my view, and from comments from NZCF people present at the various roadshow events, the strong correlation between the written submissions and the flip chart summaries speaks for itself.

for the industry to remain healthy, it is critical that clients recognise the need to have a growth pathway for contracting businesses in their area that are willing and able to grow.

So, we are now coming toward a period of negotiation and potential change that may shape the industry for the next 20 years and it is time for you to step up and ensure your voice and your experiences and ideas are heard. NZCF will be disseminating information and will be collecting data and assimilating members’ feedback so we are able to submit and advocate on your behalf. So please do not be silent over this period. On a different topic altogether (or is it?), another issue that I have been finding in many discussion forums is that clients often draw distinctions between large and smaller contracting firms in the context of quality and safety. Often the conversations take it for granted that large firms are committed to excellence in these areas but small firms are not. I find myself frequently hearing this unconscious belief and questioning it. It is an interesting process to watch as people’s brains struggle to justify their thinking when you ask why they said that. There are many SME contracting firms that have made significant investments to build highly competent and skilled businesses and the quality discussion needs to be shifted from being a ‘big vs small’ discussion to ‘professional and skilled vs the rest’. This is a challenge for the industry and especially for the maintenance sectors and I am looking forward to the Federation making some inroads in this area and generating recognition of firms which have invested in establishing highly skilled workforces that deliver exceptional results for their clients.



ith the most significant changes to Road User Charges since this scheme was started more than 30 years ago, now being put in place for diesel vehicles there were bound to be many changes required for loads transporting overweight loads. The RUC system is the way that the Government charges diesel vehicles for the road wear that occurs when they travel, as this is not included in the pump price – as it is for petrol. Generally the transport industry would like to see that the same system be employed for revenue gathering from the trucking fleet, however the Government hasn’t seen fit to go down this route. Instead they consulted on and have devised a major overhaul of the way that RUCs are calculated on heavy vehicles. Time will tell whether this is still the best way to go. So, what are the major changes for heavy loads?

1. Fixed weight for calculating RUC for heavy vehicles The mechanism is called the RUC weight, and is calculated based on the type of vehicle, its axle spacings, and sometimes tyre type. This weight info is held by NZTA and will be used to work out what the RUC rate will be for each vehicle.

2. Weight Bands

6. Additional Licences One particular aspect that the Heavy Haulage Association lobbied for was that the current fixed 50 kilometre distance of supplementary licence should be more flexible, starting at a lower kilometre limit and increasing in smaller units. The result has been that the additional licences will be available with a 10 kilometre minimum and increasing in one kilometre increments from there. This will be a significant improvement towards getting an appropriate amount of RUCs for these overweight loads. However, one issue that operators will need to be aware of is that for overweight loads, the amount of additional licence purchased will need to match the maximum weight listed on the permit being used for that load – rather than the actual weight of the load and vehicle.As most heavy haulage operators use a permit that has some extra capacity than the actual load, then on average there may be increased RUCs being paid.

...the amount of additional licence purchased will need to match the maximum weight listed on the permit being used for that load – rather than the actual weight of the load and vehicle.

Each vehicle type has one or more weight bands associated with it, and depending on the RUC weight, then the weight band it falls into will be the rate paid. So there will no longer be the ability to travel at tare weight when empty and then get supplementary licences – the same rate will be applied. Those vehicles that travel at weights less than the average for the band may pay more than in the past, while those that travel heavier than the average, may pay slightly less. There will be winners and losers.

Overall the effect of the more accurate kilometres being able to be purchased for additional licences may be balanced by the need to purchase these kilometres at a greater weight than at present.

3. Overall Rates

7. Penalties

The Government has said that the money that they gain from the RUC’s regime will be the same after the changes have been implemented. Having said that the Government is also increasing RUCs by an average of 4.1 percent overall to cover the increased costs of providing the roading network around New Zealand, so operators will need to factor that in when comparing rates as well as reviewing their charge out rates.

As we have come to expect, with a regime such as Road User Charges, there are also those offences and penalties to encourage willing compliance from the transport sector, and to inflict on those that step outside the rules for the regime. Many of the existing types of penalties are carried over, however there are now specific requirements to create and maintain records that demonstrate that an operator is complying with the RUC regime.These are specific in many instances – such as driver logbooks for the period of 12 months – but also there are now provisions that NZTA can access records held by third parties in order to investigate possible non-compliance. While operators are looking now to see how all these changes may affect them, the actual impact is not likely to be felt until the system is bedded in over the months following the commencement on August 1. Time will tell whether these changes have been better or worse for operators complying with the RUC regime. If not then the industry might consider another Truck Protest similar to that seen a couple of years ago – but let’s hope that the Ministry of Transport will take on board any problems that may be encountered and solve them working with the industry.

4. Administration Fees There is some good news here with many of the administration fees for the purchasing of licences being reduced from the current rates which the Government says reflects the decreased costs of some issuing methods.

5. Overweight Loads For operators that transport loads on overweight permits, instead of supplementary licences additional licences will be able to be purchased to cover the extra weight above the normal maximum weights. Operators will need to ensure that they know the legal weight of each combination to ensure that they are purchasing the correct amounts of additional licence.





endering is a bit like chasing rainbows. In today’s market, a tenderer will often invest significant time and expense preparing its tender, knowing that it is likely to be one of many vying to win an often meagre pot of gold, all the while keeping one eye fixed to the sky looking for the next opportunity. That willingness perhaps reflects the fact that tendering is a vital part of the business of civil works contracting. But despite the frequent use of tendering, principals and tenderers often misunderstand their respective obligations, sometimes with serious consequences. This article identifies a few suggestions that may go some way to avoiding commonly encountered problems. Often the principal’s invitation to tender will be an offer, which the tenderer accepts when it submits a complying tender. The parties can at times fail to appreciate the impact of the express and implied obligations that this tender contract contains. These obligations are quite separate from those later created between the principal and the successful tenderer.

Understand the principal’s obligations A good example of where a principal misunderstood its express obligations is the case of Pratt Contractors Limited v Palmerston North City Council. The Council agreed to evaluate tenders in accordance with the lowest price conforming tender method, but departed from this method by awarding the contract to a non-conforming tenderer. While the Council set the rules, it did not fully appreciate how it needed to apply the rules, and breached them. The aggrieved lowest tenderer held the Council to account for its mistake. The courts will also often imply obligations (such as good faith and equal treatment) into tender contracts.This is a positive

a tenderer will often invest significant time and expense preparing its tender, knowing that it is likely to be one of many vying to win an often meagre pot of gold, all the while keeping one eye fixed to the sky looking for the next opportunity

development, as it is reasonable for tenderers to expect that principals will compare apples to find the best apples. It is when principals start comparing apples with apricots that disputes arise. For example, a principal may favour a local tenderer without reserving this right (a commonly litigated issue overseas) or ask one tenderer to provide information on a topic but not extend the same opportunity to others. The consequences of breaching these obligations are serious. A tenderer may be entitled to damages if it can show that it is more likely than not that it would have been awarded the contract if the principal had complied with its obligations. In the civil engineering context, the appropriate measure of damages will often be the loss of profit on the contract for the work. Faced with these obligations and the consequences that arise if they are breached, a principal can give itself more flexibility by, for example, including an express right to depart from the method of evaluation or to consider a non-conforming tender. Some principals will go further and attempt to prevent a tender contract from forming at all. The Auckland Council successfully did this in Onyx v Auckland City Council. However, not all attempts to exclude liability will be successful. A principal recently awarded a contract to build a highway to a non-conforming tenderer. The overseas Court held that an exclusion of liability clause within the offer did not protect the principal from the conforming tenderer’s claim. It follows that tenderers should be alert to the consequences of principals contracting out of the tender process. While non-contractual obligations, such as those under the Local Government Act and the Fair Trading Act, will remain, a principal will essentially have the power to select any tender it wants.

Understand the tenderer’s obligations New Zealand cases have primarily focused on the principal’s obligations. However, tenderers will sometimes owe obligations too.An example is the tenderer’s obligation to keep its offer open for acceptance for a specified period. This obligation can have disastrous consequences for a tenderer whose tender contains mistakenly low prices – it may be forced to wear the loss if it wins the contract. While this obligation can be perilous for tenderers contracting with a principal, its inclusion can greatly assist a contractor who seeks tenders from subcontractors. Without it, a contractor who relies on the prices submitted by an earmarked subcontractor tenderer will be vulnerable if the subcontractor decides to withdraw its bid. Overall, a failure to properly understand and meet these obligations can tarnish the principal’s or tenderer’s bottom-line, or even its market image. It pays to understand the respective obligations and ensure they are being met. Michael Lake is a Solicitor in Kensington Swan’s construction law team.




ecently reading an extract from Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, I was fascinated by the author’s description of how the power of a message can be dramatically altered by its context. It sounds obvious enough, but I’m sure we’ve all had those eureka moments when the general conversations you’ve been having suddenly have greater meaning and relevance because, in an instant, they all seem to fit together? From an apparent small change almost out of the blue an entirely different perspective emerges. Often it’s about the collision of a number of influencing factors, maybe apparently disconnected but all aligning thinking, rounding up and intuitively pointing in the same direction. What does this have to do with New Zealand roads? Quite a bit, I think. In terms of road maintenance and operations we are at our own tipping point right now, where the way forward will look quite different from how the sector has operated in the past. Facing a six percent annual increase in M&O and Renewals expenditure, which equates to a $160 million shortfall over the next GPS period, is a pretty loud wake-up call for our sector. We have to do things differently, and we have to find efficiency improvements. For our State Highways we have some clear ideas what this may entail, and others that are more directional in their composition. But what’s not in doubt is our belief that, collectively within the sector, we have the ability to deliver a better maintenance and operations model to support a thriving New Zealand. The Government’s Road Maintenance Task Force (RMTF) recently consulted on its key recommendations for the future

The other point that came through loud and clear was that frustration exists with the degree of effort and complexity required for tendering processes within the sector. For our part at NZTA we are very mindful that pitching this right is vital to better balance sector costs and long-term outcomes, and it was encouraging to read that there was a recognition of standards being raised here. Again this is something we will continue to adapt for the benefit of all parties as we look to deliver increased value for money in all that we do. It’s said that change is often feared not because of an unwillingness to adapt but because of the uncertainty it carries – and who hasn’t experienced that feeling? My view? Get your ideas out there, listen, improve, communicate – and deliver. If we truly are at the tipping point, now is the time that more of your colleagues, partners and customers will welcome the conversation and your ideas for change. I certainly will.



It’s said that change is often feared not because of an unwillingness to adapt but because of the uncertainty it carries.

and at NZTA, we are soon to get underway with our own State Highway M&O consultation process. Our M&O review to date has highlighted opportunities to significantly improve performance and ensure greater future flexibility. Central to this are proposals to appropriately select an optimal network length and ensure consistency through the reduction in the numbers of different contract models and to introduce an improved model that builds on the best components of traditional, hybrid and PSMC models. In last month’s issue of Contractor I read some concerns about these proposals and their possible effect on small and medium sized companies. Having a strong view on the opportunities ahead of us does not mean having a singular view – we are committed to encouraging competition at the macro level and maintaining market depth into the future, and we are keen to hear your views on this over the coming months.

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an International mix As an entirely new design from International Harvester, the 400 series was based around a modular concept of construction.


nternational Harvester’s 400 series was based around a modular concept of construction and consisted of four machines – a single-engined open bowl scraper (the 431), a twin engined open bowl scraper, subject of this article (the 433), a single-engined elevating scraper (the 442) and a twin-engined elevating scraper (the 444). All shared a common tractor unit and a great deal of other components that allowed International to rationalise production and reduce its parts inventory considerably. The modular concept for motor scrapers was not solely International’s domain as Allis-Chalmers had already introduced its ‘200 series’ (260B, 261B, 262B and 263B), again all sharing a common tractor unit and many other features. Introduced in 1972, the 400 series expanded InternationalHarvester’s range of motor scrapers that up until that time was limited, and all of which were decidedly old technology. International aimed squarely at the fattest segment of the motor scraper market – 14 to 20 cubic yards – an area long dominated by Terex & Caterpillar. Traditional International owners were keen buyers of the new


machines but International Harvester had a bit of an uphill task convincing buyers of other brands. As a result, sales of all the 400 series machines were moderate despite their efficiency, reliability and good looks. Unlike other manufacturers of the period, International did not offer any form of ride suspension on its motor scrapers, and that may have been one of the limiting factors in their acceptability. An uprated 433B was introduced in 1977 featuring an increase in horsepower in the tractor unit from 310 to 326 plus a higher capacity hydraulic pump and a few styling changes. Noticeably this included the relocation of the front headlights from being inset into the bumper to the upper sides of the radiator surround. Following the Dresser buy-out of International Harvester’s Payline division in November 1982, the remaining 400 series machines (433B & 444B) were dropped from the product range. The 431B and 442B had been put out to pasture a little earlier after a very short production run. This left the little 11 cubic yard 412B elevating scraper as the sole survivor of a once proud range of International Pay Scrapers.

‘n’ match

Far left: A great shot of a 433B with a full load at speed. Higher placement of the headlights on the B model machines is readily evident. These machines also had slightly more power. Above: Two 433Bs work on a housing job near Tupelo, Mississippi (Elvis’ birthplace). Both are fully optioned but interestingly have the cab doors removed, no doubt to cope with the humidity.

The International 433 described International used two of its own design engines to power the 433. In the tractor unit was the 310 horsepower DVT800, a turbocharged, intercooled V8 diesel and in the scraper, a 185 horsepower DT466, 6-cylinder turbocharged inline diesel. Both engines were used in other International machines increasing parts commonality between units. Twin-Disc supplied the matching 5-speed powershift transmissions. On a smooth haul road the 433 was capable of 34 mph. Shoe-type brakes were fitted to all wheels and these were air activated. The gooseneck of the 433 was similar in design to that of the Terex TS-18 but the steering system was decidedly Caterpillar in origin, having two “V” shaped multiplier links connected to the steering cylinders which were mounted high up on the neck. Even the apron actuating system was similar to Caterpillar’s featuring inside mounted apron arms with lever and link to raise and lower.

Close up shot of the Pay Mate attachment. This allowed two 433s to load each other, much in the same way as Terex’s Twin-Hitch and Caterpillar’s Push-Pull systems.



An early International 433 on test at IH’s proving ground in Arizona. It is fitted with a Pay Mate loading attachment. Early 433s had the headlights mounted low down just above the bumper.

Compared to previous International scrapers, the 400 series machines looked quite angular in appearance with most of the body panels being flat or squared off. This cut down the cost of manufacturing considerably with very few compound curves to worry about. The bowl held 14 cubic yards struck and 21 cubic yards heaped and was equipped with 4-section reversible and interchangeable cutting edges. Two vertically mounted double-acting hydraulic cylinders attached directly from the top of the gooseneck to the bowl spreader bar to provide lift and cutting edge penetration. These produced some 28 tons of down force. Ejection was bulldozer style, powered by two double-acting hydraulic cylinders. A bowl spill-guard was fitted as standard equipment and helped prevent spillage of large chunks of earth or ‘tombstones’ falling over the back of the bowl onto the rear engine enclosure and fuel tank. Compared to some of International’s previous scraper offerings, the 433 had very good visibility all round, even the exhaust stack and aircleaner inlet being set back to allow the operator a better uninterrupted view to the right. An instrument panel was set to the right of the steering column and contained all the necessary gauges and also included a tachometer. A smaller panel containing the rear engine’s gauges was set inside the rear left hand side cowl of the scraper unit. The 433 was usually delivered with a Bostrom air suspension seat and an open, non-ROPS cab with windshield wiper as standard equipment.A full ROPS air-conditioned cab was available as an option for colder climates. The 433s could also be supplied with International’s “Pay Mate” dual loading system. This allowed two 433s to load each other without the use of a separate push tractor similar to Caterpillar’s “Push-Pull” and Terex’s “Twin-Hitch” systems. Pay Mate was factory installed and could not be retrofitted to existing machines as reinforcement was required to the machine’s frame. At the rear the scraper’s push block, which contained the Pay Mate hook, was extended and a substantial radiator guard for the rear engine was installed.

scrapers in his spread. The 433s appear to have changed hands a couple of times subsequently and it is not known if they are still operational or even in New Zealand. Can any of our readers fill in the blanks?

For the model collector n

Only one model of International’s 433 has been produced. This is to 1:25th scale and manufactured by First Gear. n It is of exceptionally good quality, very accurate and fully functional with very little missing from the model other than oil leaks and an operator! n The model has been issued with a couple of variations since its first release in 2004 – a limited run ‘mining white’ version, a gold plated example, and as a very rare matched pair equipped with IH’s Pay Mate dual machine loading system. An impressive model worth adding to any large scale collection. n

The New Zealand connection As far as the author is aware there were only two 433 scrapers imported by International-Harvester New Zealand. Both were delivered new to John McLaughlin Ltd, an established IH user who already had some IH E211 elevating 42 AUGUST 2012 CONTRACTOR

One of John McLachlin’s two International 433s at work on a housing subdivision just north of Johnsonville, Wellington, 1974. It is fitted with Pay Mate gear and an extension to the top of the apron to prevent chunks of material fouling the bowl lift cylinders. Your author did a couple of rounds on this machine and found it very nice to operate.

Above: New Zealand’s sole 444 PayScraper in the service of G.A.Renner. No cab, no ROPS – those were the days. This machine is an early production model as evidenced by the headlight placement with later machines having them mounted on the radiator guard.


International 433 PayScraper

Above: The author’s fleet of 433Bs with a rogue John Deere 840 that snuck in before the photo was taken! First Gear’s 1:25th scale model of the International 433 is exceptionally well done and has been issued in several variations.

Engine (front): International DVT-800, V-8, turbocharged and aftercooled diesel rated at 310 flywheel horse power @ 2600 rpm Engine (rear): International DT-466 six-cylinder, inline, turbocharged diesel rated at 185 flywheel horsepower @ 2500 rpm Transmissions: Matched Twin-Disc 5-speed powershift countershaft type transmissions Top Speed: 34 mph Brakes: Full air operated expanding wedge type on all wheels Steering: Two cylinder hydraulic with multiplier linkage. 90° each way Turning Circle: 34’ Capacity: 14 cubic yards struck, 21 cubic yards heaped Operation: All hydraulic Length: 41’ 5” (without Pay Mate attachment) Width: 11’ 10” Height: 12’ 2” Operating Weight: 34 tons (empty), 59 tons (loaded)



PETER GILL >> Motor noter

IMAGE CONTROL I think Mazda is trying to give its MX5 sports car a sex change. Introduced in 1989 and still going, the MX5 has been extraordinarily successful. Back then, Mazda saw a market gap and filled it. The venerable MG and Austin Healey sports cars had ceased production. They tended to be driven by cloth capped elderly guys who didn’t mind the way the canvas tops of those cars always leaked rainwater right onto that fleshy bit between your trouser cuff and top of the sock. But more women purchased the MX5 than men did. Result was that whenever I’ve tested the car over the years I’ve felt

ONLY WHEN IT RAINS… A Nissan dealer in Australia says he received a concerned phone call from an elderly lady the day after she picked up her new Nissan. When asked to describe the problem she was experiencing with the car, she said that when she turned on the windscreen wipers they swept only twice per minute. 44 AUGUST 2012 CONTRACTOR

like a potential cross-dresser. This is no slight against the car. It always has been a very well designed two-seater, rear drive sports car. That’s the classic formula for a sports car. But at each facelift in recent times, Mazda seems to have ‘masculinised’ the car a little bit more. I think I am the stage where I can put the lipstick away.

EVERYTHING’S UNDER CONTROL, OFFICER Road testing a different new vehicle every week can have its problems. You take time to become familiar with the controls each time you pick up another vehicle. Never was this so embarrassing as when I was stopped at a routine alcohol checkpoint at night in a Chrysler Jeep I had just picked up. An officer motioned me to wind down the driver’s window. Down went the front passenger window, by mistake. I stabbed again and down went the passenger’s rear window. Somehow I then managed to hit the screen washer button just as the other officer was leaning in to look at the rego label, squirting him squarely in the face. The pair of them were incandescent when I finally performed the breath screening test, only to be completely clear.

beep beep Car companies have tried to outdo each other in producing cute, quaint and eye-catching models in the past few years. Examples are the current VW Beetle, the Nissan S Cargo van, the current Fiat 500, and the Toyota Wil. But there was a spectacularly cute car back in the 1950s too. It was called the Nash Metropolitan. The American Nash company wanted to introduce Americans to the notion of a small car as a second car in the household, or as a commuter vehicle. To develop it from the ground up was going to be too expensive, so Nash hired Austin of England to be part of the project. The car was powered by an Austin A40 1200cc engine, and later an A50 1500cc engine. Various other Austin mechanical components were used in the car, and Austin built the vehicle in England. The model proved quite a success in North America, the UK and a number of other markets. It was also something of a figure of fun and ridicule as witnessed by the Playmates’ song, “Beep Beep, Beep Beep” which reached No 4 on the Billboard Top40 of July, 1958. Check it out on YouTube if you’re not familiar with the novelty song, but be warned the tune will be in your head all day. If I saw a good one at the right price, and there are a few examples in New Zealand, I would probably buy it for its sheer collectability.

MORE KESTREL THAN FALCON? I am not looking forward to going to the bar at my local boat club when I’ve got the new 2 litre Falcon for a test drive. The guys always ask me about what I’m driving this week. I’m expecting to get laughed out of the joint when I turn up in a 2 litre Falcon. The engine capacity is just half the size of the standard Falcon. But Ford has come up with this model because so many companies and organisations have a “no six cylinder” policy now for their fleets and executives. The engine is no ordinary four-potter, though. Called the Ecoboost, it has been designed and tuned to put out as much power as a six. This is achieved through a combination of turbocharging, twin independent variable camshaft timing technology and direct fuel injection. Friends in the motoring journalism game who have had preview drives in Australia, say that it’s got tons of snot and is by no means a burden to drive. On arrival here it will be priced at $48,490. I’ll never convince the guys in the bar though, unless I let them drive it, which is unlikely given the amount of booze they put away.

BIG BAD BOY IS BACK The Chrysler 300C has been described as a Mafia car due to its menacing look and gun-slit windows. Introduced to New Zealand in 2005, the latest iteration has just arrived. The quality of both ride and assembly far exceed the previous car. The old one was a bit of a dray to drive, which is probably why it didn’t do serious damage to sales of the Falcon and Commodore. In 2010 it disappeared from our market completely. Although the market for large cars in general is shrinking, the new 300C may do better than the last one because of this marked improvement in almost every department. Pricing is tasty, too, being $57,990 for the entry-level V6 petrol version. Diesel is available. The Mark One 300C was trialled by the government when it was looking to replace its Holdens. Helen Clark’s driver (Helen was Prime Minister at the time) told me that she did not favour the car because of its gangster look and because she felt car sick in the back. BMW won the day.



A cracking good read With all the discussions recently about bundling, aggregating, value for money and whole of life maintenance, it was timely that Jordan Kelly sent her 350-page book, Cracking the VFM Code, to Contractor magazine for review. It’s a complex issue for the initiated; and a minefield for the noviceso we promptly sent it on to MALCOLM ABERNETHY, executive officer at New Zealand Contractors’ Federation. Here’s his report. CRACKING THE VFM CODE: How to Identify & Deliver Genuine Value for Money in Collaborative Contracting AUTHOR: Jordan Kelly (Bid Srategist, Coach & Author) PUBLISHER: Big Fig Publishing under the imprint of Intelligentsia Press


was asked to have a look at this book and review it for Contractor magazine. I initially thought that this was another task to add to the considerable time being spent on NZTA Maintenance & Operations Task Force work, the Construction Safety Council and many other activities and projects. I also thought ‘do I have enough in depth knowledge on the Value for Money subject?’ Apparently yes. So as a somewhat reluctant reviewer I read further and further into the book to find I was becoming more and more enthralled with the subject and its presentation. Jordan Kelly has a way of writing on what could be a technically complex subject in a style that carries the reader along. Kelly presents the interviewees well with great introductions and conclusions. Injecting where appropriate her views on the subject.

Jordan Kelly has a way of writing on what could be a technically complex subject in a style that carries the reader along ...

Initially I felt the book was very Australian focused, however that is not the case and the work Kelly has put into interviewing practitioners in the field of collaborative forms of contract on both sides of the Tasman make this a truly Australasian book. Quotes are provided by many of NZ’s infrastructure industry leaders Value for Money (VfM) is a many layered concept that means different things to different people and so the book looks at the many forms of contract and collaboration during both the procurement, construction and maintenance phases of an asset that are considered to provide VfM. As an example Kelly quotes liberally from Keith Brownjohn, specialist consultant in advanced Government procurement processes. Brownjohn makes enlightening comments on many aspects of procurement from Early Contractor Involvement (ECI), Early Tenderer Involvement (ETI), Preferred Tenderer, Managing 46 AUGUST 2012 CONTRACTOR

Contractor, NEC suite of contracts,Alliances to Performance Incentivised Cost Reimbursable Contracts. On the NEC suite of contracts, Brownjohn says – “There is a move for the use of the NEC contract form in Australia (and New Zealand). But Australia (and New Zealand) doesn’t have a lot of the issues that face the UK infrastructure construction sector so, to me there doesn’t seem any real need for it.” I totally agree and have added the reference to NZ in brackets! There are many others that have been quoted in their entirety from the interviews conducted and this approach provides a very complete picture. With the disasters that have occurred in this area of the globe Kelly looks in detail at the Disaster Rebuilds and Alliancing: Optimising VfM in extreme & unbudgeted for Circumstances in chapter 12. Kelly represents the structure of the alliance, its objectives and controls to ensure VfM is achieved during the rebuild. A word from the author sums this book up for me! ‘…so full of truth, value and inspiration that the reader wants to carry it in his briefcase, keep it on his nightstand, give it a permanent home on his desk. I have researched and written this book with the deepest desire that, to those in the growing “collaborative” movement, it be such a book.’ – Jordan Kelly I believe Jordan Kelly has achieved this goal as I certainly will be keeping this book nearby for inspiration and knowledge. The book contains a fantastic selection of side note quotes from within the text or well-known people. I found this distracting at first however this layout provided wide margins where I scribbled my comments when it is very rare for me scribble in a book. This is a book I strongly recommend people to read if they are interested in knowing more about collaboration within the infrastructure construction and maintenance industry.

Kelly’s second book on this topic is Cracking the VfM Code in Collaborative Contract Bidding: Value for Money… Understanding It & Articulating Your Ability To Deliver It, which has been written with specific application to public infrastructure collaborative contracting bids. 165pp, A$195.00 incl p&p. The books (with package discounts) can be purchased from her website


Manitou Mani Access

Compaction meter The newly released Mikasa MVH406DSNC compactor now comes with the Mikasa Compas compaction meter. Available through Youngman Richardson & Co, the new Mikasa Compas compaction meter is a measuring and display system, located in full view of the operator, to assist with the consistent and continuous accuracy of the compaction process. Youngman Richardson sales and marketing director Ed Richardson says the main benefit of this model is the improved productivity it provides as a result of its superior compaction accuracy. “For operators this means less re-working and no more over compaction.” Other benefits highlighted by Ed Richardson include a uniform approach to compaction due to continuous measurement and the assurance of a quality job no matter how experienced or not the operator may be. In addition the Mikasa Compas compactor is able to measure machine frequency. For more information contact Youngman Richardson & Co at 09 443 2436 or for South Island enquiries, 03 377 6854.

Available through AB Equipment the Manitou 280 TJ has a working height of 28 metres and a maximum outreach of 21.45 metres and can hold 2-3 people in a large basket measuring 2.30m x 0.90m. Other features include a diesel 45 horsepower engine, continuous rotation, an oscillating axle and four simultaneous movements. Add to this a 4-wheel drive, 4-wheel steer and Crab steer and you can understand why the Manitou 280 TJ has a reputation for reliability and quality. “Thanks to the extent of its range, Manitou allows you to choose the platform which best meets your needs, whether it be scissors, articulated or vertical mast types,” says AB Equipment, sales and marketing manager, Rob Fuller. For further information call Rob Fuller on 021 653 956.

iPad and iPhonesales It’s the way of the future – European Plant and Machinery Sales is offering its customers a new interactive iPhone/iPad Application developed for them by Moffat Consulting & Technology. The new EPM App enables the user to browse equipment by category to produce a subset listing of machinery that is displayed in a digital ‘stock book’, outlining available products classified by: model, year, hours, location, with the addition of the price and include a recent photograph. The EPM App is made available as a free download from the iTunes Store.

Hamm compaction distribution Wirtgen New Zealand is now the sole distributor for Hamm compaction products. Hamm Ag is a fully owned member of the Wirtgen Group and as such completes the ability of Wirtgen NZ to offer the contracting

and rental industry a premium range of products comprising crushing, stabilisation, milling, paving and compaction. This gives the end users a one stop supplier who is manufacturer direct to market.


HTC 18

Total Oil

Custom Fleet NZ

Integrated Matting Systems


Transdiesel IFC

Doosan IBC

Mimico 19

Trimble 35

Global Survey

Rocktec 43


Goughs 17

Site Safe


Wirtgen New Zealand


Heat Exchangers

Taylor Built


Youngman Richardson


9 34 16

Hirepool 3


Topcon 5



2012 Concrete3 Sustainability Awards Entries are now open for the 2012 Concrete3 Sustainability Awards. This is an opportunity to show how a concrete-based product, project, programme or initiative has contributed to New Zealand’s sustainable built environment. The Awards celebrate achievement at the highest level of construction by acknowledging excellence in the production or use of concrete across the environmental, economic or social aspects of sustainable development. “Previous winners have included The Pride, Lion Nathan’s new integrated manufacturing and warehousing facility in East Tamaki, which made extensive use of recycled glass as aggregate in concrete, and the Northern Gateway Toll Road, of which every aspect, from design through to operation, considered ways in which to contribute to New Zealand’s sustainable development. In 2010 the Fletcher Construction Company took home the Award for the Tauranga Harbour Link’s “Mix M”, while the 2011 Supreme Award winner was Peddle Thorp Architects for

their revitalisation of an existing concrete frame building at 21 Queen Street, Auckland, into a modern and vibrant office and retail complex. “A really good way to reduce environmental impact is to build less. Our existing commercial structures present us with a tremendous opportunity to reinvigorate urban environments and target reduced energy consumption during construction, as well as improve energy efficiency during occupation. Winning the Concrete3 Sustainability Award is a fine endorsement of the collaborative approach and dedication of a talented design team and the vision of a forward thinking client” says Wade Jennings, associate director, Peddle Thorp Architects. The award is sponsored by the Cement and Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ). Entries close Friday, August 31, and the winner will be announced at the New Zealand Concrete Industry Conference in October. For more information and entry details,see

Casablanca Cool While this doesn’t fit into the category of horizontal civil contracting, this photo caught our eye, showing that the normally unseen roof of a shopping mall doesn’t have to be ugly. The 150 million pound Morocco Mall on Casablanca’s waterfront opened in December 2011. It boasts 250,000 cubic metres of floor space, on a 10-hectare site just 20 metres from the Atlantic Ocean, and is Africa’s largest shopping centre.“

DIARY Date Event



1-3 Aug 12 15-18 Aug 12 27 Aug 12 5-7 Sep 12 19-21 Sep 12 11-13 Oct 12 27-30 Nov 12 7-9 Mar 13 19-21 Mar 13 15-21 Apr 13

Marlborough Convention Centre, Blenheim Sebel Hotel, Tauranga The Langham, Auckland Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia Adelaide Convention Centre, South Australia Claudelands Conference Centre, Hamilton Shanghai New Int’l Expo Centre Mystery Creek Events Centres San Antonio, Texas New Munich Trade Fair Centre or

NZCF annual conference Heavy Haulage Association conference Roading NZ Roading Excellence Awards Crane Ind Council of Australia conference Drill 2012 Australian Drilling Ind Assoc NZ Concrete Industry Conference Bauma China 2012 THE Expo World of Asphalt & AGG1 2013 Bauma Germany 2013

Please send any contributions for Contractor Diary to, or phone 09 636 5710 48 AUGUST 2012 CONTRACTOR


Enhanced LCD monitor

ZX200LC -5 | ZX240LC-5 | ZX280LC-5 | ZX330LC-5

Comfortable spacious cab

A ZAXIS hallmark – industry leading hydraulic technologies and performance no other can beat. Building on this tradition, the new ZAXIS-5 range provides enhanced features all designed for high durability and lower running costs. The spacious cab with increased visibility and legroom including a fully adjustable air suspension seat helps

operators turn productivity up a notch and tap their true potential. Time saving design features including daily checks at ground level provide easy maintenance and maximise availability. To hear more about the new ZAXIS-5 or inquire about a demonstration contact your local CablePrice Sales Representative. 0800 555 456

NZ Contractor 1208  

New Zealand's civil contracting industry magazine, Aug 2012.

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