Connecting New Zealand

Farewelling John Dawson, Founding Director of BCA

21 Dec 2021

John DawsonFounding Director of the Bitumen Contractors Association John Dawson passed away on 11 December 2021, aged 91 years of age.

Mr Dawson played a significant role in the New Zealand roading and bitumen industry, working as Director from 1988 until 1997.

He was its founding Director, responsible for taking over E/2 bitumen sprayer certification from Transit New Zealand in 1991. Also for publishing the comprehensive industry code of practice now known as the Best Practice Guideline: The Safe Handling of Bituminous Materials Used for Roading (BPG01), bitumen burns safety cards, the Bitumen Safety Handbook, and many other significant technical documents that improved the safety and quality of bitumen handling in the country.

Mr Dawson also led the way in joining forces with Taranaki Polytechnic (now Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki) to form the New Zealand Institute of Highway Technology to run courses and training programmes on the safe handling of bitumen, as well as several national and international bitumen research projects.

CCNZ Chief Executive Peter Silcock said Mr Dawson deserved recognition and commendation for his work improving the industry. The formation of the Bitumen Contractors Association was a sign of the industry maturing, and signalled the wish of the contractors building the roads to take a more active role in managing their own destiny.

“While I didn’t know John personally, we are still living with the benefits his work brought to the country, and still using the excellent technical guidance and training programmes he took it upon his shoulders to compose. Without his input, it’s likely the road construction industry would be a very different place.”

The Bitumen Contractors Association (later known as Roading New Zealand) was a predecessor organisation to CCNZ, merging with the Contractors Federation in 2015 to become what is today known as Civil Contractors New Zealand. Prior to becoming Executive Director of BCA, Mr Dawson was General Manager of McLoughlin Asphalts.

A memorial service for Mr Dawson will be held on 12 January. Those wishing to express condolences or attend the memorial can do so via the obituary notice.


A cartoon from the founding of the New Zealand Institute of Highway Technology. John Dawson is pictured in the upper left.


News clips provided courtesy of the Contractor Magazine digital archive, which contains magazine issues going back to 1972. Subscription to the digital archive is free for CCNZ members. Log in now to get your subscription>>




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