Connecting New Zealand

Waikato awards recognise standout performers

17 Apr 2019

Standout projects from across the Waikato region were recognised at the CCNZ Waikato Branch Hynds Construction Awards, which were held at The Atrium in Hamilton on Friday 12 April.

Fulton Hogan was named the overall winner for its Rangitahi Peninsula Bridge and Causeway project, which also won the category award for projects with a value between one and 10 million dollars, while Spartan Construction also made an excellent showing, taking home awards in two categories. Higgins also took home two awards, winning the Trainee of the Year Award and the award for projects with a value greater than 10 million dollars for its work restoring Coromandel roading networks after major storm damage.

The awards dinner was attended by more than 150 people, including CCNZ President Tim Ford and representatives of many Waikato civil construction companies.

The winners are:

Category one – Projects with a value up to $250,000


Winner: Spartan Construction – Taupō Control Gates Downstream Erosion Works.

This project was undertaken on the banks of the Waikato River, immediately below the Control Gates Bridge at Lake Taupō. It involved replacing erosion protection and sheet piling in an area where an underwater tomo (cave) had formed. Despite considerable technical challenges to the extent where a dive team was required to work underwater, this project was completed under budget and ahead of time, resulting in a very happy client.

Judges’ comments: This project showed a lot of foresight. Although small in value, it was also significantly high in risk, particularly in regards to the adjacent national assets and the possible downstream effects. Client feedback was impressive, with the timeframe and ability to adapt very evident.

Category two – Projects with a value between $250,000 and $1m


Winner: Spartan Construction – Reservoir Canal Pump Station – Inlet Bay Replacement.

This historic pump station services approximately 970 hectares of drainage for the Waikato Regional Council and is part of part of the Hauraki Plains Flood Protection Scheme. The pump station inlet bay upgrade was required to replace and upgrade the existing facility, which required careful management as it affected the local water table – pivotal to the needs of the surrounding community and farmers.

Spartan Construction was required to adapt to changing design needs, relocation of eels and other wildlife, localised flooding and other challenging factors. Despite being impacted by flooding, the project was completed within the extended timeframe.

Judges’ comments: A particularly challenging environment was mitigated with some innovative temporary works and smart cost saving methodologies. Cilent satisfaction was evident, particularly given the environmental challenges faced.

Category three – Projects with a value between $1m and $10m


Winner: Fulton Hogan – Rangitahi Peninsula Bridge and Causeway.

Fulton Hogan designed and constructed the multi-span Rangitahi Bridge and Causeway in the west Waikato town of Raglan. This bridge plays a fundamental role in enabling the residential growth in Raglan by unlocking the Rangitahi Peninsula for the construction of a 550-lot residential and commercial development.

The previous causeway provided ‘low tide only’ vehicle access across the harbour, while the footbridge was traversable at all times by pedestrians. Access to the site involved an upgraded and re-constructed 4.2 km long-haul road. The completed project boasts two causeways, a 70 metre long Northern Causeway, and an 80-metre long Causeway, connected by a 92 metre long, 5-span bridge.

The project was required to adhere to strict conditions imposed by a consenting process that had taken 10 years and the need to reduce environmental impact in an area designated as a Coastal Marine Area. Creation of access for the project also required more than four kilometres of roading to be upgraded, while tides, stakeholder engagement and a strict lapse date created additional challenges.

Despite the challenges, the project was completed on time through significant design and construction innovations, and with a $1 million saving for the client.

Judges’ comments: Real value was provided to the client, with adaptive methodologies used to complete works under strict programme and environmental constraints. With additional willingness to look for viable alternatives, the client was extremely satisfied with the outcome. An excellent all-round project and end result.

Category four – Projects with a value greater than $10m

Winner: Higgins Group – SH25 – Thames Coast Highway Storm Recovery.

Following extreme storms and king tides on 5 January 2018 that caused severe damage to Coromandel roading networks, Higgins was called on to make repairs.

A large number of holidaymakers were iin the Coromandel peninsula for summer break at the time, with many at camp sites accessible only by roads that had been washed out. The extent of the work site was 35 kilometres in distance, with six settlements in the damaged area and many residents and visitors cut off by the impassable roads. The Higgins crew had to quickly establish effective communications, get plant, resource and materials into a relatively remote area and manage traffic flows across multiple sites – all while keeping the public, and themselves safe.

Time was of the essence to reconnect communities affected by the event and then restore the highway so it could perform its important economic function of moving freight. Starting from a Christmas-break skeleton crew, Higgins managed to achieve these milestones in less than six months.

Judges’ comments: This project was an excellent response effort to a high profile emergency response situation across a large area, combined with good community and team engagement.

Overall winner: Fulton Hogan – Rangitahi Peninsula Bridge and Causeway

Judges’ comments: Rangitahi Peninsula Bridge and Causeway was an exemplar project. It ticked all the boxes of excellent and pro-active contracting practices.

Fulton Hogan provided real value to the client, by using adaptive methodologies to complete works under strict programme and environmental constraints.

With additional willingness to look for viable alternatives, the client was extremely satisfied with the outcome, making this an excellent all-round project.


Trainee of the Year


Winner: Michael Whatuira – Higgins

Mike recently gained Civil Trades certification in Road Construction and Maintenance, a qualification he adds to a host of other industry skills and training, built through commitment to being the best he can be in his day-to-day work.

Mike is an individual who always looks out for people around him whether they were below or above him and consistently offered his services to help. He goes the extra mile for projects as well as people and ensures positive outcomes for both. His commitment to his work has resulted in successful projects such as the Ngaruawahia Bypass, Fonterra Wetlands, Hamilton Bypass and Temple View Redevelopments. Mike is this year’s Waikato Branch Trainee of the Year.


Runner-up: Rickie Te Moananui – Waikato District Alliance/Downer

Rickie Te Moananui joined Downer seven years ago, and has devoted an amazing amount of time and effort into building her skills.

She has achieved amazing results, including completing Infrastructure Works Level 3 in half the allocated time. She has built her leadership capabilities through Downer’s Māori Leadership Programme and upskilling herself to be a grader driver through guidance and mentorship from colleagues.

Rickie has now risen to lead her own teams as a foreperson and finishing grader operator completing pavement rehabilitations on many Waikato District alliance projects. She deserves an honourable mention as this year’s runner-up.

Thanks to our sponsors

The Waikato Branch is extremely grateful to the event sponsors, in particular Hynds Pipe Systems, for making this successful event possible.

The event was also sponsored by AB Equipment, Cable Price, Connexis ITO, Mimico, Success Group and Total Oil.





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