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How Aussies can score on New Zealand’s construction boom

News, Projects

Posted by Justin Bartved

In February 2011, New Zealand experienced an earthquake that shocked the world and left Christchurch in tatters. Four years on, the rebuild of this once beautiful place has fuelled a massive construction sector boom – and it just might be the perfect solution for Australian civil companies feeling the impact of the recent economic downturn.

NZ, the land of plenty

Within the last year, the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has given resource consent on six major works across the country.

The smallest of these is the Southern Corridor Upgrade currently being tendered at around the $300 million mark, while the largest is the Waterview Connection which is currently underway and valued at $1.4 billion.

The Waterview Connection is described by the NZTA as the country’s “largest and most ambitious roading project” for good reason.

It’s set to become Australasia’s largest road tunnel, as half of the 4.8kms of six-lane highway is being constructed underground.

The project serves to complete Auckland’s Western Ring Route and is due to complete in early 2017.


sh20-waterview-connection2-img3 Waterview Connection Virtual Field Trip - Photo Credit: NZ Transport Agency (NZTA).

Demand for Australia’s experience and standards

Though they may be across the ditch, the plant and equipment hire game in NZ remains relatively the same.

But, due to a number of reasons, Australia could turn out to be NZ’s biggest advantage in delivering projects during their boom.

Firstly, the boom in construction projects has ultimately led to a shortfall of plant and equipment companies in the NZ market.

The current market doesn’t seem to be meeting either the standards or the needs of many of their major clients as NZ is only now catching up to Australia in the realm of safety standards expected from its civil and construction companies.

This has led to a major hole in the plant industry and some big players being left without much of an option but to hire at a premium or even exorbitant rate for what some may say is sub-standard equipment.

Many suppliers have already recognised this opportunity and have capitalised by making the jump across the ditch to service a booming market with an ever-growing demand for plant and equipment.

Komatsu Rentals are a perfect example of this.

Having recently moved into the NZ hire industry, they have experienced a major return on investment simply by providing an unrivalled standard of equipment at fair market values.

Redline Group is another prime example of a major Australian civil firm taking advantage of our neighbours’ thriving economy.

Specialising in irrigation and agricultural construction, the Redline Group are now starting to dominate the market after only entering eight months ago.

A project manager for an Australian civil company who recently moved into the NZ market had this to say: “we never find ourselves under utilised in New Zealand, in fact we are having to hire in plant from local Kiwi companies”.

Kennards Hire is another prime example of a family-owned plant and equipment hire company successfully expanding into NZ.

We will be bending over backwards to maintain rapport while expanding the range and depth of equipment and introducing our systems that will deliver great customer service,” said Kennards NZ’s General Manager, Tom Kinross, in 2012.

This all seems to lead to one simple conclusion.

It’s time to start quoting on work across the ditch.

You may be asking “how?”

How do I get my name in front of decision makers on these projects?

How do I efficiently float my gear across the Tasman?

And lastly, how can I ensure the long-term utilisation of my equipment to ensure a good return on investment?

The answer: PlantMiner New Zealand!

Due to its alignment with large tier-one civil companies, PlantMiner made the leap just four months ago and has been received with open arms by a market crying out for the technology to improve procurement processes.

Already we are seeing tenders come through the site such as the Southern Corridor Upgrade, identified as valued over $300m.

But the one thing that’s lacking are the plant and equipment suppliers.

Join PlantMiner New Zealand today and experience the benefits of the New Zealand construction boom by registering as a supplier.

Justin Bartved

Justin Bartved

Justin is PlantMiner's Business Development Manager for New Zealand and he also happens to be a qualified pastry chef. So while his desserts are for our benefit, his expert insights into the construction and mining industry can be yours. If you are looking to source plant, equipment or subcontractor hire rates for any NZ projects, get in touch today!