Category Archives: Blogs

‘Stepping back and seeing what you’ve built’: Best part of the job for site supervisor Ricky

Site supervisor Ricky Codd joined Connell two years ago, after arriving in New Zealand from South Africa.

With a background in commercial and residential housing and civil contracting, Ricky had worked in England and South Africa before migrating to New Zealand.

In his role as site supervisor at Connell, Ricky specialises in infrastructure works, and has helped deliver many high-profile projects across the North Island.

Since joining Connell, Ricky has completed his Connexis Level 4 Site Supervision. He is now undertaking the Level 5 Project Management qualification.

Ricky enjoys applying new technology to the projects Connell delivers, such as the use of Total Stations – a surveying instrument that combines an electronic theodolite and an electronic distance metre to accurate measure angles and distances.

“We’re moving more toward Total Stations for surveyors to accurately plot points on the building. This technology makes us more accurate and efficient, enabling us to capture up-to-date imagery from a site.”

When asked what he enjoys the most about the role, Ricky says, “I like the complexity of the large structures – all the fine details and how the pieces fit together.”

“You take a 2D plan and then you make it into a real thing, from setting it out, making sure it’s in the right position, and at the right heights.

“I like stepping back at the end and seeing what you’ve built – the creativity of it.”

Ricky says he also enjoys learning the ways different countries operate and work.

“Things are very different everywhere you go. I’ve learned a lot, both in the way that New Zealand operates, and how people work here.

“Take health and safety, for example. It’s a far bigger focus in New Zealand than South Africa,” says Ricky.

Ricky’s advice for anyone considering a career in civil contracting is ‘commit.’

Diploma opens doors for Connell Estimator TJ

A Diploma in Quantity Surveying opened the doors to the civil contracting industry for Connell Contractors’ estimator/quantity surveyor TJ Sadhar.

TJ joined Connell in 2016, shortly after completing his Diploma through Wintec in Hamilton.

“I was looking for a job where I could keep learning and growing – and Connell offered that,” said TJ.

As an estimator and quantity surveyor, TJ helps determine and manage the costs of construction projects, and helps ensure projects run smoothly and efficiently.

TJ has taken his study even further since joining the team, progressing to a Bachelor in Construction through Massey University, which he is set to complete in 2024.

“Studying while working has been a challenge – but I’m lucky to have a really good team, and supportive bosses and family around me,” TJ says.

TJ said he was attracted to a career in civil contracting because of the resilience of the industry.

“There’s plenty of opportunities and unique challenges, and there’s always exciting projects on the horizon,” TJ says.

This year, TJ is looking forward to developing his skills and experience in the renewable energy space.

“We have more renewable energy work in the pipeline, and I’m excited for that. It’s rewarding to know you’re contributing to positive change,” says TJ.

TJ’s advice to people considering a career in estimating and/or quantity surveying is ‘work hard and you’ll go far.’

“Don’t be afraid to jump into it. It will get challenging but if you put your head down, you’ll succeed.”

Connell helps power New Zealand with greener energy

WAIKATO-BASED CONNELL CONTRACTORS IS CEMENTING ITS PLACE IN A
GREENER FUTURE ASSISTING WITH A SECOND SOLAR FARM FOR NEW ENERGY,
INFRATEC AND LOADSTONE ENERGY.

Following the success of the Kaitaia Solar Farm, the 32MW Edgecumbe Solar Farm is
poised to be a game-changer, providing clean energy to over 6,000 small businesses,
farms, homes, and apartments annually, and Connell is playing a critical role in its
success.

Nationally award-winning Connell has been instrumental in shaping the physical
foundation of Lodestone Energy’s vision. Since early 2023, Connell’s dedicated team
has been on-site, transforming the landscape to accommodate this milestone in the
Far North.

“Our extensive planning and preparation, coupled with the right people and resources,
allowed us to overcome challenges, particularly in the demanding winter conditions.
We’re proud to have played a pivotal role in maximising Aotearoa New Zealand’s
renewable energy output in a sustainable manner,” says CEO Lester Foxall.

Connell Contractors continues to be a key player in New Zealand’s green infrastructure
development, helping lay the foundations for vital energy projects. As Lodestone Energy’s
Edgecumbe Solar Farm takes shape, Connell’s commitment to excellence is helping pave
the way for a greener and more sustainable future.

Winds of Change Afoot

By Lester Foxall, CEO

The countdown to net zero carbon emissions in New Zealand has now truly begun with the passing of The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act in 2019 and the establishment of an independent Climate Change Commission.

2021 is viewed as a transitional period to get the new provisions up and running, with implications for all industries as we head towards the 100% renewable energy target for 2035.

New Zealand’s commitment towards a clean, green, and sustainable environment is one of the first things that separates us from many countries across the globe. We are in a very fortunate position with several renewable energy sources at our disposal. Investments in hydro, geothermal and wind plants have positioned us incredibly well to shift our energy reliance towards sustainable sources.

New technologies are creating further opportunities in the energy sector and renewable energy sources will play a significant role in decarbonising and achieving our climate goals.

Putting climate risk awareness at the heart of decision making and embedding it into our strategy and culture at all levels, is an important initiative and a reflection of where the world is going so, I believe we are going to see a lot more demand for projects of this nature.

At Connell we have seen a real opportunity to diversify into the renewable energy sector. Our skills are certainly transferable and if tenders for these projects are not awarded on lowest price, renewable energy certainly fits with our strategic plan.

The power of wind

Wind power is considered a clean, effective source of sustainable renewable energy with significant growth over the last decade. It is expected that most investments into the renewable energy sector in the near term will go towards the creation of wind farms. At Connell we have already begun to feel the effect of these investments.

Both the Turitea Wind Farm near Palmerston North, and Waipipi Wind Farm just up the road in South Taranaki, proved to be excellent projects for Connell and has enhanced our profile in the renewable energy sector.

Our sortie into renewables continues to gain gusto with the recently secured Harapaki Wind Farm project in Napier that will commence in early 2022. Set to be the second largest of its kind in the country, Harapaki will host 41 turbines generating enough renewable energy to power 70,000 average households.

Invitations for the Mt Cass Wind Farm in the South Island have already been received from key clients, with site visits already underway. Ongoing discussions with Ventura Energy and Ventus (Australia) regarding the Taharoa near Kawhia and the Kaimai Ranges wind farms, will continue until tender documentation is released.

Other renewable energy

In addition to the various wind farm projects across the country, Connell continues to explore other renewable energy avenues.

The large geothermal facility at Tauhara has commenced and the civil related works will come to the market later this year. Geothermal energy projects like that at Tauhara, set to be completed in 2023, are considered our best low-carbon renewable electricity provider. Not reliant on weather conditions, geothermal plants can operate 24/7 and are a robust way to transition away from fossil fuels.

Hydro also continues to provide us with another income stream, having worked on a selection of smaller projects this year for Mercury Energy.

With Governments purge on climate change, at Connell we keep abreast of all forms of technology knowing it will soon be a prerequisite to produce an annual company carbon footprint document to support our focus towards providing a cleaner environment.

As we continue to build resilience, the importance of good governance cannot be overestimated.

Girls with Hi-Viz

In conjunction with Connexis, last week we had the privilege of hosting the Girls With Hi-Viz day.

A group of young ambitious women from Putaruru College paid us a visit to learn about the great opportunities within our industry.

The day consisted of a combined presentation from Connexis and ourselves, a site visit and finished off with a digger school where our own female apprentice pipe layer coached the girls on the basic operations of a 2.5 tonne excavator.

CCL Secure Significant HCC Project

The Western Interceptor duplication project is a 3km pipeline carrying sewer from the Norton Rd and Lincoln St roundabout towards the start of the Waikato Expressway.

The project includes laying PE lined concrete pipe at depths of up to 6 metres in very wet ground as well as two driven pipelines under a Class 2 arterial road.

Connell Contractors is looking forward to the challenges this project presents and working collaboratively with the client and affected stakeholders.

Situation Vacant – Contracts Manager

We are seeking a CONTRACTS MANAGER.

US:

  • Connell Contractors is a medium sized company with a skilled workforce building infrastructure throughout the North Island.
  • Projects include deep pipelines and pump stations, buildings and concrete structures for the Power sector, sheetpiling, dewatering and foundations.
  • We pride ourselves on our great culture, with both long term staff and civil apprentices.

THE ROLE:

  • Co-ordinating resources for civil projects, including financial tracking and programme updates.

YOU:

  • Will have proven experience in managing civil projects with strong interpersonal skills.

WE OFFER:

  • Working for an industry leader with a great culture.
  • Varied and challenging projects.
  • Commitment to your training and development.
  • Competitive salary and conditions, and company vehicle.

Connell Contractors has a zero tolerance Drug & Alcohol Policy. The successful applicant will be required to undertake pre-employment testing.

Please send your application and CV to: lester@connellcontractors.co.nz