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Civil works booming

The following article featured in the Gisborne Herald Quarterly Business supplement on Monday March 6th 2017.


WITH more than $40 million of civil construction work either on the go or completed around the region over the last year, local contractors and sub-contractors are also growing in size to keep up with the demand for new buildings and infrastructure.

Gisborne District Council records puts the value of commercial building consents approved last year at a total of $43.4 million with another $1m worth of work consented in January, this year.

The combined value of consents issued last year marks a seven-year high for the commercial building sector and one company seeing the positive effects of that across a range of trades and sectors is Civil Project Solutions (CPS).

Company director Russell Moylan said there was "certainly" a lot of work around Gisborne at the moment.

"Town is buzzing at the moment. All the local contractors are really busy.

"We project manage a range of works but the bulk of what we are currently doing is about project managing commercial new-builds and large scale alterations or additions. Our projects to-date have ranged from installing the roading and infrastructure at Rocket Lab on the Mahia Peninsula, right through to a state-of-the-art salad processing facility for LeaderBrand."

Mr Moylan said the scale of work ranged up to a maximum of $15m for a single build but there had also been lower value work undertaken and "without a doubt" CPS had seen an increase in the overall value of civil works being undertaken in Gisborne.

This time last year the company employed just two staff members with one who was based in Auckland - the company has grown "quite a lot " since then.

"We have a staff of eight and I guess reflects the number of projects on the go. There has been rapid growth over the last 12 months."

That growth has also filtered down to local subcontractors.

"There’s a very high level of local expertise in Gisborne and we are supported in all the projects we do by excellent sub contractors. You don’t need to go out of town to find that expertise, it’s all here. There is a fantastic pool of resources available right here in Gisborne.

"We are a client-focused business. So, the way we work is a client employs us and we go out and tender all the sub-contracting roles in order to get the most cost-effective price. That ensures that all the sub trades - from small ones to large ones - have a bite of the cherry.

"The smaller guys are just as capable as the larger guys, and if you put a group of them together they can do the work and deliver a large project."

Some of the most recent projects completed by CPS included the new workshop and truckwash for Williams and Wilshier, and Pacific Haulage on Aerodrome Road, as well as work on Commerce Place and the new developments at the former Prime sawmill site.

"So town is busy at the moment and long may it continue. The forestry industry is certainly helping everybody out on the way."

CPS is also looking to branch out into other areas, including engineering, topographical surveying work, aerial data capture with drone and 3D CAD design provided to our subcontractors using survey-guided machine control.”

"We’re looking at bringing in new technology that hasn’t been used in Gisborne before. That’s quite exciting. Were looking at investing in other equipment too, to make projects more cost-effective.

"It’s exciting to be at the forefront of these projects that are creating jobs and bringing money into the region.

"At the moment it’s really busy and vibrant all around that commercial space and that’s good news for Gisborne."

Gisborne District Council consents manager Reginald Proffit said while the estimated value of works associated with building consents issued for 2016 was not a record level as 2009 figures exceeded those presented for 2016, it did represent a "definite swing upwards" from 2015 figures which estimated the value of consented works to be just $19,762,000.

"Our figures indicate that the amount defined is from a small number of consents which indicates that the consents issued related to a higher value of works occurring across the district - 2009 issued 186 consents where 2016 issued 147 consents."