Abergeldie Harker News

News

March 2017

Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure and Mike Harker complete the transaction to purchase Harker Underground Limited

Harker Underground Limited, now Abergeldie Harker, was established in 1988 and is one of New Zealand’s most respected tunnelling and micro-tunnelling companies. 

Six years ago Hawkins purchased Harker from Graeme Harker who founded the company.  Over the last six years under the Hawkins umbrella   Harker has grown and diversified.  The governance of the business has been strengthened. The management systems have been developed and are now acknowledged as industry leading.  The equipment has had significant investment.  

Mike Harker, the son of Graeme Harker, and Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure www.abergeldie.com have jointly purchase the equipment and business of Harker Underground Construction Limited. Abergeldie will own around 80% of Abergeldie Harker LimitedAbergeldie Harker Limited commenced operation on 01 March 2017.

“I am delighted that the Harker family once again own a share of the business my father founded.  My brother Phillip will also continue to be a key member of staff.” Mike Harker said. “I have known Mick Boyle and Abergeldie for around 7 years and I have no doubt we will work well together and Abergeldie Harker will be very good for our employees and our clients and continue our Father’s legacy.”

“Abergeldie is excited to now own Abergeldie Harker with Mike Harker.  Harker has a strong reputation built over 30 years, good equipment and very capable people.  Most importantly for me Harker has a culture similar to that of Abergeldie based on safety, innovation, hard-work, fairness and building better communities” said Abergeldie founder and executive chairman Mick Boyle. “  The investment by Abergeldie in Harker will allow Abergeldie and Abergeldie Harker to share technical expertise, personnel and equipment.  It will strengthen our tunnelling and shaft capabilities in both New Zealand and Australia and make us leaders in both countries” 

As well as shaft and tunnel construction Abergeldie Harker will bring to the New Zealand market some of the niche capabilities that Abergeldie has developed such as shaft sinking by blind boring, pipe relining, excavation by blasting as well as our capabilities in the water and rail sectors.

Matt Mules, Harker National Manager, has been appointed General Manager of Abergeldie Harker.

Abergeldie Harker is poised to grow and has the people, experience, systems and financial resources in place to become a significant player delivering complex infrastructure to water, wastewater, stormwater and rail asset owners across NZ.

Press Release enquiries please contact Matt Mules on +64 274455635.

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February 2017

New owners for Harker Underground Ltd

Hawkins Group Ltd has sold Harker Underground to new owners Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure and the Harker family. 
Abergeldie is a leading shaft and tunnelling company in Australia. “We are excited to invest in Harker,” says Abergeldie founder and executive chairman Mick Boyle. “Harker has a strong reputation built over 30 years, good equipment and very capable people. Most importantly for me Harker has a culture similar to Abergeldie based on safety, innovation, hard-work, fairness and building better communities.”
Established in 1988, Harker is one of New Zealand’s most respected tunnelling and micro-tunnelling companies. Hawkins purchased Harker from its founder Graeme Harker six years ago and since then it has grown and diversified. The governance and management systems have been strengthened and its equipment has had significant investment. Harker is now acknowledged as an industry leader. 
Mike Harker, the son of Graeme Harker, and Abergeldie have jointly purchased the equipment and business of Harker Underground Limited. Abergeldie will own 80% and Mike Harker 20% of Abergeldie Harker Limited. It is expected that the transaction will be completed on 28 February 2017. 
“I am delighted that the Harker family will once again own a share of the business my father founded,” says Mike Harker. “My brother Phillip will also continue to be a key member of staff. I have no doubt that Abergeldie Harker will be very good for our employees and our clients and continue my father’s legacy.” 
Abergeldie and Abergeldie Harker will share technical expertise, personnel and equipment. “It will strengthen our tunnelling and shaft capabilities in both New Zealand and Australia and make us leaders in both countries,” says Boyle.
As well as shaft and tunnel construction Abergeldie Harker will bring to the New Zealand market some of the niche capabilities that Abergeldie has developed such as shaft sinking by blind boring, pipe relining, excavation by blasting as well as our capabilities in the water and rail sectors. 
Matt Mules, Harker National Manger, has been appointed General Manager of Abergeldie Harker. 
Visit the Abergeldie website for more information or contact Matt Mules on 027 445 5635.

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September 2015

Harker targets global growth

Sporting a new brand image to reflect its recently enhanced capabilities and ambitions, an established player in the New Zealand trenchless and tunnelling field is now striving to leverage its expertise in the global marketplace. Having forged a 35-year reputation working in a wide range of geological conditions locally, Harker Underground Construction general manager Rory Bishop says it is now time for the Hawkins Group subsidiary to expand its boundaries.

“This creates opportunities for our staff and provides an environment where knowledge can be transferred between regions, encouraging the import and export of best practice in underground construction,” he tells NZCN.

“Key markets are those where urban space is at a high premium and trenchless construction is the norm. Markets in South East Asia such as Singapore present a good opportunity in this respect,” he says.

“It’s an exciting time for Harker and for our industry. We’re known locally for our trenchless construction technology, and where the opportunities arise we plan to take this experience and capability offshore.”

Tunnels and pipelines

Harker has the largest range of micro-tunnelling and pipe-jacking gear in the country – enabling the creation of tunnels and pipelines from 100 mm to 3000 mm in diameter – in addition to equipment for traditional excavation. Now the firm has invested further.

“Tunnelling and trenchless construction is an increasingly complex field of engineering and construction, both in terms of the legislative environment and technological advances,” Mr Bishop notes. “To this end, Harker has recruited additional engineering resources both locally and internationally. Using these resources we are able to provide greater support to our clients, not only in construction, but also in pre-project development stages.”

Mr Bishop, who assumed the reins at Harker in January this year, believes the firm has a key competitive advantage from both being small and agile – “making us relatively easy to work with” – while also having the skills and experience to “take on anything”.

“The company can deliver tunnelling and trenchless projects using a range of methods, including pipe-jacking, pipe-hammering, pilot-boring and larger machine-driven tunnels, as well as conventional and drill-and-blast-tunnelling. We also have expertise in procurement of larger tunnelling equipment from a well-established international supply chain,” he says.

“Our staff have a range of specialist skills, from general earthworks and civil engineering to geotechnical engineering. These skills have been applied across a range of local and international projects, with Harker staff having worked in the United Kingdom and Europe, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, India and the Middle East.

“Harker is a great company that has a reputation for solving problems – we can almost always offer some level of innovation or smart thinking to improve the delivery of the job. There have been major changes to technology and techniques in the industry and we’ve played our part in many of these initiatives.”

Stormwater works

Harker’s pioneering New Zealand initiatives include the first curved pipe-jack using gyroscopic guidance, the longest large-diameter pipe-jack, and breakthrough slurry-separation systems.

In regards to notable current contracts, Mr Bishop says Harker is undertaking two stormwater pipeline projects for Auckland Council that entail “significant road and rail tunnel crossings”.

“We are also involved in construction of stormwater assets for the Hobsonville development, including pipelines, ponds and an outfall structure. Additionally, we are working on the City Rail Link (CRL) enabling works contract C2 as part of the Hawkins/McConnell Dowell joint venture. Harker has significant input into the stormwater diversion works.

“We know that we’re only as good as our last job, and our current work – such as providing specialist support to the development of the CRL – demonstrates the strength of the national expertise we’ve built up over 35 years.”

Asked for his viewpoints on pertinent issues to the sector, Mr Bishop notes the timing of procurement and timeliness of consents can create difficulties with planning beyond the short to medium term.

“This makes it even more important to maintain a transparent partnership with clients and manage expectations about what is possible in trenchless construction. It’s also important to ensure that the risks and benefits are properly addressed. Harker’s experience and our inclusive approach ensure all stakeholders are able to work cohesively together. This proactively mitigates disruptions and helps us manage challenges together efficiently.”

Trenchless construction

Mr Bishop says public disruption is also a concern on all construction and infrastructure projects, and needs to be managed carefully. However, trenchless construction minimises disruption to surface traffic, businesses and other activities.

“Trenchless construction is a significant driver for efficiency in many of New Zealand’s larger urban centres, but to evaluate this properly, it’s essential clients receive good technical advice and cost estimates during the design concept stage. Harker is able to provide the expertise required to properly scope and manage trenchless construction, so increasingly we’re joining project teams earlier in the project lifecycle to assist with this.”

Striving for continuous improvement “from day one”, Mr Bishop says Harker has progressively lifted its quality and capabilities, and consequently is now mastering increasingly complex projects and reaping the returns.

“As we continue to grow our business, we ensure that our people grow with us, developing their skills and knowledge,” he adds. “At Harker, everything we do above and below the ground aims to help build better communities. We think about how we can add value for people and businesses from the planning stages right through to the end user.

“Trenchless construction is an invaluable tool for designers, and we want to help clients and their designers use techniques that are cost-effective and deliver better outcomes for those affected by the project.”

By Iain MacIntyre
Iain is an award-winning journalist who specialises in transport and infrastructure issues within New Zealand.

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July 2015

Stormwater ponds and pipelines at Hobsonville for Hawkins Infrastructure

Since April the Harker team has been constructing stormwater ponds and pipelines at Hobsonville for Hawkins Infrastructure. Part of this project included a 40m long pipejack section to complete the outfall structures. The pipejack is only 1050mm in diameter and is constructed using hand excavation from a sheetpiled shaft.

Whilst the autumn and winter weather has been a challenge for the earthworks, pipejacking has gone well. Work started on the 17th June and took just 10 days to complete. The team are now busy demobilising the site, but will return in the spring, when the weather improves, to complete the lining of the ponds.

The project has been an opportunity for Harker to deliver a wider range of work than just the pipejacking and this demonstrates the wider skills within the business. Crews from this project will be going on to construct the Sunderland C pipeline which was recently awarded to Harker and is also at Hobsonville.

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May 2015

New journey begins for Harker

One of New Zealand’s largest tunnelling companies launched its new look this week and also has plans to launch its expertise and experience into international markets.

Leading experts in underground tunnelling, pipelines and shaft construction, Harker is part of Hawkins Group.

Harker undertakes work with other companies either as part of a consortium or as a subcontractor. They also partner with the team at Hawkins on major construction and infrastructure projects.

As well as traditional tunnelling capability including ‘drill and blast’ excavation, Harker has the largest range of micro tunnelling and pipe jacking equipment in New Zealand enabling the creation of tunnels and pipelines from 100mm to 3000mm diameter. It also has the expertise to procure larger equipment through its international supply chain.

“It’s an exciting time for Harker and for our industry,” says Rory Bishop Harker General Manager. “We’re known locally for our trenchless construction technology and, where the opportunities arise, plan to take this experience and capability offshore.

“We know that we’re only as good as our last job and our current work, such as providing specialist support to the development of the City Rail Link Project, demonstrates the strength of the national expertise we’ve built up over 35 years.

“With Hawkins we share common business principles and the overarching goal of building better communities. We let our actions do the talking and, as a smart, agile and relatively small company, we can directly deliver our part on the most complex of projects.

“Harker has the people, the experience, the partners and now a new brand. Through the quality of our work and our vision we’re ready to be the best in the tunnelling and underground construction market.”

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Stormwater conference sponsor

Harker was the Welcome Function Sponsor at Water New Zealand’s 2015 Asia Pacific Stormwater Conference.

In his speech to delegates Harker GM Rory Bishop, commented on how the combined use of science, engineering and design contributes to getting the best outcomes for construction projects.

“Supporting a conference that brings together the widest range of people in the stormwater sector is the key to developing innovations that can have industry wide impacts”

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Contact us

Send an email or give us a call if you would like to make a comment, require more information or need some advice.

Harker
1 Croskery Road, Papakura, Auckland 2110
PO Box 101 Drury, Auckland 2247, New Zealand

T   +64 9 295 2570
F   +64 9 299 1577