The much anticipated New Zealand International Convention Centre is well on its way to taking its place on the Auckland city skyline.

The new 105,000m2 facility, which is due for completion next year, will be the largest purpose-built convention centre in the country and, since construction began at the end of 2015, around 30,000m3 of concrete has been supplied to main contractor Fletcher Construction, by concrete pump sub contractors Harris Dowd Construction using Firth - their preferred concrete supplier.

Ron Williams and Mike Harris, Directors of Harris Dowd Construction, talk about working on the country’s largest commercial site and working with Firth to get the more than 30,000m3 of concrete to the right places on the site at the right time.


“We have always had a great working relationship with Firth over the years but working with them on this site has improved on that,” says Ron.

“To coordinate the number of deliveries required is a difficult task made easier by the very good communication process we have working on this project. One of Firth’s staff meets with us every morning and works on the daily and weekly plan. Obviously it can be a bit of a moving target on a project of this size but having our Firth-dedicated contact has meant that changes have been dealt with that much more smoothly and is a fundamental reason for the success of this project for us.”

Harris Dowd have two large, high powered permanent concrete pumps in fixed positions on the site and also have a smaller mobile pump that they move around the site to where it’s needed – from level to level or street access to street access.

They have two placing booms and five satellite towers that are over 20m in height to position the booms to get concrete right around the site. “Because of the nature of the site and the construction process we have to be able to pump concrete up to 400 lineal metres,” says Mike Harris. “This system hasn’t been used a lot in New Zealand in the past and is more common overseas, but it has been far more efficient.”


“Harris Dowd have made deliveries to this tough central city location easy for us as we can pull the trucks up to two locations on Hobson or Nelson Street and, with the permanent placing booms in place, they receive the concrete really quickly,” says Jamie Frew, Operations Manager (Auckland Region) for Firth. “This means we can turn our trucks around more quickly for another load or they can move on to work for other customers.”

Mike says that having Firth’s Hamer Street plant so close is also a major plus. “Traffic in the afternoons is horrendous around the city so having Firth’s trucks coming from close by, especially on the big pours, is certainly a bonus.”

“We are doing all the testing on site with Firth and have also been working with Rob McKinnon, Materials Manager (Northern) for Firth, on the specialist mixes required,” says Ron.

“The communication has been very good and the support has also been there,” adds Ron. “I am pretty sure we have supplied over the 30,000m3 of concrete by now with maybe 3,000m3 left to supply. We are very happy at how well it has all gone.”


Did you know…

…the new 32,500m2 New Zealand International Convention Centre, once completed will have 33 meeting spaces, a 2,850 seat theatre and be New Zealand’s largest purpose built convention space. It will be connected via an airbridge to a five-star 300-room hotel on Hobson St, a retail laneway linking Nelson and Hobson Street and provide 1,300 carparks underneath the NZICC. The project also will have created an estimated 1,000 jobs during the 38-month build, and will provide a further jobs once the convention centre and hotel opens for business. For more information about the New Zealand International Convention centre click here.

 Principal:                         SkyCity Entertainment Group 

Main Contractor:             Fletcher Construction 

Sub-Contractor:              Harris Dowd Construction Ltd 

Location:                          Nelson and Hobson Streets, Auckland

Product:                            Firth Certified Concrete®