Building communities while building infrastructure
“The Hawkins Group is helping build better communities in Papua New Guinea and throughout Melanesia and the Pacific Islands,” says construction company <span style="line-height: 1.5;">Hawkins' Regional Manager Pacific,Carolyn Blacklock. </span>
[caption id="attachment_7121" align="alignleft" width="138"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/rsz_hawkins2.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-7121" src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/rsz_hawkins2.jpg" alt="Enjoying a Pasifika Friday morning tea, (L-R) Carolyn Blacklock, PT&I TC Michael Greenslade, Kelly Wilshire and Anthea Deo. " width="138" height="104" /></a> Enjoying a Pasifika Friday morning tea, (L-R) Carolyn Blacklock, PT&I TC Michael Greenslade, Kelly Wilshire and Anthea Deo.[/caption]
The Hawkins Group is a major player in the construction and building industry in New Zealand. Last year the company won major contracts to build infrastructure in the Pacific, notably in PNG and Fiji.
They are the largest privately owned infrastructure and construction business in New Zealand. The company is made up of four businesses, Hawkins Construction, Hawkins Infrastructure, Hawkins Canterbury Recovery Project and Harker Underground Construction.
Hawkins has built a strong reputation working with local communities and iwi in New Zealand and it is this experience they draw on for building projects in the Pacific Islands.
Last Pasifika Friday Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) shared an early morning tea with a small team from Hawkins at their offices in Stanley Street in Parnell. The PT&I team were keen to learn more about the company and how to work more closely with them on their expansion into the Pacific.
The Hawkins team included Carolyn Blacklock, Regional Manager Pacific, Anthea Deo, HR Manager, Kelly Wilshire, Chief Risk and Legal Officer and Project Managers Tony Parsons and Tony Dunk. Hawkins has a strong philosophy of working with communities to build communities and not just infrastructure.
“As Hawkins has done in New Zealand we want to be involved in building better communities that benefit by our providing skills transfer and training opportunities. As per our principles, we firmly believe that not just the infrastructure we build, but that way we go about it, also makes a long-term difference,” Ms Blacklock said.
One major project about to be completed is the NZ$90m (K162 million) Kookaburra Flyover in Papua New Guinea. The flyover is the first of its kind in the Pacific and will be opened at the end of May by the PNG Prime Minister Mr Peter O’Neill.
Hawkins achieved good relationships with suppliers and the local community and worked with community leaders to make sure we were as inclusive as possible Ms Blacklock said.
“This was visible by symbolic ways also by making sure no razor wire for example, surrounded the structure as it was being built.”
Hiring unemployed workers from the local community, providing informal training and up-skilling brought them into the process “they also become part of our teams delivering world-class infrastructure,” she says.
“The Flyover build was led on the ground by a Papua New Guinean and hired local engineers. Their technical skills and capability can be transferred to other projects in PNG and they are able to develop their skills and grow with Hawkins. More than this we have delivered with a largely local workforce the training/skills lift is much broader than the supervisors.”
Hawkins also has a proud safety record that delivered outstanding results from the Kookaburra Flyover project.
The company has also branched out to other areas of the Pacific and last year won a crucial infrastructure Nadi Airport upgrade project. It is also currently in discussions on other projects in the region like hydro power plants, marine, water, and other key infrastructure.
“We would like to play an active part in the development of the Pacific by strengthening existing relationships, partnering with local companies, and employing local skilled workers to deliver complex infrastructure projects that benefit wider communities,” Ms Blacklock said.
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