Engineering is the easy bit

Matt Zame

National Operations Manager

With a CV that traverses all engineering disciplines and most of the North Island’s geography, Construction Manager Matt Zame’s career is evidence of the diverse opportunities available within Fletcher.

One of the company’s first ever summer interns, Matt cut his teeth on seismic strengthening projects at the Karapiro Dam, Auckland Harbour Bridge and Newmarket Viaduct before a stint at North Port Phase 1, Fletcher’s first deep water port project. The obligatory UK OE followed, where he deepened his foundations expertise with work for specialist piling contractors Skanska Cementation and Bachy Soletanche, plus some design with consultants Arup. 

The return home coincided with Matt’s first project management role on the Kauri Point Wharf for the Royal NZ Navy, which laid the groundwork for his biggest role yet: managing the piling and ground improvements works for the Northern Busway.

The opportunity to deliver a major project in your home town is too good to pass up so when Fletcher was awarded the Tauranga Harbour Link project, Matt shifted down country to manage the piling for this landmark project. Tauranga’s sunnier climes were one benefit, but equally satisfying was the opportunity to apply his learnings from the UK – the bentonite piling system used at THL had not been used in NZ before, and Matt’s overseas experience was integral to delivering the project successfully. A decade later THL remains his favourite project.

The variety of the work I’m involved in is phenomenal. I’m an engineer, but I’ve done everything from marketing to estimating to HR to client liaison – the engineering is the easy bit!

From there came a shift in focus from project management to operations, with a three year stretch as Piling Operations Manager for Brian Perry Civil in Auckland, where Matt played a key role in the delivery of many challenging BPC projects and major projects such as the Victoria Park Tunnel.

One Road of National Significance project led to another, as Matt took on the mammoth foundations works on the $1.4 billion Waterview Connection - New Zealand’s largest ever roading project. Over two years, Matt and his team delivered the walls for enormous trenches at the southern and northern tunnel portals, and the foundations for the mega Great North Road Interchange. 

But when the TBM arrived, Matt’s job was done, and he was called down to the Kapiti Coast to manage the piling and foundations for the $630 million MacKays to Peka Peka Expressway. Matt’s next move was another step up again: with the foundations work complete, he took on the construction management of the Central and Northern Zones (effectively two-thirds of the project).

After the M2PP project, Matt was offered another exciting opportunity—to work on the $700M Pūhoi to Warkworth project. As Civil Manager for the foundations work, Matt is responsible for approximately $250M of work which includes 7,500,000 cubic metres of bulk earthworks.
Matt’s blend of engineering, leadership and people management skills have allowed him to excel in many different roles on offer across the business.