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Adam Plimmer

Regional Manager

Adam Plimmer Regional Manager

Adam Plimmer knows how to make an entrance. When he arrived in New Zealand from his native UK, he didn't just fly here. Instead, he and his Kiwi girlfriend (now wife) drove as far as they could in his 1988 Land Rover. It was a fun way to travel, and it also showed his new colleagues at Hamilton's Brian Perry Civil that he was ready for a Kiwi way of life.

Since arriving, Adam's found New Zealand's the perfect place to raise his young family. "We have a small farm with motorbikes, tractors, native bush, bonfires. It’s like adventure HQ for the kids," he says. Adam's four boys aren't the only ones having all the fun either. Adam arrived with one Land Rover, but has since added another 10 to his collection, along with three military vehicles and a 1968 Bedford Fire Truck.

He says the biggest difference between New Zealand and the UK is the Kiwi pioneering spirit. "People are really innovative here, the ability for people to build things themselves, help their neighbours out, all that kind of stuff - to me that’s proper New Zealand," he says.

Adam is a Regional Manager for Brian Perry Civil and he's making sure the team is bringing that pioneering spirit to work every day. "This is a business that truly looks after its people, and I think it's important we push people out of their comfort zone to achieve things they didn’t think were possible."

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Bayley Smith

Surveyor

Bayley Smith Surveyor
Working on the Waikato expressway was the job of a lifetime for surveyor Bayley Smith. The project was decades in the making and came to the close in July 2022 with delivery of the Hamilton section where Bayley was working.
 
Bayley started her career as a graduate surveyor with Fletcher Construction, working within the CityEdge Alliance that delivered the final stage of the expressway. One of her favourite parts of the role was bringing drones into the project. When Bayley started, the team was regularly hiring drone pilots to do survey work. She spotted an opportunity to expand her skillset and the team purchased Bayley a drone of her own. "It's paid for itself, many times over, and I'm getting more confident using it."
 
Now the expressway’s wrapped up, Bayley's taking her career to the next level in a newly-created role with our Engineering Services team. 
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Borana Rabona

Estimating Manager

Borana Rabona Estimating Manager

Thirst for challenge is what keeps estimating manager Borana Rabona so satisfied in his job with Fletcher Construction South Pacific.

Based in the Fletcher Morobe Construction office in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Borana leads a team responsible for the cost estimations on all Fletcher Construction projects in the region, from small jobs through to large commercial projects.  

Fletcher Construction South Pacific is where Borana’s successful career began.

Upon graduation from the Papua New Guinea University of Technology, where he studied construction management, he joined FC as a junior estimator at the age of 25.

After a decade, he left for a series of jobs out in the field where he gained further industry experience as a cost control engineer.

In 2020, he returned to lead FCC South Pacific’s estimating team. Borana says Fletcher’s leading-edge technology played a big part in attracting him back.

“The estimating software makes the work exciting, as well as the wide range of projects we work on,” Borana says.

The Fletcher Morobe Construction office employs approximately 40 people at the head office and 600 to 700 people on their construction sites, and continues to grow.

“I love the challenges we face, and working in with others on our large projects,” he says.

A highlight project was building the Era Dorina Stage 3 Apartment in Port Moresby in 2007, a job for which Borana was the contract administrator. “I enjoyed this project so much because it was a design and construct project and we managed it so well that our built cost and the budget cost were the same,” he says.

Borana says he is proud of the career development he has enjoyed during his time with Fletcher Construction.

Outside work, he enjoys investing his time with his family, friends and his church.

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Brenda Mala

Assistant Branch Manager

Brenda Mala Assistant Branch Manager

Brenda Mala’s work day starts with contributing to the health and safety pre-start talk in the yard at Brian Perry Civil’s office in Port Vila, Vanuatu.

“Our construction crews meet, and we talk through the plan for jobs they are heading to that day and identify hazards,” Brenda says.

“I tell them, keep yourselves safe and go home this afternoon to see your family safely.”

Brenda joined BPC as the health and safety officer on the Lepetasi International Wharf project in 2015. It was her first role in construction after graduating with a Bachelor of Environmental Management & Planning from Lincoln University.

That was the start of a career that has seen the 33-year-old Vanuatu local progress to health and safety environmental advisor and then project administration assistant in the Port Vila branch office.

Brenda has recently been promoted to assistant branch manager, where she is responsible for health and safety as well as well as the fresh challenge of assisting with new business acquisitions and client support at the growing branch.  

“I enjoy the opportunities I get to work on site, seeing what the crews are doing and learning and the sense of accomplishment from finding solutions.”

Health and safety remains her passion.

“Keeping our team safe is my number one priority. Most of the guys working with us are the only bread winners in their families, and we place a lot of emphasis on the safety talk in the morning before they start work,” she says.

“It’s the people that drive this industry and without them, we can’t work.”

Brenda is also aware of being a role model for other women entering the construction industry.

“If I can do this, other local girls who want to can too. My message to them is, don’t look at the gender barrier. You can do it. Nothing is stopping you from being anything you want to be.

“Fletcher Construction takes good care of their people with training and support. They teach us to lead, and I’ve learnt that being a leader is not about dictating to people but listening and giving our people the chance to speak,” Brenda says.

“It’s the leadership that has taken me this far, and managers who value and acknowledge your contribution.”

Outside work, Brenda enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.

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Francis Swanney-Fetalaiga

Senior Site Engineer

Francis Swanney-Fetalaiga Senior Site Engineer
At Fletcher Construction, we're not just proud of what we do, we're proud of who we are. For Senior Site Engineer Francis Swanney-Fetalaiga, that means huge pride in his Samoan culture.
"I'm Samoan, but I'm also a South Aucklander. That's part of my culture as well. Everywhere I go, I represent where I'm from." Francis has harnessed this pride to support other Māori and Pasifika engineers through their study and careers.
 
Family is another huge part of Francis' identity. His parents immigrated from Samoa and he's proud to be the first in his family to finish university. "My siblings didn't finish because they wanted to help out my parents and get jobs. I was the last of five children, so they all supported me. There were papers I failed but I kept trying, and that was due to my parents. I didn't want to let them down. They've been through so many struggles and it's just made me who I am."
 
He brought that love of family to work with him at Higgins where he started as a graduate engineer, and he's still bringing it at Brian Perry Civil. "My workmates are just like whānau. I care about them like brothers and sisters. My job as an engineer is all about working together. It's all about the team."
Glenn Browne
Glenn Browne

Construction Supervisor

Glenn Browne Construction Supervisor

Fiji-based Glenn Browne has enjoyed a varied and fulfilling career with Fletcher Construction in the Pacific.

Born and bred in Waikato, Glenn jumped at the opportunity to head overseas at 21 to join the team. His first role was working on the FFA Conference Centre in the Solomon Islands as a carpenter supervisor.

Thirty years and many projects later, he continues to lead major commercial projects for Fletcher Construction South Pacific. He is currently the construction site manager for the $50 million refurbishment of the Western Resort on Denarau in Fiji.

Glenn also oversaw construction of the $10 million Toyota Fiji dealership which opened in January 2023. Situated near Nadi International Airport, it's one of the largest car dealerships in Fiji and led the way with environmentally-sound building practices.

“Environmental principles underpinned the building’s design and Fletcher Construction Fiji showed industry leadership by ensuring our environmental policies were central to all parts of the construction,” he says.

Glenn says he has never looked back since starting his career in the Pacific.

“If I hadn’t been here, I wouldn’t have been exposed to such a broad scope of work and gained the depth of experience so early on. I've enjoyed such challenging and varied commercial and residential projects,” he says.

“You hold a lot of pride working for Fletcher Construction in the Pacific. We have a strong reputation for our high quality of work and expertise and the support here is amazing. Nothing on-site is a problem and we are well-connected to our colleagues in New Zealand. Overall, I’ve enjoyed great experiences, projects and people.”

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Helen Sutherland

Pavement Quality Engineer

Helen Sutherland Pavement Quality Engineer
Helen Sutherland moved to Aotearoa as a young girl when her father took a Project Manager job at Fletcher Construction. She remembers growing up with conversations over dinner about construction.
“We often talked about the exciting projects Dad was working on and I always helped out with the DIY at home,” she says.
“The projects I remember him working on include the Trentham Computer Centre, National Library of NZ, Wellington Hospital and a pair of external seismic strengthening walls on the Wellington Telephone Exchange.
“Regrettably, I didn’t get into construction until much later in my career. I started out in Information Technology, but in 2012, while working for the Ministry of Justice, my role as Senior Business Advisor was disestablished along with so many others just before Christmas. I then decided to get a summer job as a labourer on a building site while looking for work.”
The drastic change in direction baffled many of Helen’s friends, but she thrived on site, doing a lot of things already learned from her Dad. “I absolutely loved it,” she says.
After a few months of following her dream on-site, Helen went back to the IT field to help pay the bills, but constantly thought about how she could get back into construction. This led her to study for her National Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety and she started a Diploma in Construction Management.
In 2015, Helen finally took a leap of faith applying for a job with Fletcher Construction as an HSEQ Administrator on a roading project and she hasn't looked back. 
"I’m glad I pursued this path. I genuinely feel it’s where I belong.  It’s an exciting and challenging project and I’m part of a wonderful team.”
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Jacob Walmsley

Project Engineer

Jacob Walmsley Project Engineer

Jacob’s gone from being a hammerhand to one of our best young engineers.

As a Project Engineer, he demonstrates where a rewarding career in construction can take you when you embrace opportunities and put in the mahi to advance.

Jacob got his first taste of the construction industry at 18 when he was assigned, through a labour hire firm, as a labourer on the Majestic Centre project for Brian Perry Civil.

Recognising his enthusiasm and motivation, the site foreman recommended he apply for an engineering cadetship.

Now, he’s a project engineer in charge of the $7M Taranaki St Pump Station project, leading his team working on a tight and challenging Wellington CBD site adjacent to a busy intersection.

It’s a tricky project in a highly visible location which speaks to the high regard BPC’s leadership have in Jacob’s abilities.

In another accolade, in 2022 Jacob was a finalist for the Personal Improvement Award in this year’s Civil Construction NZ National Awards.

During his time with BPC, he has completed thirty training courses, including his Diploma of Civil Engineering, having gained a wide range of practical onsite experience along the way.  

Jacob says he's grateful for the way Fletcher Construction has supported his professional development.

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Juana West

Environmental Health and Safety Manager

Juana West Environmental Health and Safety Manager

Juana West knows what it is like to feel the challenge of being a young female in the construction industry.

But the 26-year-old Environmental Health and Safety Manager for Higgins largest region, the Manawatu, continues to prove that passion and self-belief can see your career start to fly.

Health and safety was Juana’s passion when she joined Higgins as an environmental health and safety advisor two years ago.

Since then, big improvements in the company’s safety culture have flowed, with Juana helping to achieve significant increase in near miss, incident and observation reporting, allowing the team to offer employees early intervention with injuries, identify trends and put solutions in place to prevent re-occurrence.

“At Higgins, we believe all injuries are preventable and I stand by that company belief. Coming into a business that has a strong belief that everyone should go home safely makes the job easy.”

Juana also co-developed the Higgins’ lower north island wellness calendar, focusing on healthy habits to improve and prioritise physical and mental health. The calendar included a regional fitness challenge, encouraging people to exercise daily and eat healthy food. In the first year, 25 people signed up with an average weight loss of 5kgs per person.  

“Encouraging construction workers to make healthy choices, helping improve overall mental health, is extremely important because the construction industry loses nearly one person each week to suicide.  So the wellness calendar focusing on healthy habits has an industry-wide benefit,” Juana says.

Two years on, Juana was promoted to EHS Manager Manawatu, responsible for health and safety of approximately 320 Higgins staff, multiple subcontractors, across the region. Her work involves daily promotion of safe working standards, implementing new roll-outs and industry standards and collaborating with experts to think of practical, yet safe and effective ideas to improve the way teams work.

She says she is used to being one of the only female in the room among her predominantly male co-workers, but enjoys the challenge and would love more women to join the industry and believes its an industry that women can thrive in.

“Being a young female in the industry, I don’t necessarily walk onto a construction site and have instant respect. I have to prove myself with my knowledge and ability to listen.  Although this was a challenge, having Higgins believe in my abilities and walking the talk has enabled me to work with my team to create a positive culture change.”

Career-wise, Juana has already exceeded her expectations by achieving the manager’s role by age 25.

“I’m grateful to Higgins for the support, knowledge and constant upskilling I’ve received. I love keeping people safe and knowing I can keep developing my skills to be able to succeed in this.”

Juana completed Fletcher Construction’s ‘women to leadership’ mentorship programme in 2023, which she found invaluable in her transition to her new management role. “The industry-wide connections I gained were also so beneficial and I learned a lot about setting high standards as a leader and the principle that every day you work is your CV.”

Juana says her career growth so far has also been the result of backing herself and believing in her abilities and strengths. “I have self-confidence and don’t mind speaking up when I believe in something,” she says.

“It’s often said that promotion is based on your years of experience. However, I got my promotion based on the potential people saw in me. Higgins took a chance on me and it’s awesome the business did that,” she says.

“Higgins has been tremendously supportive of me and my career development. I strongly encourage other young females to believe in themselves and to strive for the best in this industry.”

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Kylie Wech

Project Manager

Kylie Wech Project Manager

When Kylie Wech started working in Civil Construction, she had a role in administration – she was the ‘tea lady’ as she puts it. What Kylie didn’t realise, was that role would set her up for a lifetime career in civil construction. “In the beginning, I saw the role as a means to an end. Very quickly, I decided I needed to turn my job into a career.”

Kylie’s made that career happen by working her way up through the industry, trying her hand at a number of different roles, finally landing herself as one of our highly-respected Project Managers.

She’s a big advocate for women in the industry, and says anyone keen on trying out civils should give it a go. “This industry has given me so many opportunities to try different avenues and pathways. The civil infrastructure industry has so many options, it will adapt to your needs as you adapt to your role.”

Levi Muller
Levi Muller

Engineering Cadet

Levi Muller Engineering Cadet

If you want to become an engineer, we can help you learn while you’re on the job through a cadetship. That support could help you earn a Diploma in Engineering – or even a qualification in Quantity Surveying or Construction Management.

You’d be joining other cadets like Levi Muller who recently joined us at Higgins as an Engineering Cadet. Before leaving school, Levi’s school approached our Early in Career Programme Lead Sarah McKenzie who organised a one-to-one visit at one of our projects where he was introduced to Tristan Paget, a Project Manager who also followed this pathway. This ignited a genuine spark in Levi and by showing his engagement and motivation, he was welcomed to the Higgins team in February after leaving school.

Levi’s been working with the team on the Rangiuru Business Park Interchange and is also studying for his Diploma in Engineering part time. This requires him to attend polytech one day a week which is supported by Higgins. He’s even being paid to attend tech, and accessing to our Employee Educational Fund for course costs. Higgins also facilitates a guided programme that enables Levi to learn on the job, whilst contributing to a high-profile project in his hometown.

So far, Levi’s loving his new role. "It's really hard to put a pinpoint on what I enjoy the most because I just love my job so much, going to work and seeing my team every day is a highlight."

If you’re keen to join the Green Team like Levi, contact LearningDevelopment@fcc.co.nz.

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Matt Zame

Project Director

Matt Zame Project Director
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 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 was 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 New Zealand before, and Matt’s overseas experience was integral to delivering the project successfully. A decade later, THL remains Matt's favourite project.
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Michael Valente

Country Manager

Michael Valente Country Manager

Michael Valente swung wide the door to new opportunities in paradise when he moved country to start a new chapter in his construction career with Higgins, Fiji.

That was back in 2020 when he joined the Fletcher Family from his home country of South Africa, where had had owned a civil engineering company for 19 years, and was later a senior project manager specialising in all aspects of pipeline and road construction.

The opportunity with Higgins as the Suva Manager represented an exciting opportunity for a lifestyle change for his family.  The opportunity to step into a bigger role saw the family relocate to Nadi when he became the Fiji Fletcher Higgins Country Manager in 2023.

Based in the head office in Lomolomo, Nadi, Michael oversees just under 700 staff, making Fletcher the biggest construction company in Fiji with a busy pipeline of work that has quickly ramped up post-Covid.

Michael is responsible for maintaining client relationships, sourcing new work as well as optimisation of existing projects.  Some of these include refurbishment of the Westin Hotel, four zones of roading maintenance contracts, completion of the Kings Road Upgrade, construction of nine critical bridges and work on the Nadi International Airport runway.

He visits Fletcher Construction’s head office in Auckland, New Zealand several times a year for senior leadership meetings and enjoys the close connection with the team there. “There’s no challenge too big that we can’t find a solution to, whether it’s health and safety or technology; we can draw on a wealth of knowledge and the company’s deep history and experience,” he says.

“Fletcher is a good employer and a caring company that looks after its employees.”

Michael promotes a strong safety culture, and has particularly enjoyed being part of the progress Higgins has made on the workplace health and safety journey over the last few years. “Our health and safety standards really set us apart here in the Pacific and I strongly believe in the philosophy of getting our people home safely every day. It’s rewarding to see the results we have made in standardising safety standards across the business and seeing the results of the way we care for our people.”

Although he’s no longer in his home country, Michael says he loves being part of the Fletcher family in the Pacific.

Fletcher’s graduate programmes and training and development support makes it an attractive employer in the Pacific, but has its downsides when staff rise through the ranks and get job opportunities in New Zealand and Australia.

“But on the other hand, it demonstrates the strong opportunities we offer and that once you spend meaningful time working with us, there are opportunities for career progression across the Pacific.”

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Ning Yan

Network Engineer

Ning Yan Network Engineer

Higgins network engineer Ning Yan is a great example that many career paths can lead to construction.

After completing a bachelor’s degree in Management at Shenyang Normal University in China, Ning entered the workforce as an accounts payable clerk before moving to New Zealand and completing a Diploma in Civil Engineering at Wintec in Hamilton.

“I really wanted to work in the construction industry as I was drawn to the challenge of working to bring a project to completion where you can see the tangible achievements,” Ning says.

Two years after starting with Higgins as a graduate engineer, Ning was promoted to her current role as a network engineer for the state highway network in eastern Waikato, focused on delivering  the annual plan and variation programmes, and programming for the operational teams for the state highways on which Higgins has maintenance contracts.

It’s a role offering plenty of challenge and variety, with a complex state highway network and challenging weather events in this part of the country.

Although Ning is mostly office-based in Morrinsville, she enjoys opportunities to visit Higgins teams in the field and gain site experience and area initiatives to improve roading safety.

Past work in accounts payable set her in good stead for her sharp focus on project detail. “I enjoy trying to make things as accurate as possible and want to achieve high quality. I really enjoy learning new things and skill from my colleagues, clients and subcontractors,” she says.

As she looks to further her career, Higgins provides great support and training in areas such as NZIHT short courses, project management, traffic management and safety leadership. She is currently a member of Fletcher Construction’s ‘Achieving Women’ programme, supporting women to rise through the ranks at Fletcher Construction.

She hopes her path will encourage more women into careers in construction.

“Even if you have come from a different background, you can still work in construction and enjoy a challenging and fulfilling career,” Ning says.

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Peter Capilitan

Specialist Operator

Peter Capilitan Specialist Operator

When Peter Capilitan arrived from the Philippines in 2018, his surveying qualification wasn’t recognised in New Zealand. Unable to work in his chosen field, he took a role with Higgins as a grader operator.

Last year, his team encouraged him to use the Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) to pay for a surveying qualification that would be recognised in New Zealand. He’s rightfully very proud of his achievement!

Fletcher Construction Early in Career Programme Lead Sarah McKenzie made inquiries to help set Peter up with Connexis. “Not only has he been motivated to persevere despite English being his second language, he has really demonstrated Fletcher Values of Better Together and Being Bold.”

Peter says getting the qualification helped boost his career and provides a significant advantage in future endeavours. "I am beyond blessed with the opportunities I've been given to reach my dream of becoming a surveyor. I'm ready for more projects."

As TTAF is no longer available, our people can access the Fletcher Building Employee Educational Fund (EEF), which helps fund the cost of tuition and development programmes for career-related studies.

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Richard Rakovics

Civils & Utilities Manager

Richard Rakovics Civils & Utilities Manager
When Richard Rakovics first arrived in New Zealand, he quickly decided that it wasn't for him and headed home to Europe. But then he found himself homesick … for Aotearoa.
"I missed the openness, the greenery, being on the beach, the weather. I had to go away from New Zealand to appreciate it fully," he says.
A few months later the Fletcher Construction Project Manager was back on our shores, and hasn’t looked back.
 
It's not just the Kiwi lifestyle he's loving, it's the work opportunities he's had here. Richard believes he's getting opportunities at Fletcher Construction that he wouldn't get elsewhere. "In New Zealand, you can achieve your goals much faster than in other countries. Fletcher Construction in particular gives you the opportunity to progress. If the company sees your potential, they'll give you opportunities to prove yourself. Europe is more traditional - you have to do your time to reach certain positions."
 
But that being said, Richard says the scale of Fletcher Construction means it still feels world class. "Working here, you get the feeling you're working for an organisation that could operate anywhere in the world."
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Sara Scott

Contracts Manager

Sara Scott Contracts Manager

Sara Scott has grown professionally with Higgins. She first joined the team as a part-time traffic management engineer through her final year of her Bachelor of Engineering. That led to a full-time role on the City Edge project, holding several key engineering roles before progressing to her current role as contracts manager of the East Waikato NOC (network outcomes contract). She started this role as she returned from maternity leave, and now leads a team of 40, plus subcontractors. Much of the focus in Sara’s role has been returning the state highway network to a resilient place after Cyclone Gabrielle, balanced with renewals delivery across the region.

Driven by a love for the construction industry and always hungry to progress, Sara says there has been strong support from Higgins as she has stepped up to new roles.  This year, she’s participating in Fletcher Construction’s Women to Leadership mentoring programme and hopes to inspire others to strike the right balance between commitment to career and family.

“I recognise I can inspire and support women within the industry and I think it’s our responsibility as the next generation of women to improve the industry for those following us. Our challenges are different than they were 20 years ago and will continue to change with time,” she says.

“This means supporting my team to take ownership of their time to support a healthy home - work balance. I model this to give people permission to fully commit to their job, while also carving out time for family.”

Committed to continuous professional growth, Sara has also completed her first year of an MBE earning her a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management Studies.

She also participates in Fletcher Construction’s mentor programme involving regular catch-ups to support and guide new graduates to navigate their careers.

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Shayden Taumata

Specialist Operator

Shayden Taumata Specialist Operator

One year on from the devasting impact of Cyclone Gabrielle, Shayden Taumata remembers trying to clear her way through piles of slash higher than the grader machine she was driving to restore vital road links in the Bay of Plenty.

“We came through after the cyclone to clear accessways for families trapped in their homes - it was really cool to play a part in getting the community back on its feet.”

The 29-year-old machine operator and foreperson from Rotorua was exceptionally proud to play a part in the cyclone recovery effort, where it was all hands on deck to clear the roads and get transport links up and running again.

It’s extreme weather events like those that keep her team on its toes and doing what it does best; responding to road closures caused by big slips or weather damage, she says.

“It’s a buzz to go out and open up the roads to keep communities safe.”

Shayden’s career in civil construction began back in early 2018 when she moved to Gisborne and, after contacting a recruitment agent looking for temporary work, started a job in road maintenance with a local company the very next day.

Following a stint working as a traffic controller, Shayden progressed to become Leading Hand for a construction crew. Along the way she picked up a Site Traffic Management Supervisor (STMS) qualification, Class One, Two and Three driving licences and a Wheels, Tracks and Rollers endorsement, seizing the opportunity to develop her skills.

Completing  a Māori leadership programme gave Shayden extra confidence and skills that helped her move into a more senior position, as well as kindling a drive to set her sights on further personal development and study a civil engineering degree in the future.

Moving to Rotorua in 2023 saw her take the next step in her road maintenance career by applying for a role supervising a pavement renewal crew with her current employer Higgins, taking on a different role and a set of new challenges in a different region.

Shayden says she enjoys the variety of facing fresh challenges every day and constantly learning new skills as it means she never gets bored.

“I love travelling the countryside, meeting new people and there always being something new to learn – every job’s different.”

She now leads five road rehabilitation operators in her team plus a traffic management team that provides essential support. Between them they handle earthworks and road repairs throughout the eastern Bay of Plenty, sometimes driving two hours to get to a job.

A typical day will start with a morning meeting with all crews involved to discuss the requirements for the job they’re working on that day, co-ordinating her traffic management team and getting everyone’s input on any safety issues that might arise before setting out on the day’s work. Her experience in different job roles, and ability to operate heavy machinery from 30-tonne excavators to graders and trucks, gives her the edge when it comes to leading her team and training them up.

After the success she has experienced in road maintenance Shayden encourages more females to get into the industry.

“Females can do just as well in the road maintenance industry as males: they’re particular about making sure jobs are completed to a high standard, keeping sites tidy and looking after their equipment – it would be great to see more of them come through.”

She says road maintenance would suit anyone who enjoys learning new skills and likes the idea of being able to develop their career quickly.

“You can be whatever you want to be and play whatever role you want in this industry, if you keep going with it the options are pretty much never-ending.”

Shayden's story courtesy of EPIC Work NZ: https://epicwork.nz/

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Tamzin Letele

Senior Commercial Manager

Tamzin Letele Senior Commercial Manager
‘Young Achiever’ is a fitting accolade for Tamzin Letele, a talented leader on major commercial construction projects and a strong, passionate role model to other women and Pasifika people in the construction industry.
In 2022, Tamzin was named the NZ Property Council’s ‘Young Achiever of the Year’. As well as celebrating her contribution to the industry across major commercial, residential regeneration and development projects, the award recognised her outstanding commitment to grow and develop the people around her and actively give back to her community.
Tamzin is a Pasifika mother-of-three, and a quantity surveyor with more than 15 years’ commercial experience.
She first joined Fletcher Construction as a cadet, then returned for a time at the start of the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) project. She’s now with us for her third stint, this time as a Commercial Manager for Buildings where she oversees the head claim and reinstatement works for the NZICC.
Alongside her busy role, Tamzin makes time to support the growth and development of construction industry up-and-comers, and continues to be an active mentor to Māori and Pasifika women. Having experienced first-hand the challenges that come with being a minority on-site, she says it’s always been her goal to support and guide those from diverse and challenging backgrounds.
A founding member of the Property Council of New Zealand Diversity Committee, Tamzin is committed to supporting diversity growth within the industry to adequately represent the diversity of Aotearoa. She is pleased to see progress being made around acceptance and inclusion since she started in the industry.
“We now have over 50 per cent wāhine across the NZICC commercial site team, that’s a career-defining moment,” Tamzin says.
Throughout her career, Tamzin has been keenly aware of areas to further develop herself to maximise her role performance and contribution. She holds a Bachelor of Construction and a Graduate Certificate of Social Impact. Tamzin has also completed Social Return on Investment Practitioner training, along with being a mediation teacher and learning the Samoan language.  She is a serial house-renovator, fervent about sustainability and believes in actively giving back to her community.       
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Zane Ape-Esera

Site Manager

Zane Ape-Esera Site Manager
The New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) project provides plenty of challenges for the Fletcher Construction team working there. Site manager Zane Ape-Esera wouldn’t have it any other way.
"There’s no other project where you can get the breadth of knowledge and experience that the NZICC provides,” he says.
“The project challenges us on a daily basis and encourages us to continuously think outside the square, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be challenged in that way and gain valuable experience to grow my career.”

For Zane, the project is all about teamwork. “There’s a whakatauki about collaboration: 'Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini. My successes are not mine alone - they are ours.' The greatest successes we have are through our people and being Better Together which is one of our values. It has certainly been a great team effort to get us to this point.”
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