Special Projects

Alongside our Residential and Commercial jobs, we from time to time work on very unique projects. These projects may be in remote locations, require ‘outside the square’ working conditions or have extreme varying environmental factors which make them a little bit special.

Check out a few examples of these projects below.

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Pūtahi Park, Whangarei Town Basin

We are incredibly proud to have completed construction of the brand new Pūtahi Park (built under the name ‘New Town Basin Park’), which opened to the public in March 2022.

To construct this park in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the resulting supply shortages, shipping delays and the busiest construction boom in living memory was a huge challenge. However it is a testament to everyone involved that the park got built and is now open for use.

This project put the Robinsons team to the test as it incorporated a wide scope of civil and landscape works. It includes multiple structures including a toilet block, shade structure and boardwalk. Our construction also included a 500 person outdoor amphitheatre, a 19 nozzle water feature which can have the individual jets and lights programmed to 'dance'. We completed nearly 1,400m2 of paving and installed 4,700 plants and 170 large trees, some of which weighed 1,500kg. We engaged more than 15 local subcontractors and a wide range of suppliers.

A big thanks to all involved - Whangarei District Council for their original vision and then ongoing collaboration and support throughout the project. Our entire Robinson Asphalts team, it took a shared effort on everybody’s part, and in particular our Project Manager Mark Smith, Foreman David Gurnell, the on-site team, and our suppliers and subcontractors including Trigg Construction, Currie Electrical, Hansen Drainage, The Watertight Co, Land Escapes, Northland Metal Industries, GHK Piling, Shade Systems NZ, Numat REC, CMT Group & Landscaping Yard, Busck Prestressed Concrete Ltd, Culham Engineering Ltd, Anlyn Piling & Contracting Ltd, 100H20 Finishers, BDC Concrete, Just Polished Concrete, Ander Consulting, Geospatial, Graeme Bird Concrete Cutting and many others

This project won the Hirepool $5mil + category at the 2022 CCNZ Northland Branch Awards

Baylys Beach Boardwalk

This challenging project for Kaipara District Council on the wind-swept dunes of Baylys beach involved the construction of a 126-metre-long timber boardwalk including 90m of timber barriers along with retaining walls, concrete paths, bollards, dune protection and native planting.

Construction took place between the months of September and December 2020. The rugged site is located at the end of the council road reserve where the seal meets the sand. Construction consisted of two retaining walls, 92 driven piles to depths of 6.3m into the sand, a 126m long, 1.6m wide boardwalk, balustrades, kick rails, bollards, erosion fencing and sand dune protection including planting.

We completed on time and under budget by a skilled and enthusiastic team who worked through some very harsh conditions, including relentless sand-blasting wind, heavy rain and big swells. Sam Cowan was Project Manager, and Ross Keogh was the main site foreman.

This project won the Firth Construction $100,000 - $500,00 category at the 2020/2021 CCNZ Northland Branch Awards.

Sportsville, Dargaville

Robinson Asphalts was Main Contractor for this project which consisted of the full construction of 4 new multi-purpose asphalt sports courts and upgrade of 2 existing courts. The contract package included drainage and stormwater, 3m high specialist perimeter fencing with gates, pathways, line marking and sports nets. Flush concrete edge beams and installation of concrete Block Volley wall. Challenging subgrade conditions meant specialist metal preparation, geotextile cloth and geogrid were used.

The tight budget was met through excellent collaboration, design adaptation, thinking outside the square, and consideration for the community nature of the project. Relationships and trust were key between the stakeholders. Our project team, led by Tom Taylor as Project Manager, David Wright as Site Foreman and Russell Wootten as 2IC provided the ideal combination of technical skill and practical experience. With a strong focus on client satisfaction from all parties, this ensured great outcomes for this project.

 Aside of budget constraints, the subgrade was the biggest challenge. The bearing capacity was lower than the design allowed for and the deeper we got, the more it became apparent expensive undercuts were not an option. As contractor, we took some risk in coming up with an alternative approach and trusted our own judgement which paid off. An innovative method using a specialist Dual Grade Box Grader for finishing works on the base course made cost and time savings, benefiting both the client and the contractor.  

 This project was completed in March 2018 and won the Hynds Pipe Systems Construction Projects $500,000 - $1m Award at the 2019 CCNZ Northland Awards.

Parihaka Platform Renewal

Robinson Asphalts was the Main Contractor for this project in the heart of Whangarei.  It involved the complete demolition/removal of the existing timber viewing platform and full construction of new cantilevered timber platform, steel handrails, signage and sculpture installation on the Parihaka summit.

This was a challenging site as access to the platform (existing and new) was via a set of steps spanning 50 metres from a lower carpark, with no vehicular access. Initially in planning, our methodology was to engage a helicopter to deliver major materials by air however after consideration the decision was made to purchase a 4WD All-Terrain Vehicle with a specially designed custom-made trailer to climb the steps.  This was a much smarter solution and also saved a great deal of manual handling. The ATV clocked up 160kms over the duration of the project!

The project was completed in December 2015 with the installation of the 'Kohatu' sculpture finished in March 2016. The sculpture, made by a local sculptor was of huge cultural significance to the district, was installed using a helicopter in the middle of the platform, completing the project.

Visitors and locals to this day use the platform to enjoy the beautiful views over Whangarei. We are very proud to be able to be apart of these awesome community projects.

Hihi Beach Foreshore Protection Project – Doubtless Bay

Robinson Asphalts in association with Rhodes for Roads undertook a major foreshore protection project at Hihi Beach. This was a community project driven by the Hihi Ratepayers. In particular Robinson Asphalts undertook the removal of an old existing concrete boat ramp and replaced it with a concrete beach access, which was designed to allow natural movement of sand and water along the beach, rather than the “groin” effect, which was caused by the old concrete ramp.

This was a challenging project – check out the photos. In addition there was the reclamation of a foreshore area, construction of a sea wall to protect this area, and the construction of a mudcrete wall along the foreshore to protect the toe of the bank, which had been rapidly eroding.

Pitcairn Island Project 

Pitcairn Island is located roughly half way between New Zealand and South America and is only accessible by ship. The Island is most famous for being the hideaway of the HMS Bounty mutineers, and more recently the high profile and controversial court cases and jailings.

Robinson Asphalts have undertaken several projects on the island in recent years. These projects have mainly been based around the construction of several buildings including the Jail! This involved all the products and materials having to be packaged up in New Zealand in kitset form, loaded onto a freighter for shipping to the island. Our staff would then fly out to Tahiti a week or so later where they would meet up with the ship for the final part of the journey to Pitcairn.

Once the ship finally reaches the Island things get real interesting as there is no wharf to tie up to. So to get all the materials, tools and our staff ashore first they must be transferred to one of the Islands longboats out in open water for what can be a very hairy trip to the Bounty Cove.

As Pitcairn Island is so isolated and ships only call infrequently it is not the place you want to forget to pack something! Fortunately we had no major problems and managed to be finished on time to catch the ship for the return journey. Planning and programming had to be spot on.

With the Pitcairn Island projects successfully completed it shows that we have what it takes to organise very complicated projects and logistics in one of the world’s most remote locations. By comparison projects around New Zealand are a piece of cake!

Whangarei Town Basin Project

Robinson Asphalts were the contractors who completed the asphalting, paving and landscaping around the Whangarei Town Basin. This award - winning project was completed in 1994 and still looks great even now. So much so that at the time we were recognised by our peers in the New Zealand Contractors Federation who awarded us with the Caltex Construction 'Construction Award Merit Certificate'.

The job required earthworks, paver and asphalt laying, rock walls, timber wharf construction, the landscaping and planting, construction of steps and features. It is a project we are extremely proud of and believe that it is a great asset to the city of Whangarei and something that locals and visitors alike have and will continue to enjoy for many years to come. More recently we have been involved once again in stages of the Town Basin Revitalisation project – incorporating walkways and cycleways into this vibrant area.

So the next time you are down at the Basin enjoying a cup of coffee take some time to cast your eye around our workmanship…