Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Hammering Down The Barriers On International Women’s Day

Breaking through glass ceilings isn’t so much the challenge for women working in Marlborough’s construction industry - try concrete floors and steel beams instead.

As New Zealand’s celebrates International Women’s Day, this year focussed on ‘recognising women in leadership: achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world’, it’s timely to acknowledge some Marlborough women leading the way in construction, regarded once upon a time as a male domain.

The largest construction project underway in the region is the Marlborough District Library and Art Gallery build, currently rising from the ground on a corner site on High Street in Blenheim, overlooking the Taylor River. The project has been supported by the Government through the ‘shovel ready’ funding administered by the Provincial Development Unit.

There are a number of women involved in its construction, ranging from on-site roles, administration, design, and consenting through to project management, environmental engineering and governance.

Councillor Cynthia Brooks has been involved with the project from the beginning. She has long been one of its champions, remaining committed to the cause despite it being stalled for a number of years due to other more pressing Council infrastructure obligations, namely the Renwick and Seddon water schemes. “Because I’m a writer and a book person I’ve always been keen to see a library building that is fit for purpose,” she said.

Clr Brooks is a member of the Project Control Group. “Our role has been to guide the project - from the site purchases and concept design development through to the final design and tendering, culminating in a construction contract – all the machinations required to see it come to life,” she said.

Katherine Skipper, architect and Wellington Studio Principal for Warren and Mahoney, co-led the early design development for the library and art gallery. “Working with the Council to unlock the potential of this project to truly reflect the amazing Marlborough community and landscape has been a real joy, and we can’t wait to see the building take shape,” she said.

Conversely, Council Project and Contracts Manager Maighan Watson has come from the “ground up” to oversee the administration of the project.

She joined the Council 18 months ago, with a business degree from Victoria University and a stint in property management behind her. While Maighan is quick to point out she is relatively new to this level of project management, she is taking it all in her stride and laying the foundations for an exciting career. That includes studying towards a qualification in construction management with strands in quantity surveying.

“I really enjoy the complexity of projects like this – I like being challenged. No day is ever predictable and it’s rare if I haven’t learnt something new before 9am,” Maighan said.

On site at the library and art gallery construction area is Jodie Brick, Construction Administrator for Robinson Construction Ltd.

Originally from Blenheim, Jodie worked in construction in Auckland for five years. “This is what I really wanted to do when I returned home and then this position came up. I wanted to be more on site and get involved in the complexities of running projects like this,” she said.

“You have to have an interest in the construction industry. I personally enjoy working with the different cultures on a construction site,” said Jodie. “On a project like this, we are all on the same page – we are all working for one thing – to get this building up and running.”

A typical day for APL Project Manager Mandy Clark is often spent at the ‘”grass roots” on site – the rest of the time she is working on administration and budgeting. The library and art gallery is one of the larger projects she has been involved with. “No two days are the same,” she said. “I always have my gumboots and high vis jacket in the boot of the car,” she said.

Mandy is another returnee to Marlborough. She grew up in Picton, attended Queen Charlotte College and then spent many years overseas and in Auckland. In the 1980s (as a woman) working in construction and heading to site visits, she said she was often the only female on a site. “It was easy for my name to be remembered. Now women are in every aspect of the construction industry.”

And the list of women involved in the project does not end there.

Environmental Engineer for WSP Sofia Gorosito is the site representative charged with performing the inspections and necessary tests to verify the bearing capacity of the foundation soil.

The civil engineer graduate, originally from Argentina, said she had a strong interest in geotech. “At the same time I am also looking to be able to see the whole picture of the projects and to be involved in all the engineering areas,” she said.

Robinson Construction’s Janet Ashcroft is also involved, managing the various documentation including consent requirements, which are a huge part of such a project.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Erebus Memorial In Parnell

Social media can be a wonderful tool for bringing people together in a common cause. It can also be a seedbed and spreader of mis-information on a community-wide scale. To which category do the protests against the siting of an Erebus memorial (to the 257 New Zealanders who died in that tragedy) in a secluded corner of a Parnell park happen to belong? IMO, it is clearly the latter, and the reasons for thinking so are explained below... More>>

 

National: Proposed Hate Speech Laws A Step Too Far

Reports of the Government’s proposed new hate speech laws go a step too far and risk sacrificing the freedoms New Zealanders enjoy, National’s Justice spokesperson Simon Bridges says. “The reforms are supposedly including protections to every ... More>>

ALSO:

Agriculture: Government To Phase Out Live Exports By Sea

The Government has announced that the export of livestock by sea will cease following a transition period of up to two years, said Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “At the heart of our decision is upholding New Zealand’s reputation for high ... More>>

ALSO:

Norman Gemmell: New Zealand’s New Housing Policy Is Really Just A New Tax Package — And It’s A Shambles

Norman Gemmell , Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington Economists like to talk about “optimal policy instruments” — essentially, policies that achieve their objectives more effectively or efficiently than the alternatives, and ... More>>

Claire Breen: ACC’s Policy Of Not Covering Birth Injuries Is One More Sign The System Is Overdue For Reform

Claire Breen , University of Waikato Recent media coverage of women not being able to get treatment for birth injuries highlights yet another example of gender bias in healthcare in New Zealand. More>>

Police: Police Accept Findings Of IPCA Report Into Photographs Taken At Checkpoint

Police accept the findings of a report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) relating to photographs taken at a checkpoint in Northland. On November 16, 2019, Police set up a checkpoint down the road from a fight night event in Ruakaka ... More>>

ALSO:

Health: Drug-Testing Law To Be Made Permanent

Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels