Business North December 2023

44 | Bringing the utilities to the people J&R Contracting T T Kelly Deeks CONTRACTING Since 1997, infrastructure specialist J&R Contracting has been bringing the utilities to the people of Auckland, expanding its services, its capabilities, and then its target area with a second branch in the Waikato putting the company in prime position for infrastructure development projects within the growing Golden Triangle. J&R Contracting has grown in nearly 30 years from a small and specialised directional drilling company working primarily on installing communications and gas ducting, to a mid-size company that builds power, telecommunications, gas, and three waters infrastructure projects that have a real impact on New Zealand people and their economy. “We’re not building skyscrapers, everything we build is buried underground,” says J&R general manager Rob Good. “But you couldn’t flush your toilet if we didn’t put the pipes in. You couldn’t call your family, or charge your EV, or run your smart home, or get your ferries to run on electricity. Without the infrastructure, none of that is really possible.” Rob says there is a lot going on which requires utilities, and a lot more coming up. J&R Contracting worked solely in Auckland until 2020 then bought an existing business in the Waikato. “The country seems to be growing down from Auckland so there is a lot of growth in the Golden Triangle,” Rob says. “We wanted to get closer to that and we’ve been pretty successful, doubling the turnover in the Waikato and growing the staff there from 12 to 27 in that small space of time, giving J&R a combined staff of 64 currently.” J&R strives to make business easy and enjoyable for every client by being available, well organised, showing respect, communicating clearly and regularly, and getting on with the job. Offering directional drilling gives J&R a specialist niche, as one of New Zealand’s foremost operators in thrusting up to 630mm PE pipe to tight grades. Experienced operators are skilled at protecting existing underground services through the use of hand digging and hydro excavation, and in acknowledgement of its ability to meet the highest levels of compliance, J&R is an approved contractor to Vector, AT, Watercare, WEL, Ventia, and Downers. J&R usually has a number of job opportunities available for the right candidate, and makes a commitment to provide to employees a positive, warm, and open environment, opportunities for training and development, the highest quality health and safety practices, and above average wages and conditions for the industry. “We maintain an open and welcoming culture where trust is important, as we rely on each other to get our jobs done and keep our sites safe,” Rob says. “We like to keep things straightforward and we have healthy channels of communication across the company.” The career path towards directional drilling can span about five years before a labourer will be skilled enough to work unsupervised. “It’s a long time in terms of getting into the business, so we’re providing a really good career path for labourers to progress to skilled labourers then supervisors. Some supervisors might then take a different path towards being an estimator or a project manager, or get into the machinery side. They can take what they’ve learned on site and apply it to great advantage in a new role.” “The country seems to be growing down from Auckland so there is a lot of growth in the Golden Triangle.” J&R Contracting worked solely in Auckland until 2020 then bought an existing business in the Waikato. Providing our customers with the best service is a passion for us and we will help you get the best value for your traffic management dollars. Big or small projects alike, we endure to provide cost effective innovative traffic management solutions. 0800 PB TRAFFIC PETER BERGHAUS NEW ZEALAND