Business Profiles

Coming of age for Drainways as 3 waters lead contractor

Local 3 waters specialists Drainways has played a large role in the Hastings District Council’s $90 million drinking water infrastructure project, having been involved since 2016. Back in 2016, thousands of Havelock North residents fell ill from contaminated drinking water from nearby bores.

In the fallout from the crisis, the council committed to a major overhaul of its drinking water provisions. A key first step was the decommissioning of the Havelock North bores and a re-network of water from Hastings. Drainways was awarded the contract to upgrade the watermain in Te Mata Road, which became a catalyst for a more significant role, that has seen the Hastings based firm involved throughout a journey that will ensure the delivery of safe drinking water to over 60,000 housholds.

Drainways director Brendan Currie said as well as the watermain projects – which started in Havelock North and went all the way into the Hastings CBD, the family based firm was head contractor in the establishment of a new water treatment and storage facility in Frimley Park and the showcase Waiaroha water treatment and storage facility.

Drainways did all underground infrastructure, foundation preparation and civil works on these projects, along with having project managers running the entire builds.

Brendan reflects back at to 2016/17 and how the project has challenged the firm but created a platform to enhance its capability and reputation as a 3 waters infrastructure firm.

“We are a growing and ambitious company that didn’t know the scale of this water investment back then but definitely wanted more of what we could get.  “We have a vision to provide for the future health and wellbeing of communities through the construction of fresh water and drainage systems that are built to last, so this project certainly provided a platform for us to deliver on that.

He says some of the challenges along the way included gaining ISO qualifications (H&S, Quality and Environmental) as well as becoming an approved service contractor for HDC and NCC.

“That was both challenging but very rewarding and was achieved through sheer determination, grit and team work from everyone within the company. He said what helped was building a strong relationship with the council as well as other local businesses involved – always striving to maintain this through great communication, excellent customer service and first class quality.

“On any project, but particularly projects of this scale is the importance of having competent project management that understands programs and can keep all trades focussed, aligned and happy.

Different challenges pop up every day but you need to have a laser like focus on the end goal and be pro-active and deal with them positively as they occur.

Communication is key – everyone performs better if they understand the bigger picture and are not just focussed on their area.

“We’ve built good relationships with other companies throughout this journey creating some strong lifelong working relationships. The most enjoyable aspect has been getting towards completion and knowing that the facilities and infrastructure will deliver safe drinking water to residents across the district.

“It is very rewarding to be involved in
a project that has such a wide purpose and will be an integral and vital part of our city infrastructure for many years to come.

Brendan says his favourite part of the Waiaroha treatment facility is what the public can’t see. The components within the Water Treatment Plant are very impressive. The electrical, mechanical and Scada in behind the scenes are what make the plant’s work but will never be recognised if you hadn’t been part of the journey.