Final piece of the puzzle!

PwC Tower officially open for business!

Monday, 27 July 2020 was a momentous occasion for us here at Holmes, as we celebrated the opening of the PwC Tower (part of our project at Commercial Bay).

PwC, the main tenants of this incredible structure occupy six floors within the tower, with their open flowing space for their 900-strong Auckland based team being expertly designed by the talented team at Warren and Mahoney.

Standing at 180m tall the tower has been bestowed the name Te Toki i te Rangi (The Blade in the sky) by the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, who officially blessed the tower before PwC New Zealand and fellow tenants Jarden could move in yesterday morning.

The NZ $1 billion dollar Commercial Bay development, which incorporates the new PwC Tower, also integrates with the nearby existing structures: HSBC House, AMP Centre, the former PwC Tower on Quay Street, and Jarden House. Plus, the project also straddles the two newly constructed City Rail Link (CRL) tunnels. Collectively, all these sites welcome nearly 10,000 workers a day into their offices – revitalising the commercial hub and transforming downtown Auckland.

Holmes Consulting is incredibly proud to be part of building this legacy in Auckland, along with our numerous project partners, and we hope the new tenants enjoy their stunning new offices!




60 Major Infrastructure projects to watch

60 Major Infrastructure Projects – handpicked for border exemptions.

A Holmes Consulting Project: Pier 3 being erected at the Matahorua Gorge Bridge on State Highway 2 (SH2) in the Hawke’s Bay region. It was successfully opened in March 2011.

The Chief Executive of the Road Transport Forum, Nick Leggett, was recently cited as saying “We’ve got to stimulate the economy. We’ve got to get these infrastructure projects built and the reality is we’ve got to import labour”.

Overseas workers aren’t automatically approved for a border exception if they’re attached to one of these 60 odd infrastructure projects. Their employer needs to explain the role their workers would be undertaking, and why each role is essential to the business. This would then be assessed by Immigration officers (in consultation with other departments) but they are however exempt from the requirement that they earn over $106,080 per year.

Leggett was also quoted as saying Government departments didn’t have the engineering nous to determine which workers were genuinely needed for these important infrastructure projects – “…most Government agencies and departments have lost their engineering capability”, he said.

The current list of the 60 major infrastructure projects which have been pre-approved for exemptions to bring foreign workers into New Zealand are:

  1. New Dunedin Hospital Campus (Southern DHB, in Dunedin)
  2. North Auckland Line (Northland)
  3. University of Otago – Christchurch Health Science Campus Redevelopment – Stage 1
  4. Facilities Infrastructure Remediation Programme – Stage 1 – (Auckland DHB)
  5. Taranaki Base Hospital Redevelopment – Project Maunga – Stage 2 (Taranaki DHB in New Plymouth)
  6. Tauranga Northern Link
  7. New Domestic and International Jet Terminal
  8. Interisland Ferry Replacement Project (Wellington and Picton)
  9. City Centre to Mangere Light Rail (Auckland)
  10. Central Interceptor Programme (Western Springs to Mangere)
  11. Mill Road – Northern Southern and Papakura Sections
  12. Elective Capacity and Inpatient Beds and Supporting Infrastructure (Waitemata DHB)
  13. Capability of Airfield Infrastructure
  14. Investment in Horizontal Infrastructure
  15. Redevelopment of Scott Base (Antarctica)
  16. Auckland Metro Rail Network Programme – Accelerated Renewals
  17. Rolling Stock Procurement Project – Stage 1 – Wagon Fleet
  18. Wellington Metro Rail Network Programme – Stage 4 – Network Capacity Improvements
  19. Manawatu Road Maintenance Programme
  20. Laboratory and Biocontainment Greenhouse New Build and Relocation (Tamaki)
  21. Low Cost Low Risk Road Improvements across New Zealand
  22. Totara Road Wastewater Treatment Plant Consent Renewal Upgrade
  23. Adams Building Replacement Build and Precinct Enabler
  24. Dental School Redevelopment
  25. Construction of New Gravity Tunnel (Whenuapai and Redhills)
  26. Huia 1 and Nihotupu 1 Watermain Replacement
  27. New Watermain Connecting Woodlands Park Reservoirs to Greenhithe Bridge
  28. Pump Station and Rising Main Upgrade (Stanmore)
  29. Upgrade of Huia Water Treatment Plant
  30. Upgrade of the Waiuku Wastewater Treatment Plant and Wastewater Servicing to Clarks Beach
  31. Wastewater Treatment Plant Reactor/Clarifiers and Ultra Violet Expansion (Rosedale)
  32. Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade (Pukekohe)
  33. Cross Harbour Pipeline Construction (Wellington Eastern Suburbs to Waterloo)
  34. Peacocke River Bridge and Northern Arterials Construction (Hamilton)
  35. Hamilton Transport Network Renewals and Maintenance
  36. Drury Rail Station Development
  37. Wastewater Treatment Plant Membrane Bio-Reactor Upgrade (Waiuku)
  38. Wellington Metro Rail Network Programme – Stage 6 – Infrastructure Upgrades
  39. Wellington Metro Rail Network Programme – Stage 7 – Automated Train Protection
  40. New Aircraft Apron
  41. Marine Defences and Seawall Reconstruction
  42. Whau Recreation Centre – New Recreation Centre
  43. SH1 Improvements (Papakura to Bombay)
  44. Modular Prison Build Programme – Stage 2
  45. Auckland Metro Rail Network Programme (Wiri to Quay Park Capacity Enhancements)
  46. Auckland Metro Rail Network Programme (Papakura to Pukekohe Electrification)
  47. High Voltage Direct Current Cable Replacement and Capacity Increase (Cook Strait)
  48. Voltage Management (Waikato and Upper North Island)
  49. State Highway Improvements (SH1 Papakura to Drury South)
  50. Walking and Cycling Facilities – Northern Pathway including Seapath
  51. Penlink Road
  52. SH2 Te Puna to Omokoroa Improvements
  53. Melling Interchange Improvements
  54. New State Highway Construction – Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatu Tararua Highway
  55. Waikeria Prison Build
  56. Main North Line Reinstatement Project (Christchurch to Picton)
  57. SH1 Whangarei to Port Marsden Upgrade
  58. SH1 Otaki to North Levin Improvements
  59. Rolling Stock Procurement Project – Stage 2 – Locomotives
  60. Rolling Stock Procurement Project – Stage 2 – Wagons

This is is a positive sign that the New Zealand economy is looking more promising, and the important work many engineering and construction firms do can continue during this strange time that COVID-19 has brought to us all.

Read about the 11 infrastructure projects which will be fast tracked through the consent process, and potentially creating over 1,270 jobs for the domestic job market over on our Holmes Consulting LinkedIn page!


[Information sourced from: Immigration New Zealand].


2020 ACE NZ – Emerging Leader Award Finalists

Congratulations to the three finalists shortlisted for the 2020 ACE NZ Emerging Leader Award!

Amy Patterson Horner from GHD and Kezia Lloyd and Simon Fenton – both from WSP.

Read more about these emerging leaders in our industry here.


NZ Wood Timber Design Guide on Post and Beam Construction

Congratulations to Lisa Oliver and Ben White on their recent publication in the NZ Wood Timber Design Guide on Post and Beam Construction!

Around the world, the limits of mass timber are being pushed to create exceptional structures. Post and beam buildings suit many applications including commercial, educational, residential, public or institutional. New Zealand is already well on its way in paving the path for timber structures in high seismic zones. This guide focuses on multi-storey construction which utilises engineered timber beam and column elements as the primary gravity load carrying system. Common engineered mass timber available in New Zealand includes Glue Laminated Timber (Glulam), Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), and Cross Laminated Timber panels (CLT).

Lisa and Ben have created this as an introductory design guide aimed at providing information and guidance on the planning and concept design of timber post and beam buildings for developers, architects, and engineers.

The free guide can be downloaded from the NZ Wood Design Guides- click here!


NZIA Local Architecture Awards for 2020

Here at Holmes we work collaboratively with a lot of different project partners…

…from architects to construction companies, project management firms, property developers, other engineering services, and more!

The Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) is a membership-based professional organisation who represent registered architects and promote architecture in Aotearoa. They have close to 4,000 members and are NZ’s most highly regarded professional body for architects. That’s why their Local Architecture Awards, which honour the best new architecture in each of the NZIA’s eight regional branches, are such a high-profile event every year!

The Local Architecture Awards honour quality new architecture at a community level. Run by the eight branches of the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA), the awards receive more than 400 entries each year.

This year, we’re proud to celebrate the success of our project partners for the following Holmes Consulting projects who all won NZIA Local Architecture Awards this year:

Commercial Bay – one of our biggest projects yet!

Celebrating Commercial Bay, Retail Opening Day.

What does seven years of hard mahi from our talented team of engineering and drafting experts look like? Well, take a look for yourselves!

Over 76,000 hours were spent (and still counting, as the PWC Tower is soon to be open) by our Holmes Consulting team, working tirelessly over the past seven years with our client Precinct Properties to bring about one of the biggest landscape changes to Auckland (if not New Zealand’s) city skyline.

Our team were honoured to join Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, local Kaumātua, Precinct Properties’ CEO Scott Pritchard, our project partners, and other esteemed guests at the Commercial Bay Opening Day on Thursday, 11 June 2020.

[See above gallery] Here’s a little sneak peek of what we enjoyed on the day!

Christchurch Town Hall Timelapse

Ever wondered what a project looks like from start to finish?

Acclaimed world-wide for both its architecture and acoustics, the Christchurch Town Hall holds a special spot in Cantabrian hearts. Its position at the centre of the new Performing Arts precinct reinforces its status as a premier gathering place for both performances and events.

For us here at Holmes Consulting, this conservation project is both complex and interesting. With significant portions being upgraded and restored, and additional areas undergoing a complete rebuild, it offers the full spectrum of structural challenges. Holmes has designed a new foundation raft to tie the existing building elements together. Through high end analysis we’ve minimised the strengthening work required for the superstructure to achieve 100%NBS – an achievement we’re extremely proud of!

Maintaining the original identity of the building provides a tangible link to prequake Christchurch, and we’re delighted to be involved with the preservation of such an iconic building! Check out this amazing timelapse of the various elements of the Christchurch Town Hall, created by the talented local Christchurch photographer Olivia Spencer-Bower.