Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Rise of cranes seen as good sign for NZ economy

The largest tower crane in Auckland, run by Fletcher Construction, sits above Auckland University. Photo / Greg Bowker
The largest tower crane in Auckland, run by Fletcher Construction, sits above Auckland University. Photo / Greg Bowker

New Zealand's crane population is booming with 71 up, compared to just 10 two years ago.

Richard Anderson, Rider Levett Bucknall Auckland director, said that was a sign of economic growth. Auckland has 25, the biggest crane fleet.

The tallest was on the University of Auckland's science block job and Anderson said that had been identified as the largest free-standing tower crane in the Southern Hemisphere.

"Other sites include Westgate's Pak'n Save, Lopdell House Gallery in Titirangi, the Manukau District Courts and the Gemini Data Centre. Civil projects dominate the wider Auckland skyline with 11 cranes. Projects include the Waterview tunnel, Lincoln road motorway widening and the Te Atatu interchange. RLB have observed eight cranes on residential projects in Auckland and Manukau, with projects including Merchant Quarter in New Lynn, a mixed use development in Ponsonby, Sugar Tree in the CBD, the Ilico and Altera apartments in Stonefields and the Manukau Central development.

"The firm's last count in October 2012 found the cranes dominating the skyline in Christchurch were generally involved in the demolition phase of the rebuild. Demolition and deconstruction still continues in the CBD but the rebuilding construction phase is progressing with 22 fixed and long-term crawler and mobile cranes observed within the Four Avenues CBD area," he said.

Hamilton has nine cranes and work in the South Island is increasing.

"In Queenstown, a fixed crane is on site on a large residential project in Kelvin Heights. Early earthworks progress is now under way on the large 5 Mile Gateway retail site on the fringes of Frankton and civil work has begun on the new Shotover Country Primary School.

"A significant upturn in construction activity is anticipated in the Southern Lakes area," he said.

Tauranga has five cranes on commercial and infrastructure projects, including the Kathleen Kilgour Centre and the NZTA Tauranga Eastern Link projects.

Wellington had no cranes in 2012 but now has four on residential projects on Rugby St, Cable St, Taranaki St and the Clyde Quay. Two cranes are up for the construction of the Buckle Street Tunnel, Anderson said.

- NZ Herald

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