Utes and Bunds: Working in New Zealand

Jul 16, 2021 | Means & Methods, Podcast, SJCC

Executive Summary

Civil construction is the same, but different, in New Zealand. Some terms and methods which vary from American civil construction follow.

Give me a little bit about New Zealand?

New Zealand is a country with about 5,000,000 people in it. This is roughly the population of Alabama in the United States, or British Columbia in Canada. It has two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, separated by the Cook Straight. It’s at the south end of Australia, out to the East about 1,200 miles. [QR]

Construction Vocabulary

Some of their heavy/civil construction vocabulary and definition follow:

New Zealand United States
Ute Pickup truck
Bund Small mound of earth (like a diversion mound for erosion control)
Fleet, cartage Trucking or Hauling
Roading Roadway/subgrade construction
Digger Excavator
Moxy Articulated dumptruck or offroader
Shield Trench box or trench shield
Water cart Water truck
Tender Bid
Meters and tonnes Feet and tons
Labourer Laborer
Kerb and channel Curb and gutter
Soakpit Infiltration pond

We also talked about bonding which does appear to exist, but it far less common than in America.

My Story

This little excerpt was provided by my recent interaction with a contractor client. I’ll be speaking with them again next month and perhaps there’ll be a part 2!

Work Safe!


Have you worked in either New Zealand or Australia?

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