Business Excellence Winners!

Harding Construction was the proud winner of the South Canterbury Medium Business Excellence Award, 2018.

“This was undoubtedly the highlight of our year,” said Managing Director, Simon Harding. “We are very proud of our team and of the work we do. It’s a real privilege to have been recognised in this way.”

Judges commended the company’s systems development, company culture and commitment to providing excellent customer service.

“It’s a thrill to have won this award,” said General Manager, Heather Harding. “It’s a real credit to the whole team. But we are also very are that like Man, no business is an island. We wouldn’t be where we are if it weren’t for the other great businesses we work with and rely on. South Canterbury really is a great place to do business in.”

The Business Excellence Awards (BEA) are well supported in South Canterbury, with record entries this year. Janet Hogan, BEA coordinator for South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce said organisers were excited by the calibre and number of entries received.

The BEA recognise and celebrate business excellence, playing an important role in promoting and strengthening economic development in the region. The entry process requires businesses to review their strengths and weaknesses by providing information and commentary on company systems, performance and culture.

"Answering the questions requires careful thought from different perspectives," says Simon. "Staff discussions to answer questions can also offer great insights into the culture of the business and prompt ideas for growth and development."

“Entering awards is not just about testing ourselves against others,” says Heather. “It also encourages self-evaluation and business analysis from another perspective. It can really make you think about your business in a new way. That’s got to be a good thing.”

Adele Competes for Employee of the Year

Adele Fogarty, Office Administrator for Harding Construction, is a finalist for Employee of the Year in the 2018 South Canterbury Business Excellence Awards.

"We are thrilled that Adele is a finalist," says Heather Harding, General Manager of Harding Construction. "Adele is fantastic at her job. She is a terrific team member and is not only an inspiring and motivating colleague, but is also a lot of fun."

Born and bred in Timaru, Adele has worked as Office Administrator for Harding Construction since November 2016. She has a wealth of experience in administration and book keeping, as well as having owned her own small business. "Adele's depth of knowledge and  professional experience coupled with her great attitude and engaging personality make her very effective in her job," says Harding. "She's truly deserving of her place in the finals."

The winner of the Employee of the Year Award will be announced at the South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards Gala Dinner on August 24, 2018.

Snazzy Suitcases and Speedy Fundraisers

Harding Construction / Coresteel South Canterbury has helped make one small boy’s dreams come true this month.


Cameron Hunter was selected to participate in the annual Koru Care trip to Disneyland for children with special needs. Cameron suffers from cerebral palsy and has a special mobility tricycle to help him get around.

“Koru Care will take Cameron to Disneyland with a group of 23 other special needs children,” explains Heather Harding, Coresteel South Canterbury.

“Koru Care will pay for most things, but the families were advised they needed to supply an extra-large suitcase to carry all the goodies home and also that they needed to have roughly US$500 for spending money. That’s actually quite a big ask for many of these families.”

Harding Construction and Coresteel South Canterbury purchased the suitcase of Cameron’s choosing and had it decorated by local designers, Corporate Print. “Cameron loves his new case,” says Heather. “He’s going to enjoy trailing that around the world!”

Cameron also held a trike-a-thon and raffle to help raise funds. “We actually raised more than we needed,” says his mum, Kate Hunter. “We’re thrilled because we’ll give the extra to Koru Care as a thank you gesture.”

Click here to see the video of Cameron receiving his suitcase. His mother's reaction was priceless, too!

Sanford Success

Sanford, Timaru MP Room Extension

Harding Construction was contracted to complete the Main Processing Room extension for Sanford, Timaru using a steel structure from Coresteel South Canterbury. 
Quality and timing were paramount with this project as it had to meet a stringent food-grade finish in time for the Toothfish harvest. No delays or concessions could be tolerated.

The Challenge

Extending the MP Room at the Timaru factory in time for the toothfish harvest was critical for Sanford Ltd to  meet their 2018 production demands.
Delays confirming final architectural designs meant that the actual build-time available was very tight. 
The date for the first delivery of fish could not be altered. It was up to Harding Construction to find a way to meet the schedule.

The Solution

Careful production planning and project management were key to the success of this project. Key suppliers and contractors committed themselves to meeting the deadlines to make the tight time frames achievable.
All materials were pre-ordered to size, ensuring immediate installation was possible without remeasure once delivered to site. This required stringent planning from the Harding Construction project management team.  
“Our association with Coresteel Buildings meant we were assured that the steel structure would be designed, engineered and manufactured exactly to the specifications needed,” says Simon Harding of Harding Construction and Coresteel South Canterbury. “With no hot works required on site, assembling the kitset was a very efficient process and meant we could very quickly start closing the building in.”

The Process

The hand-picked site team was well aware of the time constraints and need for a food-grade finish. Commitment to ‘doing it once and doing it right’ meant tasks were completed to a high standard without the need for re-work or delay. A dedicated project manager working behind the scenes made critical programme and material supply decisions to ensure the smooth running of the project.
Timely, informative communication was essential. “Everyone needed to know exactly what was going on at all times,” says Harding.  Daily site meetings were held with the build team and the client’s representatives. Detailed written communication and photo records were maintained, along with stringent Quality Assurance checks throughout the process. All phone calls and conversations were followed up with emails.
Harding Construction’s commitment to ensuring the plans and specifications were followed exactly meant that all building inspections were completed without the need for any re-work. “It is because of our effective in-house QA management system that we can achieve this kind of accuracy,” says Harding.
All tasks were carefully thought out before work began. Time and cost-saving initiatives were implemented wherever possible with the aim of achieving maximum efficiency and ensuring a top quality result. 

The Result

The building was successfully completed well before the first toothfish deliveries, enabling early commissioning of the building. The Sanford team was able to install the factory plant in the building and complete all testing well in advance.
“We are delighted with the excellent result we achieved on this project,” says Harding. “The customer is happy, our guys enjoyed the work and we made a good thing happen.”

Getting to know: Heather Harding

Get to know Coresteel Buildings South Canterbury's General Manager Heather Harding, with 10 quick questions.

  1. How long have you worked for Coresteel?
    We took the South Canterbury Coresteel franchise on at the end of 2013. I was a complete newcomer to the construction industry, having come from a primary teaching background. My focus within the business has always been marketing, sales and HR.
  2. What do you enjoy most about sales?
    Sales is remarkably like teaching – both are about convincing my audience that I’ve got a good idea and now’s a good time! I really enjoy being creative and thinking of different ways to get messages across.  I’ve always enjoyed problem-solving and helping people, so sales ticks that box for me. It can be daunting meeting people and trying to establish relationships, but it’s very satisfying when it works!
  3. Before working for Coresteel what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve had?
    I taught at a primary school in Tanzania, East Africa for 2 years. It was the highlight of my career and I’m still in touch with some of those students 20-odd years later. Mwanza was the 3rd poorest city in the OECD at the time. There were scorpions, snakes and monkeys in the playground, water was trucked in daily on the back of a ute and the electricity only worked for half an hour during the day, so there were plenty of challenges!
  4. What awards and accolades have you achieved?
    Our building company, Harding Construction, won Special and Bronze awards at the 2016 Master Builders Commercial Project Awards, Best Company Culture Award at the 2017 Asia Pacific Business Excellence Forum and was a finalist in the 2016 South Canterbury Business Excellence Awards. Our Coresteel franchise was a finalist for the 2018 Coresteel Marketing Award.
  5. What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
    “Be sure to create an outstanding week” – Paul Dunn, business mentor and chairperson of B1G1. I like the instruction to create my own success. Stuff happens. It’s up to me to shape it into a good outcome.
  6. Where’s your hometown?
    I grew up on a beef and cropping farm in Methven, Mid-Canterbury. I still love driving tractors and working with stock. I’m a country gal at heart.
  7. Who lives in your house?
    I live with my lovely husband Simon and two gorgeous girls Elizabeth (10) and Rose (7). Jack the dog and Billie the cat make up the rest of the dependants. Amy, our eldest daughter is a QS in Auckland.
  8. Of all the countries you’ve travelled to, which is your favourite?
    Tanzania! You just can’t beat it for experience, heart, people, animals, scenery, smell, taste… It’s a life-changing place.
  9. What’s on your bucket list?
    I’d like to climb Mt Kilimanjaro – or at least, get up to the snowline. I wanted to do it when I worked in Tanzania, but I couldn’t afford it. Kilimanjaro is the highest peak people can climb without needing oxygen tanks.
  10. What’s one of your hidden talents? 
    I sing opera! Or rather, I used to. I studied classical singing for years. I competed at national level and was a member of the NZ National Youth Choir. We sang with Dame Kiri at the 1990 Commonwealth Games.

Special Children's Christmas Party

Harding Construction is pleased to sponsor the Canterbury Special Children's Christmas Party again this year.

The SKY TV Special Children’s Christmas Parties in association with Manuka Doctor are the biggest events of their kind in New Zealand for special needs children and their families.

Organisers work closely with hundreds of charities, schools, community groups and government organisations throughout New Zealand to select these special children and invite them to the party. The children suffer from one of a number of life-affecting challenges, including life threatening illness, physical and intellectual impairment, domestic violence, or living in underprivileged circumstances.

The Goal is simple: to put smiles on these children’s faces for at least one day in the year.

At every event across New Zealand these children are treated to a day of celebrity stage shows, fun rides, interactive games, plenty of yummy food, face painting and many more fun activities. The highlight of the day is when the children enter Santa’s Toy Cave where they are given 2-3 high quality toys to call their own.

"We are delighted to be part of this fantastic event again," says Heather Harding of Harding Construction." This will be the third time we have helped sponsor the Canterbury event. We enjoy taking a team from our staff to help out on the day. It's great to be able to be involved practically as well as financially."

Visit to find out how your business can be involved.

More than just an Award

Operating under our Coresteel umbrella, we recently had the privilege of taking six Graphics and Design students from Craighead Diocesan school on the inaugural Coresteel Innovation Tour.

"As part of our association with Coresteel Buildings, we are pleased to offer the Coresteel Innovation Award to local secondary school students" says Heather Harding, Marketing Manager for Coresteel South Canterbury.

Wanting to do more than just present an award, the team from Coresteel South Canterbury decided to offer an "Innovation Tour" of different local businesses that utilise innovative approaches to enhance their service offering. 

"We wanted the students to understand that innovation is about far more than just technology - it's a way of thinking," says Harding. "These businesses value innovative problem solving approaches. One common thread in all the presentations was that 'failure' is nothing to fear - it's actually a necessary part of the refinement process when developing ideas."

Feedback about the tour had been overwhelmingly positive with students, teachers and businesses all in favour of including more schools in the future.

"We have always intended that the award would be open to the wider school community, but first wanted to test it out on just one school" says Harding. "Our thanks must go to the staff from Craighead for all their help and support refining the award and tour process."

The award winner will be announced in Term 4.

Jack joins Harding Construction

It is with great pleasure that we announce the addition of Jack McDoggo to the Harding Construction team.

Jack's strengths in customer liaison and staff relationships have made him an instant hit. His penchant for Rubbish Bin Raiding has not proven so popular.

Jack's friendly, entertaining nature makes him a pleasure to have around. The office staff are getting used to high-stepping over dog toys and taking occasional walkies to avoid messy disasters.

"It's good for my step count" laughs dog enthusiast and Office Administrator, Adele Fogarty. Adele's job description now includes puppy-sitting and frequent slobbery object extraction.