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.

Open all hours

"We're working some pretty dark hours, but the results are worth it." says Lee Eastmead, foreman on the latest large commercial project for Harding Construction.

5am starts have been the norm for the Harding Construction team. "By pouring concrete so early in the morning we gain as much drying time as possible throughout the day," explains Simon Harding, Managing Director for the company.  Cold winter temperatures can mean concrete takes up to 24 hours to dry, so we have to maximise the time available."

Concrete and assorted general works will continue for several weeks before the next main stage of the project will begin. "Things are going really well," says Harding, "We're all enjoying being part of a large and interesting development."

Job Done

Harding Construction was pleased to work on the new UHT building at Oceania Dairies Glenavy site. Working under Ebert Construction, Harding Construction was responsible for formwork, carpentry and fit out of the new facility and assisted with precast panel erection.

"We're proud of the high quality work produced by our team on this project" said Simon Harding, Managing Director of Harding Construction. "We were often faced with cold, unpleasant winter conditions, but our guys' commitment to excellence never wavered. It's another job well done."

Harding Construction features in the news

Harding Construction is making headlines in local newspapers as word of our latest award spreads.

Timaru firm constructing a solid future



Harding Construction managing director Simon Harding and general manager Heather Harding, celebrate their award for best company culture at the recent Asia Pacific Business Awards.

The owners of a South Canterbury construction firm are feeling positive about the future, after a recent accolade gave them some added impetus.

Timaru firm Harding Construction is in its fourth year of operation in the commercial, industrial and residential building sectors.

General manager Heather Harding said the business had enjoyed a strong 2016, having been involved in some eye-catching local projects.

"We were proud to complete the main carpentry tender for The Landings on Elizabeth St. This has been our most high profile project and brought us into the public eye. It went very well for us and we received excellent feedback from all involved."

Harding said the firm had been given an added boost thanks to a recent award for 'Best Business Culture' at the Asia Pacific Business Excellence Awards, held on Australia's Gold Coast on February 5, 6 and 7. 

She said the award had recognised a working culture which saw the company deliver its projects on time, on budget, and with no added surprises.

"All company activity is measured against those goals and values. This ensures successful project management and delivery as well as effective in-house operations and a positive work environment.

"We always wanted to take care to develop the systems and procedures and the whole concept of who we are and what we do. This confirms we are going about it in a robust fashion."

The awards had been run by ActionCOACH, a business consultancy which had been offering support and advice to the builder for the past three years.

Harding said alongside the awards there had been a forum, designed to make businesses analyse how they operated.


She admits that when the concept of the forum was first explained to her she thought it sounded "very touchy feely".

However, Harding said she realised that "if we worked out the heart of who we are that was going to drive the way we do business".

"We always wanted to take care to develop the systems and procedures and the whole concept of who we are and what we do. This confirms we are going about it in a robust fashion.

"We have developed strong business relationships and repeat clients. We are also being sought out more frequently. This only comes from hard work and consistent delivery of high quality service. That's certainly something we're very proud of."

 - Stuff

Harding Construction wins International Award

Timaru company Harding Construction won the award for best company culture at the recent prestigious Asia Pacific Business Excellence Awards. 

The award was presented at a two-day business forum held in Surfers Paradise and was attended by 90 businesses from Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. Companies ranged in size from small business with under 10 employees, to large, multi-franchise businesses operating across multiple states of Australia. The forum’s theme was ‘Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants’.

Harding Construction owners, Simon and Heather Harding were delighted to win the award, saying it affirmed their commitment to operating a values-based business.

“It’s encouraging to have business experts recognise our company as worthy of the award:  that we are doing great things, have a great team, and offer employees a great place to work.

“It’s a terrific way to start 2017,” said Heather Harding.

“We assumed the thrust of the forum would be learning from the successes of business greats but the opening speech made it clear that our people are our giants. That really appealed to us,” said Harding.

“The judges commented on our effective systems, policies and procedures. These include looking after and developing our staff and work environment, plus ensuring we deliver consistently high quality service to our clients. It was really gratifying,” said Harding.

She said the Harding Construction company culture is based on three simple goals: On time, On budget, No surprises. Its clear values base incorporates accountability, integrity, growth and a focus on people. All company activity is measured against those goals and values. This ensures successful project management and delivery as well as effective in-house operations and a positive work environment.

The Business Excellence Forum is run by ActionCOACH business consulting and hosts 5 multi-national forums around the world each year. ActionCOACH is used by 1600 businesses in the Asia Pacific region, and 20,000 businesses globally.

Harding Construction won two awards at the 2016 NZ Master Builders Commercial Project Awards and was a finalist in the Emerging Business category at the 2016 South Canterbury Business Excellence Awards.

“We’re now not only multi-award winning builders, but we’re international award winning builders. That’s something to be proud of.” - said Simon Harding.

In local news...

Harding Construction has featured in another local paper, The Timaru Courier, this time alongside fellow Timaru finalists, Tradeworx.

Jeff and Rachel McLennan of Tradeworx also entered their company in the Business Excellence Awards, and were finalists in their section.

"It's pretty impressive for two companies from Timaru to perform so well on the international stage," said Heather Harding of Harding Construction. "There was an enthusiastic Kiwi contingent supporting each other at the Awards. It's always fun when Kiwis are up against Australians."

The Kiwis' post-award haka was quickly countered with a vigorous 'Aussie, Aussie Aussie, Oi! Oi! Oi!'

"I thought ours was far more impressive" quipped Harding.

Young Enterprise

Harding Construction provided business mentoring for the "Upbeat Wines" 2016 Young Enterprise team from Timaru Boys High School.

The team investigated several product and marketing ideas before deciding to manufacture their own stylish wine-holders. They had to research similar products, develop a design that would work with different bottles, source their materials and then manufacture their product themselves.

"We started off thinking we'd make garden planter boxes from old wine barrels, but soon realised these would be costly to make and would probably have a limited market." said Sam Taylor, Marketing Manager for Upbeat Wines. "We still liked the idea of making a wooden product. The wine bottle holders appealed because we could make them ourselves from easily sourced products, and we anticipated they would appeal to a wide range of people. They are especially good as gifts." 

Heather Harding, of Harding Construction worked with the team for several months, helping them develop their product and marketing strategy. "I really enjoyed working with the Upbeat Wines team," says Heather. "They had some great ideas and were keen to make a success of their venture. I'm sure they'll all go on to do great things in the future."

It's not too late to place an order if you'd like a wine holder! Just let us know and we'll put you in touch with the team :)

From top left to right is Hamish Murdoch and Hunter Webb and bottom left to right is Sam Taylor and Marcus Shillito.