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Company:Hawkins, Wellington

Project:Walter Nash Centre, Wellington

The Walter Nash Centre provides the Hutt City community with both sports facilities and a community hub. The new centre which links to the existing Walter Nash Stadium is the first fully integrated recreation and community based facility in the Wellington region.

The centre combines the Walter Nash Stadium, Taita Community Hall, Taita Community Library and Hutt Valley netball courts into a single integrated facility for all ages. With the challenges of an exposed site, weather and a programme with no room to move, Rodney was methodical with every detail of this project as he constantly checked that he was employing the most effective and efficient methodology.

A lateral thinker, Rodney was constantly seeking out innovative solutions. This meant managing relations with a complex community of individuals who all thought that they had a key role to play in the project. The project was located in a community that was initially hostile, with elements of the community intent on tagging the new building and/or stealing plant and equipment from the site.

Security quickly became an issue, with the site suffering multiple break-ins within the first three months of construction. Rodney saw an opportunity to mitigate the latter risk by engaging and building great relationships with the local constable, youth leaders and neighbours. Rodney’s motivation was not only to resolve the issue, but also to identify troubled youth and try to change their attitude, and get them on board with a project that was specifically designed and built for them.

Rodney’s willingness to go the extra mile included the attending of meetings with the families of young boys who had been apprehended tagging and stealing tools and materials from the site. Rodney quickly made it clear that he would talk with everyone and try and address their concerns. Within weeks of the build commencing he had secured community backing and support. He achieved this through working with the community to allow them the opportunity to design and integrate artwork on the precast panels, and by providing viewing slots so that locals could watch the project transform. Rodney also installed a platform so that a photographer could take progress photos for the client’s website.

Rodney’s determination, leadership and passion for this project were exceptional and instrumental in delivering a project that the client, the community, and the whole design and delivery team are extremely proud of.

Rodney has a young family with three school age children and spends a lot of his time outside of work with them. Rodney built his own home and continues to work on projects around the house. He often volunteers his time to friends, helping out with their home projects, or you may see him offering his carpentry skills within his local community, or lending a hand with odd jobs at his children’s school.

Rodney holds a National Certificate in Carpentry, and was awarded a place on the 2015 Hawkins Project Excellence Programme. This is a qualification that Hawkins runs in conjunction with Auckland University.