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Supreme Business Award Winners

Connell Contractors take home Supreme Award at Westpac Waikato Business Awards

Planning, profit and a passion for empowering their people – that was the winning formula for Waikato-based civil infrastructure company, Connell Contractors, when the team took home the coveted Supreme Award at the Westpac Waikato Business Awards in Hamilton on Friday night.

In an industry where finding resources is an ever-growing challenge, Connell’s philosophy of “Right People, Right Result” has been instrumental in our success. The company’s strong revenue growth over the last three years, during a time of significant change and increased competition within New Zealand’s infrastructure industry, also contributed to Connell winning the Business Growth and Strategy category.

Dave Connell, managing director of Connell Contractors, puts these achievements down to good planning and discipline. The firm, founded by Dave and Margo Connell in 1985, services both central and local government clients including Transpower, Vector, Watercare, Hamilton City Council and Auckland City Council.

“Three years ago, our Board decided that in order to plan out the next five years and beyond, we needed to move away from the peaks and troughs of commercial work,” says Dave. “We recognised that there was an unfair allocation of risk on the contractor in this space where tenders were won on lowest price. In other words, it was a race to the bottom! Connell’s focus on civil infrastructure work for both central and local government has been key to our sustainable growth – and it’s paid off! Clients now approach Connell to negotiate work directly.”

The continuing change in New Zealand’s infrastructure space moving towards quality rather than the lowest price, has aligned with Connells strategic approach to business growth and culture. Dave Connell says the company’s slogan, “Right People, Right Result” has always been at the fore of its strategic planning and is a catalyst to the firms’ decision not to compete in tenders based on price alone. “We are passionate about our people and take great pride empowering them to develop their career,” he says. “We have great people and we agreed very early on in the formation of our company that we would only compete for tenders that enable us to showcase these attributes. That is what suits our business model best.”

Dave says the team’s win on Friday night is a career highlight for both him and wife Margo. “It was unexpected but an extremely welcome surprise,” Dave says. “Over the past 35 years, it really has been a journey of short-term pain for long-term gain. We are thrilled to be recognised for our business success. It’s a real testament to our wider team – they believe in the Connell approach, they’re passionate about their work and together they deliver quality projects for our clients. We’re incredibly proud of the win, but prouder still of our staff.”


Established in 1985 by Dave and Margo Connell, Connell Contractors is a leading civil infrastructure company, with headquarters in Hamilton. The company services a range of local and central government clients from its head office in Hamilton and branches in Auckland and New Plymouth. Dave and Margo Connell are joined by shareholders and directors, Wayne Collinson and Lester Foxall.

New Taranaki Office

Due to continued demand and securing several recent projects, Connell Contractors have expanded our business into the Taranaki region after opening a new office.

This office will offer support to all clients operating from East to West coasts throughout the central plateau of the North Island. Contracts Supervisor, Fabian Bracken, will be heading up this operation.