Consolidation on the cards

The Cement & Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ) provides a range of services and facilities that are available to the wider industry, says chief executive, Rob Gaimster.

“We offer an enormous amount of resources, with around fifty documents available to be downloaded free of charge. We also run a helpline, with a team of technical experts and specialist concrete engineering staff on hand to answer technical or research enquiries, and provide expert advice and consultancy services free of charge.”

A library is the hub of the Association’s information services, with links to cement and concrete information services worldwide. An in-house information professional abstracts recent publications and can provide literature searches on request.

CCANZ also produces information bulletins, technical manuals, and the quarterly Concrete magazine containing information on current concrete practice.

Training is another important aspect of the Association’s work, says Rob.

“We tailor on-site or in-house basic and special interest training courses on cement and concrete applications for New Zealand, along with seminars, lectures, and demonstrations covering the latest developments in concrete design, technology and practice.”

Despite the effectives of CCANZ as a representative body, progress is being made to consolidate the various concrete industry associations.

“We have a number of affiliated concrete associations such as Precast New Zealand, the New Zealand Ready Mix Concrete Association, Concrete Society, and Concrete Masonry Association, which all work collegially under the umbrella of CCANZ, and have representatives
on our board.”

“It is not entirely efficient to work this way as we each have our own membership databases and awards. It is also difficult to gain traction from an advocacy point of view. Discussions to consolidate industry representation have been ongoing for around 18 months and we are starting to make some real progress in this area.”

Rob Gaimster has been chief executive of CCANZ for the last eight years. He is a former senior civil engineer from the United Kingdom who joined the CCANZ team as a project manager in late 2006.

He has broad technical knowledge and experience in concrete, being the former National Technical Manager with heavy building materials giant Cemex Materials UK and a Past President of the Institute of Concrete Technology.

“It’s been a really interesting few years in New Zealand with significant changes in the concrete sector. We’ve had the Global Financial Crisis, Christchurch earthquakes, and now the boom, making it a hugely dynamic period.”

Rob says he and his wife moved their family to New Zealand for the lifestyle, and says it is a ‘fabulous’ place to bring up their two boys.

He is also excited about the future of the concrete industry here.

“There are some great new initiatives coming into the market and some exciting new architectural concrete buildings being developed. We also hope to reach a decision on the industry association consolidation over the next few months. It is a really interesting time.”

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