Renewed health and safety focus for demolitions as activity increases

Published: 10 May 2017

Housing New Zealand is undertaking an ever increasing number of demolitions across its property portfolio, particularly in Auckland, as old housing stock makes way for a raft of redevelopment and emergency housing projects.

HNZ’s Chris Clayton undertaking a health & safety audit at Miro Street, New Lynn. Note use of iPad to capture photographic evidence of an SSSP, signed document etc.


To cope, we have put in place a panel of eight demolition contractors. They are subject to a new scope of works for demolition which provides greater clarity on pricing, specifies the need to ensure sites are completely cleared and checked prior to invoice, and has a stronger focus on the health and safety requirements that we expect. 

Chris Clayton helps oversee the demolition programme, which will see around 370 Auckland demolitions completed in the 12 months to end June 2017.

“Demolition is a high-risk activity, so we’re aiming to be more health and safety focused with our demo contractors and our audit checks,” says Chris.

“We want to move our contractors away from a ‘box ticking’ approach to health and safety audits to providing photo evidence based audits showing compliance with health and safety requirements on site.

“Photos will confirm the contractors wearing hi-vis and safety shoes, that there is a site specific safety plan on site and that toolbox talks are occurring, for example.”

The demolitions’ team is working closely with ADG’s development managers to ensure the forward programme of clearing and remediating each site is planned and scheduled to align with redevelopment start dates. This is particularly important in the area of transitional housing, which will see 78 properties demolished in coming months.

“Contributions from Housing New Zealand’s tenancy liaison team, health & safety and stakeholder management are absolutely critical to sites being cleared to allow for speedy redevelopment, and help us all meet the end goal of ensuring the greatest numbers of homes are available for our tenants.”   


Rikki Jones, GM of Henderson Demolition, demonstrates best health and safety practice on the demolition of houses at Miro Street. Note secure site with signage well displayed.


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