Hire Connect believes in collaborating with businesses in local communities where our projects are located for development, further to developing local business communities Hire Connect looks to sustaining and building the New Zealand landscape. Below are our affiliates we have met through local communities near our project sites.

Trail to the Ohakune Rail

January 2015

Joe Vagana and Taware Nikau; two New Zealand trail blazers and legends of the international Rugby League world, both are equally dignified in legacy as cultural advocates and as directors of Pathways JV, they both bring strong experiences with backgrounds in sports and dynamic break through stories, the trail blazers partnership synergistically collect their skills and experiences by chance of fate, bringing them both into the public engineering industry intertwining with social and cultural development . Tawara Nikau also a director of Team One Training brings comprehensive training and leadership concepts to Pathways JV, which he has also applied to his life and professional environments successfully. Joe Vagana also director of Hire Connect brings skills to maintaining personable approaches in the professional environment. We set off on a monthly ritual road trip, traveling from Auckland to Ohakune’s Makatote Viaduct and get an update of a restoration project at a grand and scenic historical rail bridge, standing at 262 meters long and 79 meters high the rail infrastructure system was envisioned by John Rochfort, the construction for the original rail commenced in 1906 and was completed by 1908 making it a 108 years old.

Mt Ruepehu

A snap shot on the way to New Zealand’s Mt Ruapehu, the mountain casually fashioning snow on the mountain top in summer.

Pathways JV went into partnership with TBS Farnsworth and Kiwi Rail to continue restoring and preserving the significant structure. The programme for Pathways JV in this partnership runs from July 2014 to December 2016 with the following project overview:

– Hazardous rail environment with overhead 25kVa traction system and up to 6 freight and passenger train movements daily.

– We must always be vigilant about Health and Safety enforce strict environmental and consenting restraints

– Challenging location logistically and weather conditions with high winds, rain fall and humidity.

– Complex scaffold and pier access system required to access the 5 trestle piers, 5 trusses and 5 SPGspans for full encapsulation.

– Approx.12,000m² of lead based paint to be removed and protective coating applied too.

– cStructural steel strengthening of the 5 trusses and pier heads

– Design and build of a permanent walk way below the viaduct deck.

On this particular project at the Makatote Viaduct, Pathways JV works with Ngati Rangi the local Iwi.The following objectives will be achieved as Pathways JV collaborate with local sub-contractors and suppliers, Pathways JV is providing consistent work for 4-8 of the Ngati Rangi. A competencies register kept of local Ngati Rangi construction workers, the project provides the ability to implement a program to up skill Ngati Rangi Potential for full time employment post project completion.

On arrival we visit the site for a fast and brief overview of the project standpoint before an early morning in the itinerary for the next day. On top of being community focused, we take precaution in ensuring that procedures are highly achieved. We have continued an environmental preservation standard, established in 2006 this pier’s underpinning project commenced, almost one decade down the track we are ensuring the ecological standards are matched to keep New Zealand 100 percent pure and green.


There are environmental measures put in place to monitor the ecology of the objectives for this particular project to protect the Makatote River and the surrounding environment and ecological life. The ecological protection parameters include; Macro-invertebrate sampling, endangered species Whio duck nesting, is monitored with surveying and weekly water clarity testing in the Makatote River, the brown and rainbow trout colonising the Makatote river directly below equitably share this protection programme. With an approx. 12,000m² of surface area to be blasted a protective coating is applied, a total of 7 tons of lead-based paint is to be removed. The procedures are all carefully and efficiently completed with an access of 77,000 man hours. Specialised PPE used from blast helmets to abseiling equipment. 330 ton of scaffold will be used in total, in conjunction with 2 bespoke pier access system gantries weighing 4tons each attached to the Viaduct, we have set construction loading restraints due to the capacity of the foundations and superstructure of the viaduct. The viaduct will be progressively shrink-wrapped as the lead-based paint is removed, 200 tons of semi-precious garnet stone will be used as a resource for the blasting paint removal. With the clear layout of the protection goals we have are successfully on track, overcoming obstacles with strategic solutions the project is aimed to be completed in 2016.

All the structural restoration required means precision is mandatory in the engineering workmanship which we apply. Pathways JV have handpicked and highly trained competent and determined staff to do the job. A common routine of an early morning for many of our engineers we wake up at 6:00 am following arrival day, Joe, Tawera and myself set out for the Tool Box a site induction of what the day’s goals are, which occurs before the usual sequencing of a day at the site. After the Tool Box, Pathways JV holds a follow up meeting with our Ohakune based team members working on the project. Below is a slide of the Pathways JVs boys on site.



By David Tsai

Photos by David Tsai DTCM

Archived Blogs

December 2014

Our first affiliate blog features YO!Fitness, a health and fitness gym in Te Atatu, West Auckland, YO!fitness is relevant to our vision of progress and productivity, we speak to Andria Vagana, the life partner of Joe Vagana our Director of Hire Connect Ltd, we connect with them both just before Christmas 2014 and talk about the world and whats to come in the future. They give us insight to their wonderful lives, and the fast moving changes Auckland is undergoing. Please read the blog and enjoy their shared words.

YO! Joe and Andria Vagana Machines!

By David Tsai

Yo! Joe and Andria Vagana machines opening photo.

Yo! Joe and Andria Vagana machines @ YO!Fitness in Te Atatu, West Auckland.

A Kiwi couple who by New Zealand grassroots standards are true advocates of the good old Kiwi culture, in this fast developing country that Kiwis old and new call home, it is becoming a lost art form. Many will remember, some still live and love the days of playing rugby or league in stubbies, wearing jandals after Saturday sports games, and enjoying fish and chips (Fush ud Chups) with L & P while hanging with the bros and cuzzies as the standard. It was a time a nation full of happy, humble and embracing people coexisted, where nothing but a good time was ensured and community strengths were paramount.

It was an organic time for reminiscence when true experiences of what Kiwiana represents, a time the world of Rugby League was introduced to Joe Vagana/ Big Joe (more like really, really big Joe). As a former Rugby League star Joe Vagana will forever be held a place with the Auckland Warriors and in the memories of countless Rugby league fans across the world, he is remembered as one of the great props in rugby league. A starting member of the first Auckland, New Zealand league team to play in the Australasian NRL in 1995, a man who has lived the least of modest lives, but is of the modest sports star, come husband to Andria Vagana and a father of 4 great kids, he is also busily being the director of Hire Connect based in Auckland, New Zealand. Joe is a man with little need of introduction and no stranger in being recognised as a star in the sports world, what is the most outstanding is who he is. Joe is not only a big man in size, he is also a big man at heart, with a big smile and a big mind for progression and genuine leadership.

To read more please click here.

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