For most of the time, the operators at Sharp Concrete Cutters and Drillers work with a degree of autonomy. That being said Company Director, Raewyn Sharp is no stranger to a construction site. In fact, she can often be found on site ensuring high-quality workmanship, as well as offering concrete cutting and drilling services to our cities project and site managers.
Raewyn Sharp has spent most of her working life on construction sites, for various companies, projects, and locations across New Zealand.
As one leading business publication put it, Raewyn Sharp is the Girl in the Steel Cap Boots (read the article below).
The Girl in the Steel-Cap Boots
Originally published in Business North.
A career spanning 30 years of wearing steel cap boots has taken Raewyn Sharp of” Sharp Concrete Cutters & Drillers Ltd” all over New Zealand. From the “think big” construction projects of Muldoon days such as the Motonui Gas-to Gasoline plant in Taranaki and Marsden Point Oil Refinery Expansion in Ruakaka , to working on the construction of the tallest building in New Zealand in 1990, Raewyn reflects on these jobs with fondness. “My first construction job when I left college was with Downer Construction on the Wellington Terrace Tunnel project, before working in the engineering department in their Head office”. Now Downers are a customer of hers.
Today Raewyn owns and operates her own business which she started in 2003. Based in Drury, Auckland, Sharp Concrete Cutters & Drillers offer a comprehensive range concrete sawcutting and drilling services Auckland wide. “I started with one van, now we have 8 vans on the road and growing.” Sharp offer a wide range of sawcutting including various specialist concrete cutting services such as electric floorsawing, hydraulic handsawing, and ringsawing for internal work where petrol powered machines are a health and safety issue. Diamond core drilling services range from as small as 12mm diameter to 500mm dia holes. Raewyn says “from drilling 1 metre deep holes in the base of the old Victoria Park Chimney for strengthening to sawcutting and installing cabling on the Kingsland Railway Station for the Snapper card rollout prior to the World Cup every job is different and has its own challenges.” Working in a big city like Auckland means people and traffic, and both of these need to be regularly managed.
Our environmental slurry control vacuum truck is an important part of our business, and this helps us offer our customers a “one stop shop” service when it comes to booking and completing jobs, particularly on public roads and highways. Our vans also carry smaller slurry control vacuum tanks that hold 600 litres. These are practical for smaller residential jobs where slurry is an environmental hazard and has to be managed. Gone are the days of just tipping it down the drain. We collect it and dispose the slurry to an environmental waste facility.
Raewyns’ company has been a member of the New Zealand Concrete Sawing & Drilling Association for 8 years, and she has been President from 2010 to 2013. Raewyn says being President of a male dominated industry group was a bit nerve racking at first. The Association started in 1986 and is still going strong. Being a member means you are serious about what you do, and committed to sharing and learning from other members. We have about 32 members nationwide and several Associate members. Over the years we have developed and produced a member manual guideline with a code of practice, a code of ethics, safe operating procedures for equipment use, and an environmental pollution control policy. We also run ‘concrete cutting specific’ safety courses for our members.
Raewyn says “it is important to have honesty and integrity in all areas of your business, and that makes for better relationships between staff, customers, and suppliers”. This payoff is evident when the first 3 people I hired still work for me. The construction industry is known for its “boom and bust cycles” and it is with the loyalty of my staff, long term customers and suppliers that has helped us to where we are today.
Originally printed in: Business North (2013)