Hawkins owes its name to Fred T. Hawkins, a builder, and true kiwi entrepreneur. From small beginnings in Fred’s Hamilton garage, Hawkins has seen healthy growth over seven decades.

In 1951 the Hamilton-based company listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange (now NZX) and over the next four decades grew an ever-widening client and regional base.

By 1979 Hawkins had regional offices in Central North Island, Auckland, Taranaki, Wellington and Christchurch.

In 1983 privately owned engineering and construction business, McConnell Dowell merged with Hawkins Holdings Limited and Hawkins continued trading as part of McConnell Dowell Corporation. Through this merger, Hawkins developed considerable experience in international contracting, through McConnell Dowell’s broad international operational base. Hawkins provided management and supervisory resources for projects in Guam, Hawaii, Saudi Arabia and the Pacific.

To respond more effectively to the changing demands of the construction industry Hawkins established its head office in Auckland in 1988.

In 1994 following McConnell Dowell’s decision to return to its core civil business, Hawkins was sold back into private ownership.

In 1996 the McConnell Family invested in 50% of the Hawkins business and by 2002 had purchased 100% shareholding. Click here to visit the McConnell Group website.

In April 2017 Downer acquired specific Hawkins projects, agreed assets, the forward pipeline of work and employees.

Legacy projects and a number of ongoing projects were retained by Orange H Group.

Downer & Co. was founded by Wellington engineer Arnold Downer in 1933, but the company is able to lay claim to a far longer history than those 80-plus years, given a lineage that stretches back to New Zealand’s Public Works Department established in 1970 and the Post and Telegraph Department in 1880.

Today Downer stands as one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent infrastructure construction and operations companies, and a successful part of its parent, Downer Group.

To learn more about Downer’s history, visit their website.

Customers benefit from Downer and Hawkins’ combined technical and project management expertise and, by partnering with local firms using local subcontractors, it also benefits local business.

Hawkins continues to invest in technology, innovation, and continuous improvements while sustaining a strong focus on health and safety, thus ensuring that we will continue to build better communities for many future generations to come.


Fred Hawkins founds FT Hawkins Ltd in Waikato.


The first of many NZ Dairy Co Operative projects which were integral to the growth of the company.


Hawkins Holdings Ltd listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange -an umbrella company for FT Hawkins Ltd, Steelfab Ltd and Melville Properties Ltd.


Fred Hawkins leaves FT Hawkins Ltd.


Name changed to Hawkins Construction.


Branched out into Auckland; built the Human Sciences building at Auckland University – this $8 million dollar project was the largest construction project in Auckland at the time.


Hawkins sets up regional offices in Central North Island, Auckland, Taranaki, Wellington and Christchurch.


Hawkins’ emphasis moved from self-performing to subcontracting.


A new subsidiary Hawkins Development was established; this later became a leading property development company in Auckland.


McConnell Dowell merges with Hawkins Holdings Ltd in a reverse takeover.


Hawkins head office relocates to Auckland.


First of the many Auckland International Airport projects.


Hawkins Construction builds the Robert Jones Tower in Auckland, the tallest building in New Zealand at the time.


Hawkins sold to Martin Hansen and Associates.


McConnell family reinvest in Hawkins and by 2000 have a 100% shareholding.


Hawkins Infrastructure was formed.


Harker Underground Construction becomes part of Hawkins Group.


In April 2017, Downer New Zealand acquired specific Hawkins projects, agreed assets, the forward pipeline of work and employees.

Hawkins continues to grow and help New Zealand communities thrive.


Hawkins celebrates 75 years of building with pride in Aotearoa!