Project overview

Location Tennyson Street and Markham Way, Rolleston

Scope $4.15M

Date of completion 2020

Rolleston has been one of the fastest-growing towns in New Zealand, and the Rolleston Town Centre is a key project for Selwyn's district to cater to this growth.



The Tennyson Street, High Street project, is the first high amenity urban high street in Rolleston. This street sets the tone for a contemporary urban development that is much needed to serve the Selwyn district. This is one of the most important projects the Selwyn Council was working on, and the Isaacs team were proud to be chosen to deliver this. Separable Portion 1 of the Tennyson Street Upgrade Works comprised 280m of full carriageway upgrade along Tennyson Street and 40m of Markham Way carriageway upgrade.

Excavation and removal of existing kerb and channel were quickly followed by installing new stormwater sumps with connections to new stormwater soak pits, new watermain and gas lines. Sewer laterals were installed concurrently, which included the commissioning of new sewer and flush tank manholes. New kerb and channel pours, trenching for security ducting, and completed low voltage power supply before paving stones and exposed aggregate for new footpaths. 1760m² of new asphalt road along Tennyson Street is separated by two distinct raised and cobbled road sections, each having exposed aggregate ramps leading traffic on and off the raised sections. Decorative planted garden beds finished with mulch and complete with an automatic irrigation system and street furniture, new signage and line marking added the finishing touches to the Tennyson Street and Markham Way upgrades.

In addition to the Tennyson Street and Markham Way upgrades, Separable Portion 1 included constructing a new carpark to service the new library building, Te Ara Ātea, within the Tennyson Street Reserve.

The carpark works included bulk earthworks, stormwater drainage structures and mainlines, kerb and channel, exposed aggregate footpaths and roading speed bumps and 2500m² of new asphalt. Like the Tennyson Street works, decorative planted garden beds finished with mulch and complete with automatic irrigation as well as new signage and line marking, completed the carpark works.


Stakeholder Communications

Effective stakeholder communication was identified early on as being a key component to the success of the project. The main difficulty lay in each stakeholder's uniqueness and the fact that their individual requirements and concerns were very different. A one-size-fits-all approach to stakeholder management was not a suitable approach to this project. Balancing each stakeholder's needs and their safety, whilst completing disruptive road works directly outside businesses and residential properties, was a challenging component to the overall project, which involved careful planning and consideration.

To ensure stakeholder requirements were met, extra resource and responsibilities were quickly allocated across the project team, with daily communications being led by our Site Supervisor. Initial introductions and an overall project summary, including programme detail, were discussed between the project team, site staff, and stakeholders at each of the business premises. Ongoing communication saw our Site Supervisor visit each premises 2-3 times per week to inform the businesses of planned works for the next few days and a look ahead to the following week. This gave businesses a regular opportunity to provide feedback, pass on concerns, and for the project team to work through any urgent issues or requirements held by stakeholders. Our Communications Manager took overall ownership and responsibility for stakeholder communications and provide comprehensive weekly updates of construction progress and upcoming works for the week ahead. Providing weekly updates were quickly seen, with the stakeholders responding positively and being grateful for their regular updates, which aided in the project's smooth running.

Covid – 19 Response

The unforeseen country-wide lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic provided an added layer of difficulty to the project. Due to the lockdown's unknown nature, the project team decided that, particularly the duration, to disestablish from the site. This involved the swift and efficient transport of several large plant items, eight crews comprising of three to four staff each, and four subcontractor crews, each having a mixture of large and small plant with varying transportation needs.

Focus shifted quickly from building roads and installing footpath cobbles to filling holes, installing fences, and constructing a temporary footpath. Within 24 hours, machinery including excavators, loaders, rollers, plate compactors etc., were transported from the site to be safely stored at the Isaac yard. During the next 24 hours, staff completed site safety measures to ensure the site would be left secure and safe for the public for the duration of the lockdown period.

During the lockdown, site safety and traffic management checks were completed twice daily, and planning meetings were undertaken via video calling applications. The senior project team used this time to clarify design issues and to re-programme works in anticipation of the move to Alert Level 3.

Once able, establishment on site began within the first 24 hours. Key staff had completed onsite inductions and started transporting machinery back to the site. Foremen were assigned a 'bubble', and it was established that 1m distancing would be accepted within bubbles. Bubble to bubble contact would be limited to 2m distancing, and a separate crib hub was assigned to each bubble. A single site entry point was established, and a large marquee was installed to house the sign in/out area, site inductions, and wash stations with PPE supplies. These new requirements remained in effect until the country moved to Alert Level 1.

Interaction with Other Contractors

For the duration of the project, the new library centre's construction was being undertaken between the Separable Portion 1 carpark and Tennyson Street upgrade works. The library's construction involved the Tennyson Street frontage being 2-stories high with some complex crane assisted lifts to place the large structural steel components into position. This presented our staff and the general public with periods of high risk due to needing to maintain footpath access around the roadside scaffolding. The increased risk was managed through regular communication with the vertical infrastructure contractors, and some compromise on the extents of the footpath where each party could work up to.

Along the eastern side of Tennyson Street, construction works for the new shopping centre development was underway approximately halfway through the Tennyson Street and Markham Way upgrade works. This development work included vertical construction works and removing one of the residential dwellings on Tennyson Street. The difficulty arose during footpath construction with the scope of work being changed while attempting to construct the footpaths. We were engaged to only complete partial widths of footpaths around the shopping centre development. As such, survey levels would need to match precisely to tie into the floor foundations of the new shopping centre development, which would be poured at a later date. Maintaining access and allowing for large panel trucks to enter the site was also challenging.


  • CCNZ Canterbury / Westland Awards 2020 Finalist
  • Isaac Excellence Award 2020 Winner of the Team of the Year Award


Phil Millar, Land Development Project Manager – Selwyn District Council

Isaac Construction has recently successfully completed the upgrade of the main street of Rolleston, namely Tennyson Street. As Project Landscape Architect for Selwyn District Council, I have worked with the Isaacs team over the past 10 months. The design for the main street streetscape upgrade included a new carriageway, kerbs, lighting, an adjacent 76 space carpark, wide paved shared footpaths, pedestrian crossing, street furniture and planting. The Isaac Construction team had to deal with multiple changes to the project, including scope changes and the Covid-19 lockdown. They also managed public relations and traffic control of this very high profile and key roadway. I found the onsite Isaacs project team very responsive and proactive when dealing with issues that came up on site. The standard of finish produced has been to a very high level, with many positive comments made by the public and Councillors in reaction to the opening of the new streetscape. I have been very happy with the finish of the hard and soft Landscape elements of this project.

Lubos Smrcka, Associate Senior Civil Engineer, TM Consultants Limited

Following the successful completion of site works on Tennyson Street Upgrade and including construction of a new large Carpark within the existing council reserve, I would like to congratulate the Isaac Construction team for their hard work over the past 10 months. As the senior consulting engineer on this project, it was my responsibility to oversee the construction and to ensure that the works are being completed as per the approved design and to a good standard. This would normally involve attending site meetings, site inspections, dealing with any issues relating to design and responding to email and phone queries. My experience with the Isaac Construction site team has been very positive. I found them to be professional and approachable in all my dealings with them. If any unforeseen issues arose onsite, I would promptly be alerted by the team. Instead of just approaching me with a problem, they would often provide a number of alternative solutions for me to consider. The Isaacs team really took the time to understand my design intentions and I believe this has resulted in a great outcome. I was very pleased with the standard of Tennyson Street and the Carpark finishes and I have thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with the Isaac Construction team. Again, I would like to congratulate the project team and wish them well for any future projects. I am hopeful that we may meet again on another project soon.

Mark Clapp and Kaylene Mullally – Liquorland Tennyson Street

We wish to thank Isaac Construction for the professional way in which they conducted all workings of the construction of Tennyson Street. During the stressful time of opening a new business, road closures and the Covid. The Isaac team went out of their way to make things as simple as possible and got the job done well ahead of time. We are extremely grateful for their effort and would recommend them to anybody that asked.

Simon Yue, Director of Black and White Coffee Cartel, Rolleston

Initially, the construction closed one side of the road and we were worried we were going to lose regular customers as there were no parking spots available when the project started. After we had discussed with the city council, we agreed to close the whole road to speed up the progress. We were worried about the road work being unable to be finished within 6 months even with the closing of the road. However, the Isaac team surprised us with all the hard work done within a short period of time. The team comes in every week and is friendly telling us what has been done and what will be doing next week. The Covid 19 definitely had an impact on the progress. But they were working their best effort to get the job done as fast as possible. Thanks to the Isaac team for all the good work that has been done by the team and it is a very pleasure to deal with such wonderful people.

Laura, Rolleston Bin Inn

I am writing this letter regarding Isaac Construction's completion of the Tennyson Street upgrade works. My name is Laura and my husband, and I own and operate the Rolleston Bin Inn. Our business is located right at the northern end of the road works on Tennyson Street. When the work begun, I had several concerns about daily access to my store and how my driveway would look after the work was completed. These concerns were addressed as soon as the Isaac Construction team begun meeting with me to discuss my concerns. I would meet with a member of the construction team at least twice a week and this would continue right throughout the project. The supervisor was very polite and was always happy to make sure that my concerns were addressed quickly. Even though the whole road and footpath has been changed right outside my business, they always made sure that I had access for my delivery trucks and customers. I would like to personally thank the Isaac Team for all their hard work and especially what they have done to my driveway. Being able to talk with the supervisor and engineer each week really helped to relax during this stressful time.

Pat William, Centre Manager, Active Explorers Rolleston

I am writing to thank you for your support during the recent road works on Tennyson Street. In February 2020, Isaac's commenced the reconstruction of the roading and foot path of the new area of Rolleston in Tennyson Street. We were concerned that with the whole road being blocked off that the preschool would experience disruption and noise issues. We had limited driveway and road access during this time and many of the large vehicles were on the road area around the preschool. I found that during this time, Peter and the roading crew were very supportive of any concerns and issues that arose. I found that they were accommodating to resolving any parking issues and were happy to help place cones when we needed support to ensure that vehicles were not parking on our grounds. I found Peter's emails weekly were helpful, in understanding the timing of the project, and were useful to support myself as a manager, to engage with parent concerns with real information. Lastly, our preschool was very grateful to the support that Isaac's gave us with the Open Day and street party of Tennyson St. With Peter Loakman's support we organised a street party and opening of Tennyson Street, once the roading was completed. Isaac's supplied a BBQ for the street and our preschool in acknowledgement of the disruption to our service and to support the slight downturn in revenue that had impacted the businesses on the street. This was appreciated by the community and our families, with the highlight being the opportunity for the children, to meet three of the Crusaders team within the preschool. We would like to thank Isaac's for their support for this project and commend them on a job well done.