Our History

Stevenson trucks

The Stevenson family has enjoyed a long-standing and illustrious history in the Auckland region. Three generations of the family have left their mark on Auckland in the process of transforming what began as a very modest family business into the flourishing organisation of more than 500 employees it is today.

Our company is still family-owned and the values that motivated the enterprising 17-year-old William Alfred Stevenson over 90 years ago, still apply today – tenacity, dedication, determination, steadfast loyalty to employees and a strong desire to contribute to deserving causes in the community. We have made and continue to make a significant contribution to the development of Auckland’s infrastructure and the city’s expansion – from constructing drainage tunnels and dams and building motorways, through to supplying concrete and masonry products for recent major projects, such as the University of Auckland Business School Park and the Auckland War Memorial Museum redevelopment. We diversified into farming in the 50s and now own substantial agricultural holdings.

Our history began with three pioneering Stevensons – father William, his son William and his brother Jim, hungry for work and armed with their picks and shovels, a few wheelbarrows and a Model-T Ford.

1912 – The late William Stevenson founded the business in 1912, laying drains for the expanding Auckland population.

1917 – The business was registered as a company. It had grown to include work on developing Auckland’s sewerage system. The work was dirty and labour-intensive, involving hours spent underground.

1933 – The business was incorporated as W. Stevenson and Sons Ltd. When William Stevenson became ill, his sons W.A. (later knighted Sir William Stevenson) and Jim Stevenson, the original sons in W. Stevenson and Sons Ltd, took over. They secured the company as a private, family-owned business.

Drury Quarry 19591938 - 1939 – The family acquired the Drury Quarry, 30 km south of Auckland. Millions of cubic metres of aggregate have since been extracted from it to build Auckland’s roads and major civic projects. At the time the quarry was considered so far from Auckland that the Stevensons had to provide housing for its workers. This investment and the small depot that was set up in Pukekohe formed the basis of a long-standing relationship for the family with the South Auckland region. The original Stevenson engineering workshop was also opened in Pukekohe.

Late 1930s – Stevenson constructed the Papakura Military Camp.

1940s – The business expanded with a number of civil and military contracts throughout New Zealand.

1945 – W.A. Stevenson's three sons – Bill, Jack and Ross, became involved in the family business.

1946 – The business began to manufacture its own concrete blocks from its Drury Block Plant. The Number One plant was the first Columbia plant in the world to automate the movement of racks, a system now known internationally as the Papakura System.

1947 – The family went on to construct the Nihotipu Dam in the Waitakere Ranges (together with Downers) and the Hunua Water main, both of which remain cornerstones of Auckland’s water supply today.

1950s & 60s – Stevenson’s work in infrastructure reached a new level, following a number of major roading projects, including Auckland’s Southern Motorway. The company established its own building supply yards, ready-mix concrete facilities and purchased the East Tamaki Quarry.

1950s – Following the expansion of the business in the 50s, Sir William based his family in the south of Auckland, living and working in and around Pukekohe, Whitford and Howick.

After trams were removed from Auckland roads in the 1950s, the company pulled out the tracks and resealed the roads. Stevenson constructed the Ardmore aerodrome and parts of the Southern Motorway.

1953 – The Stevenson engineering workshop was relocated from Drury to Otahuhu.

Kopuku Catarpiller Fleet.

Mid 1950s – Stevenson began work on the Kopuku (since renamed Kopako), opencast mining site in the Waikato. At its peak it had "over 100" Caterpillar earthmoving machines on site.

1958 – Farming became a cornerstone of the family business after the purchase of Lochinver Station in 1958. Sir William originally purchased 5260 ha at Rangitaiki, east of Taupo. The family continued to add to the station, bringing it to a total of 16,595 ha. Breaking the wild country into farming land involved an enormous amount of hard work. It is still the largest single farm station in the North Island.

1959 – Bill Stevenson took over management of W. Stevenson and Sons Ltd.

race track

1962 – Stevenson constructed the Pukekohe Grand Prix Track. This race track was built in a record seven days by a team that worked day and night. The first race was held only a few days later – less than a week after completion. As a result of this extraordinary achievement, New Zealand was able to entice high-profile drivers including Chris Amon, Bruce McLaren and Jackie Stewart to race and win on that track.

1961 - 1982 – Sir William Stevenson and his team undertook a massive development programme, converting 12,500 ha of scrubland into productive and profitable farmland at Lochinver.

1966 – The company began work on establishing the site of the Glenbrook Steel Mill, a relationship that has continued ever since.

Since the 1970s – Stevenson has also become involved in the development of land in industrial and residential subdivisions throughout Auckland.

1975 – Stevenson’s laboratory, set up 10 years earlier to troubleshoot sealing issues on the Southern Motorway, became one of the first independently certified civil engineering laboratories in New Zealand when it obtained TELARC accreditation (now known as IANZ).

1987 – The purpose built engineering workshop facility was created on the land adjacent to the East Tamaki Head Office.

1988 – Head Office moved to East Tamaki.

1998 – Part of the Poronui Station land acquired earlier was sold as a dairy conversion, reducing Lochinver to its current size of approximately 14,000 ha.

1990s – Stevenson Construction built a number of major infrastructure projects in Auckland and the Waikato including the initial ALPURT (Albany to Puhoi) motorway contract.

2000 – The landscaping component of Stevenson’s Building Products expanded its offering to include value-added products by purchasing Giacon (terrazzo and paving).

2003 – Stevenson purchased the Mullan & Noy fabrication workshop in Hamilton as part of its engineering division.

2003 – The company underwent restructuring and a new  company structure was created.

  • Stevenson Group was established as the parent company with into five principal operating companies: Stevenson Resources, Stevenson Engineering, Stevenson Properties, Stevenson Building Products and Stevenson Agriculture.

2006 – Stevenson played an important role as a major sponsor in the construction of the Grand Atrium project at the Auckland War Memorial Museum.  Stevenson concrete products were donated and used extensively and the Stevenson Charitable Trust continues to play an important philanthropic role in supporting family-orientated initiatives at the museum.

  • Stevenson Properties purchased  the Thorburn block. The land serves as an important buffer zone to the Group’s Drury quarry. It also purchased the Sutton block which adjoins the quarry and which will  extend the productive life of the quarry.
  • Stevenson Engineering underwent a major extension that greatly extended its capacity.

Stevenson Engeineering 2007

  • Stevenson Engineering substantially increased its scope of operations. Southern International was acquired followed shortly afterwards by Fruehauf Trailers. 
  •  In November 2007, Stevenson acquired Rocktec Ltd, a Matamata-based designer and manufacturer of quarry and mining equipment for the NZ and Australian markets.
  • 2000 people visited Stevenson's inaugural Community Open Day at its Drury Quarry.
  • 400 delegates from the New Zealand Grassland Association's 69th annual conference visited Lochinver Station.


2008

  • Stevenson Engineering added another 702 square metres to its weldshop to meet the needs of its expanding customer base.
  • Stevenson Agriculture expanded its activities to the  Huntly and Druryfarms.
  • Stevenson Engineering and Stevenson Aggregates became participants in the EnviroSmart programme and are now Diamond accredited.
  • Stevenson Mining won a 6-month contract with Leighton Contractors to supply services to Solid Energy's Rotowaro Opencast Mine.
  • Sandvik Mining and Construction appointed Rocktec as New Zealand dealer for its product range.
  • Stevenson purchased TCL Isuzu, the largest new truck retail operation in New Zealand.
  • Stevenson purchased  Wilsons Readymix in July, giving greater geographic coverage for customers. 
  • The Stevenson Foundation reached a 35-year milestone in its funding relationship with the Auckland University School of Medicine.

2009

  • Stevenson Group entered into a joint venture to develop and maximise a new and innovative piece of environmental technology, Flowmax, to treat large volumes of sludge, sand and fibrous materials generated across a diverse range of industries.
  • Stevenson Engineering commissioned a purpose built multi-surfacer automatic welding station, the first of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Stevenson Group moved its Head Office from East Tamaki to Ellerslie.
  • Rocktec won a contract to supply highly specialised equipment to the Port Hedland Port Authority in Western Australia.
  • Rocktec opened its sales and service centre at Yatala on the Gold Coast after signing a service contract with Hanson's Wolffdene Quarry in early July.
  • Stevenson Resources (Drury Quarry) was awarded the Institute of Quarries Winstone Aggregates Safety Award for excellence in safety management in quarry operations.
  • Stevenson's Drury quarry and Stevenson Laboratory were successful tenderers to supply aggregate and laboratory testing services for the construction of the $220 million Hobsonville link between the Northwestern Motorway and Greenhithe.
  • Stevenson held its second Community Open Day for the public at its Drury quarry.

2010

  • Rocktec won a contract with southern Quarries to provide a tertiary screening plant at its Sellicks Hill Quarry outside Adelaide.
  • Stevenson Marine sponsored the Inaugural Pine Harbour Fishing Contest to raise money for CanTeen.
  • Stevenson Group supplied expertise and materials to a major new motorway project - the 4th lane extension from Market Road to Greenlane - for Downer.
  • Stevenson won an aggregates supply contract for the Victoria Park Tunnel project.
  • Stevenson Mining was contracted by Solid Energy to rehabilitate its opencast coal mine in Southland.
  • The Stevenson Foundation cemented a five-year sponsorship agreement with the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
  • Rocktec won a contract to provide a replacement production plant at Boral's Dunnstown Quarry in Victoria.
  • Stevenson won a subcontract with Hick Bros Civil Construction to supply aggregates into Fletcher's new residential development in Mt Wellington.
  • Stevenson commenced a five-day foundation skills programme for 50 front-line staff from Engineering, Resources and Concrete.
  • Stevenson Resources sponsored an award in the Outstanding Leadership category of the second Papakura Youth Awards.
  • Stevenson Resources sponsored the Drury Rotary Trainee of the year

2011

  • Stevenson Resources won the major aggregate supply contract for HEB Construction into the $200 million SH18 Hobsonville Deviation and SH16 Brigham Creek Extension for the New Zealand Transport Agency.
  • Stevenson Engineering formed a new partnership with Steltech Structural to manufacture steel beams for New Zealand Steel.
  • Stevenson Mining secured a five-year contract to remove overburden, extract and process coal and progressively rehabilitate Solid Energy's Rotowaro opencast coal mine in the Waikato.
  • Stevenson participated in the ACC Workplace Safety Management Practices Programme and attained tertiary level accreditation.
  • Lochinver Station continued its accredited quarantine facilities for Elders International Livestock Exports of cattle to China.
  • Stevenson Concrete was appointed principal concrete supplier in the development of the $26 million world-class Auckland Tennis Centre.
  • Stevenson Group sponsored the Excellence in Environmental Management award category in the Westpac Auckland South Business Awards.
  • Stevenson Group was Highly Commended in the EEO Trust Work and Life Awards for the Skills Highway Category for workplace literary training.

2012

  • Stevenson Mining commenced a five-year contract with Takitimu Coal at its Coaldale mine in Southland to mine coal and remove overburden.
  • Stevenson Concrete completed its contract with Hawkins Construction to supply concrete to the $121 million redevelopment of the Auckland Art Gallery which commenced in 2008.
  • Rocktec signed a further 2-year contract with Hanson's Wolffdene Quarry in Queensland.
  • Stevenson Engineering won two awards at the Westpac Auckland Central Business Awards for Excellence in Business Leadership and Service Delivery.
  • Stevenson Engineering became a registered prequalified contractor through Contractor Prequalifications NZ.
  • Stevenson Engineering opened a new workshop in Kaiata, Greymouth to extend the mechanical services it offers to the mining and construction industries on the West Coast.
  • Stevenson Concrete completed its contract with Hawkins to deliver 7000 cubic metres of concrete to Middlemore Hospital's new clinical services block.

Looking Back

1st truck

This is the first vehicle ever bought by the company. Bill Stevenson says that his grandfather started the business in 1912 and supposedly bought this truck at that time. However, the company wasn't registered until 1917 and that's the date recorded on the back of this photo. William Stevenson often drove his two young sons in the truck - William (later to become Sir William), and Jim, who would stand on the running board, leaning out to keep the wheels on the road as they went around the corners.