Work in Progress: A Slice of Life at Manaaki

Construction at Manaaki – our 17th development and fourth partnership with Marutūāhu – is charging along. On a brisk, sunny morning in late-June, photojournalist Adrian Malloch swung by the site to document the action. 

He is one of the finest Aotearoran photojournalists of his generation. His work has graced The Guardian and iconic New Zealand titles like North & South, Metro and New Zealand Geographic, as well as his own 'A Day in the Life' series. Adrian has been documenting The Greenhouse build for Ockham: we love how he turns his eye to the grunty machinery and hard yakka on a building project.  

“There’s a whole subculture around a construction site,” he says. “Everyone knows what they’re doing, and there’s a language of the site that’s understood by everyone there. People who are not contractors or construction workers wouldn’t have a clue what people are referring to and talking about.” 

He says his approach as a photographer is to make room for his subjects. “When you come in cold you have to be very aware that stuff that might be said or done you’ve got to contextualise it to their reality, and not your own. To me it’s about giving workers enough space and opportunity to show me what’s happening. You’ve got to figure out as quickly as possible what these people care about and tell that story.” 

And at Manaaki right now that story is a winter’s tale about WIP, BAU, or simply just Getting It Done, something of a relief following the past couple of years of lockdowns. The development, Ockham's 17th, has four buildings in various stages of progress. Building A is now over three storeys high and growing, with Building B not far behind: seeing these structures rise from the site is uplifting.

Above: Clavs works on floor sealing, prep for a suspended slab on Building B Level One. “I shot this early in the morning, in the low winter sun," Adrian says. "To show someone working, you get down right in amongst it to see it from their point of view."

Above: Cam angle grinding the 'ribs' on Building B Level 1.  

Above: That day contractors from Nauhria had just installed concrete panels on level on the Level 2 carpark of Building A. Here steel workers begin fixing the steel in place. 

Above: Ockham teamster Victoria uses a Potain remote-controlled crane to move materials on site. Victoria started work at Manaaki as a gatekeeper and traffic controller. She's since earned her remote crane operator's certificate. Scroll through for more portraits of the teamsters working on Manaaki.

Above: Slab on grade prep for Building D. “The cab driver’s face was just peeping out of the cab,” notes Adrian. 

Above: The first of the bricks for Manaaki have arrived on site. Sapu (pictured), who is in overseeing the development's exteriors, has been testing out bricklaying patterns. 

Manaaki is set to be completed in Q3 2023. There are a handful of apartments still available – some mighty fine options – so if you'd like to find out more, give our friendly sales team a bell.