Celebrating 42 years of business in Hawke's Bay
In 1979 Michael Barker returned home from Australia, with experience in both harvesting and earth-moving. Within a short time Michael purchased an old "Back hoe", a TracQuip RM 20. Farm drainage was the focus. Adding to this, he purchased his first combine harvester. He became involved harvesting grain growing the business to owning 3 large machines. Following on from the success of the harvesting he then purchased a hay contracting business, adding this to the harvesting operation, and again expanded into a silage business. Wondering how he could improve the 'off' season he sold the old RM20 purchased and introduced the concept of mini excavators into the market.
Michael also saw that there was huge potential for directional drilling, and hence was one of the first people in Hawkes Bay to import a direct drill into New Zealand from the USA.
In 2001 Michael's business was heavily involved in general trenching he decided to sell off 'the summer side' of his business.
Due to this, Barker Contractors specialised in cabling and service work and landed many contracts with the local power company – Centralines, Telecom, plumbers and in fact anyone who needed their machinery. At Barker Contractors we knew how to work hard and achieve results with our work, which is why Centralines is still a client of Barker Contractors today, and has been for the past 41 years.
Barker Contractors were the preferred contractor to SAE Electrical, who specialised in fibre work, putting in high speed internet into schools. Barkers installed the ducts and pits for this work. Completing many schools not only in Hawkes Bay, but also Wanganui, Palmerston North, Wairoa, Gisborne, Masterton and had a share of the Auckland market.
At Barker's we are very proud of the work we do. Completing the installation of 80+kms of irrigation at Cape Kidnappers Golf Course, with Parklands, was a job well done, and one the boys were very proud of.
Barkers have spent many hours working for many wineries in Hawkes Bay. Installing Nobilo's the new development on Highway 50, both frost and irrigation again was a huge undertaking. Craggy Range was an early client and Michael's Company installed all the end assemblies for the vine fencing along with all the irrigation.
Over the years if that wasn't enough to keep us busy, Barker Contractors also worked alongside DOC to keep pathways clear though the Ruahine Park.
The formation of an Barker Aggregates added another strength to the business. Barker Contractors now able to supply their own aggregates for jobs, as well as supplying other contractors like Stead Construction and Civil, Downers, Fulton Hogan, Mr Apple, as well as the many farm deliveries.
Our Quarry makes a range of crushed product, as well as drainage stone. Barkers employ licensed quarry managers to operate in their quarry. This quarry is based within 2 minutes from the town centre of Waipawa.
Early in 2016 Michael appointed a General Manager and working together they decided to sell off the Forestry Roading Division of Barker's and look for other opportunities. Having worked closely with NZ Forest Management Ltd and PF Olsen Ltd for a number of years, this was a hard decision to make. A complete restructure was completed by mid 2016 and Michael once again took the full control back in hand.
Barker's then went on and formed a Chip Sealing operation, with the guidance of an experienced "Old Hand" having had 25 years experience in chip sealing. This has proved to be very successful and has seen many sub divisions, private driveways, and car parks sprayed with CRS 2 Emulsion, a well proven, environmentally friendly product, in preference to cut back bitumen.
More recently has seen Barker's introduce a Hydro Vacuum unit into the business. In a short time this unit has come into its own, and is usually busy around the streets finding service leads, electricity underground, water mains, and used also used for trenching of fibre cable.
Another field is developing for this type machine is exposing water leaks on farm main line irrigation systems as clients are now having a better understanding with this type of technology. - Non disruptive excavation.
In December 2021 Michael decided he wanted a change in life and sold company to his General Manager Jacques Theron who demonstrated to Michael the same family and client ethos to his team and clients that Michael had done over the last 42 years.
Not to be put out to pasture just yet Michael has retained the large Truck and Trailer units and has contracted back to "Barkers" for transporting of aggregates and soil.
Barker Contractors has been going strong for over 42 years, and with Jacques ability to change to meet market demands and by having well trained staff and equipment he plans on being there for at least another 30 years.
From where it all began in 1980
TV 3 Te Hauke Marae Rebuild Donation
After the devastating floods in 2011 the "Barker Team" donated machinery and time in the partial rebuild of Kairakau Beach Community.