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Christchurch Three Years On: Southbase emerges under experienced players

Southbase Construction is one of several new building companies to emerge on the Canterbury landscape.

After the seismic upheavals the local construction industry received a similar shakeup.  

Before the quakes the city was dominated by a handful of large national and local well-known companies.

Southbase is a subsidiary company of the HCG Group whose board includes well-known Canterbury business people Quin Henderson, Philip Carter, Ben Gough and John Holland.  

The group set up Southbase Construction with a customer-focused approach and emphasis on collaborative partnerships and delivering projects on time. 

The company has become a major competitor in the rapidly growing post-earthquake construction boom. 

Since incorporation in early 2013 Southbase has secured more than $70 million in projects including the Hagley Park Cricket Oval, St Margaret’s College rebuild and two significant A-grade commercial buildings on Durham St, as well as working on several projects within the planned CBD retail precinct. 

Southbase chief executive Mr Henderson told the National Business Review that the group is currently working on six major projects in and around the Christchurch’s new CBD. 

The company has taken steps to minimise the risk associated with growing pressure on the local supply of labour, plant and materials by partnering with Australian construction company Thiess PTY for major projects.

“With pressure coming on local resources, Southbase wanted to provide surety of delivery for our customers and their projects. Having additional resources and supply links with Australia to work in conjunction with our existing well established local supply chain was a strategic move,” according to Mr Henderson.

The Southbase management team has worked on some of the most recent significant South Island projects.

Mr Henderson emphasises personal accountability, a hands-on approach, applying added value and reviewing contracting strategies to overcome market dependency and risk associated with a limited market supply chain.

Relationships built over many months have provided the base for good working relationships with clients, consultant teams and sub-contractors, he says.

Local property developer and Southbase client Stephen Collins endorses the Southbase team and their architect and engineer partners for bringing together projects in a transparent and seamless way within the agreed price and on time.


Mr Collins is developing a new building at 151 Cambridge Tce on the site of the former Santorini Greek restaurant also overlooking the Avon River where Deloitte has committed to lease office space. Mr Collins acquired the cleared Santorini site at 151 Cambridge Tce from NBR Rich Lister George Gould and investment partner Jonathan Hutton for $3.5 million at the end of 2012. 

Read: the rest of the Christchurch Three Years On feature stories here