NZ Corrosion Services
The Corrosion Management Specialists
Business View Oceania interviews Mike Pickles and Ron Berry of NZ Corrosion Services for our Construction View.
With 16 highly skilled staff and a presence in New Plymouth, Auckland, Whangarei, and Christchurch, NZ Corrosion Services are New Zealand’s top specialists in protective coatings and corrosion management. Established in 2004, the company began their journey with certified inspection services supporting projects using exotic metals, such as dairy factories and oil and gas processing plants. This soon morphed into consulting, with specialised expertise and equipment lending NZ Corrosion Services the ability to approach each project with confidence, integrity, and an attitude that places inspectors as an extension of the client’s team. The company recognises that the performance of protective coatings is largely dependant on the quality with which they are installed; it is paramount to have reliable and skilled consultants who can identify potential issues before they arise and provide subsequent advice on correction and management.
NZ Corrosion Services provides specialised protective coating consulting and inspection services, including plant corrosion and condition assessment, corrosion monitoring and management, metallurgy and industrial chemistry; third party inspection and verification including rope access and UAV services; material and damage assessment for insurers and loss adjusters; project management and specification writing and review; planning and budgeting services; training provision as accredited providers of the Train the Painter program in New Zealand; and other supplementary services such as air corrosivity monitoring.
Founder Ron Berry and majority owner and Director Mike Pickles offer their insight into NZ Corrosion Services as a vital provider for a wide range of sectors throughout the country. Mr. Berry begins, “New Plymouth is pretty severe, corrosive environment. We discovered that a lot of people were having difficulty with coatings being applied for corrosion prevention, particularly in marine environments. NZ Corrosion Services began there, and we quickly gained a reputation for being the guys to go to for protective coating inspection and advice on asset protection. We’ve grown since then to bring in more inspectors, consultants, engineers, project managers, and the like. Our clients started very much in oil, gas, marine, and industrial sectors. Over the last few years, we have shifted across into construction, especially into large commercial buildings, including working with fireproofing coatings. So, we are steadily expanding to service a broader range of sectors.”
The global COVID-19 pandemic presented some significant challenges for NZ Corrosion Services and their clients, Mr. Berry explains. “We had just started to move further into the Pacific with our inspection services when COVID hit. We have plans to try that again in the future, but for now, it’s on pause. Our consulting and advisory services, however, are applicable to people all around the world. We’ve written specifications for mining companies with 13+ global locations, advised on industry training programs for a group in the UK… We are proud to have such a broad offering and a wide client base.” NZ Corrosion Services has been a critical player in a number of projects throughout New Zealand, the largest of which of late has been supporting the damage assessment and refurbishment of the International Convention Centre in Auckland following the fire that ravaged its roof in 2019.
The company has also worked for the Takina Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre and New Zealand Defence Force, Mr. Pickles says. “We take a cradle to grave approach wherever we can; a good example of this is our work at the Convention Centre down in Wellington. We like to be involved upfront very early in the process, beginning with specification reviews. So, prior to any coatings, prior to anyone getting anywhere near steel, we can step in and work with the client and their suppliers to ensure that everyone is aligned and expectations are clear, to ensure quality delivery right from the start.” Mr. Berry continues, “NZ Corrosion Services is an accredited Train The Painter training supplier. Our guys are really experienced and can provide education and training to painting companies to improve their skills. So again, that comes down to making sure the process is smooth and as stress-free as possible for our clients, from start to finish. It’s one of the reasons why we encourage clients to bring us in early- if we come in at the end, we generally find a lot of issues that need to be reworked. So, by utilising our expertise right from the beginning, our clients save time, money, and resources.”
NZ Corrosion Services has four Values, that were defined jointly by the whole team: Treat others with respect and fairness; Be transparent and accountable in our work; Be open in communication and adding value; Grow strong internal and external relationships through trust. Mr Pickles states, “These values are key to the business. At its heart, this is a people-centric business, and all of these values reflect how we treat our staff, clients, and suppliers, as well as how we would like to be treated.” Mr. Berry elaborates, “All of our inspectors are certified with the Association for Materials Protection and Performance (previously NACE and SSPC) and/or the NZ Certification Board for Inspection Personnel (CBIP). We invest in specific training for them to grow in a variety of areas, for example in fireproof coating inspections. We do this for two reasons; it’s good for our staff in that it broadens their skills, and it’s good for the business because it increases our scope for growth into other sectors.” In line with their commitment to collaboration, NZ Corrosion Services would like to give a shoutout to the Australasian Corrosion Association, NZ Certification Board for Inspection Personnel, and Corrodere, as well as industry clients including Fletcher Construction, Methanex, Dialog Fitzroy, Worley, Fonterra, NZ Defence Force, and Arch Painters.
Looking to the future, our interviewees say NZ Corrosion Services is focusing on aligning the company with their recently reviewed growth strategy, which outlines a number of goals that aim to be in place by 2025. “We have a really solid capability that we plan to build on over the next few years. One of our strengths is, given the experience of our team, we are able to turn our hand to pretty much anything. We now offer things like rope access inspections to save our clients money on scaffolding, which will allow us to expand into sustainable energy support for structures like wind turbines, hydro and geothermal plants, while still taking care of our key industrial and construction clients.” Mr Berry shares. Mr. Pickles concludes, “Another area of development for us is in commercial building. We have a lot of value to add in that space by increasing the quality and longevity of applied coatings. Finally, we have plans to increase our employee base. Part of the challenge of operating in such a niche area is finding the right people for the job, with both the right skills and aligned Values. This means that we need to cast the net wide, with both local New Zealanders and and overseas applicants for these positions. We aim to steadily take on staff and have a really solid base of inspectors, consultants, and engineers when 2025 rolls around.”
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AT A GLANCE
NZ Corrosion Services
What: Corrosion management services provider
Where: NZ Corrosion Services is headquartered in New Plymouth, New Zealand