About Us

Rooney Group

Founded by Gary Rooney in 1976, Rooney Earthmoving began as a small business with a single bulldozer in Waimate, South Canterbury. Over the last four decades Gary has grown this business upon the strong principles of trust, reliability, high quality, innovation and customer satisfaction. Today, the Rooney Group of companies extends well beyond earthmoving to fibre cable laying, cartage and transportation, farming, irrigation scheme development, civil consulting, pond lining solutions and tourism operations. The Rooney Group remains 100% locally owned by Gary who is the hands-on managing director assisted by a skilled team of managers, engineers and operators.


ROONEY Company Structure

Proven Experience

We have 40 years of experience, completing a range of complex projects with clients such as TelstraClear, Oceana Gold and Transit New Zealand.

  • Comprehensive Health and Safety -Certified to the highest AS-NZS and ACC WSMP standards, our health and safety management is meticulous and comprehensive.
  • Environmental Commitment - With ISO 14000 certified environmental management, we are committed to continually lessening our impact on the environment.
  • Fully Equipped - We have extensive earthmoving, transportation and drilling equipment, employing advanced GPS, laser-guided and trenchless technologies.
  • The Highest Standard of Quality - With ISO and Transit New Zealand certified standards for quality, our skilled and experienced team continually achieve excellence.
  • New Zealand Owned and Operated - We are 100% locally owned and operated, employing over 200+ staff at branches in Waimate, Ashburton, Christchurch, Timaru and Oamaru.

Customer Satisfaction

From RELs earliest beginnings in the 1970’s as a one man operation using a Case 1150 bulldozer, Gary Rooney realised that keeping the customer happy was the key to survival in a competitive industry. That small start has now grown into The Rooney Group with Offices throughout the central South Island and a dedicated and highly valued staff of around 300. Most of our staff live in the areas they work and good customer service is taken as read; Do it once, do it right. Our Customer satisfaction is not limited to small projects - The Rooney group also offers structured solutions to large scale development projects - Take the Rangitata South Scheme as an example; The decades old idea of irrigating the Rangitata Plains area was taken by the scruff of the neck and brought to fruition by Gary and Adrienne Rooney. At a time of Global financial Crisis they offered a Design, Construct and Own solution that enabled the scheme to be constructed.

High Quality

There is an old saying that “Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten”. While we may not be the cheapest contractor, we pride ourselves on being thorough. When our client engages us to complete a project they will get the very best advice, management and workmanship that you would rightly expect from an ISO9001 Quality & 14001 Environmentally accredited company. In-house quality assurance is an essential part of our operation and we utilise external peer review on large scale projects to provide checks and balances of our design and construction methods. Our regional structure ensures that our staff are experts in design and construction using local materials. All of our jobs are fully resourced in-house, enabling full control of the construction programme and ensures consistent delivery of high quality contracts and projects.


The Rooney Group is the only New Zealand Civil Construction company that offers in-house irrigation scheme site investigation, design and management. In some cases we even provide funding or we are happy to retain ownership. We also develop new irrigation scheme turnout gates and structures with NIWA set-up telemetry to provide real time monitoring and control of irrigation schemes. We don’t rest easy on past achievements and we continue to develop new systems and products to save our clients time and money - sometimes we tend to do things a little differently, for instance when we needed a Geotextile material for lining large irrigation ponds and a suitable product was not available locally, we purchased a Geotextile production line, set up a factory and successfully produced our own. Now we are in the final stages of research and
development of a Geotextile based Geomembrane.

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