Geothermal & Energy

Sediment Disposal Area – Genesis Energy Ltd

Dredging of the Rotoaira Canal and deposition of the resulting silt is an on-going issue for Genesis Energy’s Tongariro Power Scheme.

Cheal has assisted Genesis Energy in this area for over 15 years through survey monitoring of sediment levels in the canal as well as the provision of engineering services. With the previous sediment disposal area at capacity, a new location within the Rotoaira Forest was selected by Genesis for use with the next three dredging cycles (approximately 300,000m3). However, prior to the first dredging (100,000m3), the site required preparatory works including construction of a 3m high bund along the lower portion of the site as well as drainage works—consisting of an open channel and 220mof pipe.

Construction Site Cheal

The design, construction, supervision and contract management aspects of the project were all carried out by Cheal on behalf of Genesis Energy. The construction of the bund and drainage works was monitored weekly by Cheal personnel with site meetings to review quality control, health and safety, environmental and programme aspects of the project. The result was a well constructed bund and drainage system within the required time frame.

Water Intake Gantry

Mighty River Power engaged Cheal to design a cantilevered
gantry structure to support a water intake pump/screen
unit suspended in the Waikato River, including capacity for
personnel and equipment.

To achieve this Cheal performed structural analysis and
design of the proposed steel structure, allowing for all
required loads and site specific geotechnical data for
foundation design as well as adhering to current design
codes and standards.

Cheal Engineers were responsible for all Civil and Structural
design as well as Project Management including:

  • Geotechnical Investigations
  • Assessment of best pump location within the river
  • Structural Design/Review of Steel Gantry
  • Foundation Design
  • Access Track Design
  • Erosion and Sediment Control Plans
  • Contract Administration/Project Management

Cheal Surveyors were tasked with the initial site survey, setout
of foundations and structure during the construction phase.

Completed Gantry


Construction Sample Cheal WorkWastewater Treatment Plant

Taupo District Council engaged Cheal to design a new laboratory on the southern end of their existing waste water treatment plant control room. The Council’s brief was to design the building in such a way as to maintain natural light into what were to become internal rooms with no exterior walls.

To achieve this Cheal designed a lean-to structure with a full length elevated skylight to allow light into the internal rooms via existing hi-light windows on the wall between the new and the old structures. Cheal Engineers were responsible for all Architectural, Civil and Structural design and project management including:

  • Earthworks and concrete crib wall
  • Additional elevated car parking bay
  • Stormwater, sewer and water reticulation
  • Geotechnical assessment
  • Building wind and earthquake analysis
  • Architectural and structural specification
  • Lighting design
  • Fit-out of the laboratory

Cheal Surveyors were tasked with the initial survey to accurately establish existing services below the proposed building foundations (of which there were many).

Watermain Upgrade – Taupo District Council

Cheal was engaged in mid 2010 by Taupo District Council
to arrange, oversee and report on the geotechnical issues
relating to a proposed major watermain upgrade for

The project involved the laying of 3 kms of new 500Ø
watermain, which is critical for the town of Taupo. The
expected soil conditions included hot ground, rock,
groundwater and unsuitable fill. These conditions required
the client to identify geotechnical risks relating to the
construction and ultimately the possible design and
construction cost variances if these risks were not identified
at an early stage.

Cheal are regularly asked to provide expert advice on
geotechnical projects with issues typically relating to slope
stability, geothermal activity, trench stability and dams.

We have access to state of the art geotechnical testing
equipment that enables projects of all sizes to proceed with
an accurate forecast of sub soil costs.

Geotechnical Drilling on the shores of Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Property and Land Development

Locheagles Development – Kinloch, Taupo, Taupo

The village of Kinloch stands as a testament to the clear foresight of former New Zealand Prime Minister, Sir Keith Holyoake’s magnificent early vision. Sir Holyoake co-purchased the bare land now known as Kinloch during the 1950s. Locheagles subdivision is one of the latest developments, designed to create additional living environments within this tranquil village.

Locheagles embraces extensive bush restoration throughout its ultimate development of over 200 landscape driven sections, an extended walkway network, stormwater management areas, and overlooks the existing village, new commercial village for the Kinloch valley. New house sites are nestled within this framework, supporting the verdant living environment.

Cheal has been responsible for ensuring the completed subdivision achieves the environmental outcomes envisaged by the developer, the urban designers and landscape architects. This has resulted in innovative and creative design solutions for road access and particularly stormwater collection, management and discharge systems.

A coordinated system of individual stormwater catchments within the development was constructed to detain stormwater and enhance water quality off the site, resulting in an environmentally-sustainable development that attests to the original vision of Sir Holyoake.

Last week saw the start of the final stage of subdivision construction at Locheagles, which will complete a development of 250 lots. Cheal director Phil Rielly first started work on the project in 2003.

Final stage of subdivision

Taupo Heights Develepment – Huka Falls Road, Taupo

Cheal has been involved in development work on a site known as Huka Falls Resort since the 1980’s. Throughout that period the property has been subject to several development proposals, the latest of which is currently under construction for Taupo Heights Development Ltd.

With Cheal’s professional input Taupo Heights has obtained a Resource Consent for development of the remainder of the property. The residential development makes good use of Urban Design elements such as rear lanes, shared use roadways, low impact stormwater design corridors enhanced with landscape features and noise bunding.

Taupo Heights has previously completed the development of two stages comprising 28 sites. The development of the remaining 49 sites is currently underway and is programmed for completion late in 2017.

Cheal’s input has been multi-faceted. Initially we assisted our client with feasibility so that the scale and nature of development could be identified. Cheal Planners obtained Resource Consents.

Cheal Engineers have designed infrastructure and services and have administered contracts to see the design through construction to completion. Cheal Surveyors have completed the Land Transfer surveys so as to complete the legal definition of various stages of subdivision. Cheal has managed the entire project; coordinating various sub-consultants including traffic designers, landscape architects, urban designers, lawyers, civil works contractors and valuers. Cheal has provided comprehensive services to enable our clients to achieve their development objectives.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Cheal’s commitment and energy into helping achieve a good outcome” – Taupo Heights Development Ltd

Chateau Crescent, Taupo Heights

Residential Subdivision – Pukawa D2 & D3, Kuratau

Cheal is proud to be involved in residential land development for the Trustees of Pukawa D2 and the Trustees of Pukawa D3 in Kuratau.

This is the remaining portion of land previously zoned Lakeshore Residential by Taumarunui County Council, prior to the amalgamation of this area into Taupo District.

The D2 and D3 Trusts have completed several other subdivisions individually and in their own right in association with Ian Blance and Associates from Taumarunui, which was merged with Cheal in early 2008.

Cheal’s geotechnical, civil engineering and surveying resources are being used to good effect on this challenging subdivision. The land is covered in regenerated bush and part of the property is low lying flat land near the Kuratau River. The unique subdivision will allow dwellings to be constructed in the existing bush and restrictive covenants will be registered to protect bush remaining on these residential sites. A large amount of the land will remain undeveloped and will be vested in either Private or Public Reserve. Pedestrian links are formalised through some of this established bush to allow the public easier access to the Whiowhio Reserve and the Kuratau River Esplanade. Innovative stormwater solutions are required in order to discharge runoff from the low lying parts of the site near the Kuratau River.

Aerial View of site within Kuratau Township, New Zealand

Geotechnical investigation has been required to evaluate risks associated with liquefaction following on from the Christchurch, Wellington and Kaikoura earthquakes.

Cheal has provided vital input to ensure development is able to proceed over a very challenging site which is constrained in a number of ways.

Maori Asset Development

Hydroponics – Tuaropaki E Trust

The Tuaropaki E Trust has an approximate rural land holding of over 4,000ha. Within this they have several rural and industrial enterprises including geothermal power generation, dairy, sheep and beef farming, hydroponics and a new dairy processing plant.

Cheal has supported the Trust for many years with a range of professional expertise. With the Hydroponics project Cheal provided professional services in extensive earthworks design and management of the site, survey control and set out, stormwater and soil management during construction, resource consents for earthworks, water take and land use. The water take was a constrained issue for the ongoing operation of the plant which was recently strengthened with the design and construction of a 50,000m³ reservoir for irrigation storage.

Tuaropaki Trust leads the way in diversified industries on its land and is an excellent example of what can be accomplished with available resources and a powerful vision. Cheal is proud to be associated with the Trust and will continue to assist them with future ventures.


Reservoir Design – Gourmet Mokai

Gourmet Mokai engaged Cheal to design a 50,000m3
reservoir to capture the large volumes of runoff from
approximately 12 hectares of existing glasshouse.

This would provide the majority of water for use in irrigating
the hydroponic capsicum and tomato plants in the
geothermally heated glasshouses and help supplement the
existing water take from a nearby stream.

Cheal Engineers, Planners and Surveyors were involved in
the full life of the project from assessments of water demand
and resource consent approvals, to detailed design, survey
set out and construction supervision. Cheal worked closely
with the client to meet their needs and achieve the required
goals in an efficient and timely manner.

Project Highlights :

  • Various Resource Consents Acquired
  • Preliminary Options Investigation and Report
  • Geotechnical Investigation and Report
  • Subsoil Drainage Network design
  • Culvert Upgrade under adjacent road
  • 6,500m³ Buffer Pond behind Glasshouses
  • Erosion and Sediment Control Plans
  • Contractor Management
  • Topographical Survey and various Set Out Surveys

Reservoir site at Mokai, New Zealand



Urban Subdivision/Soil Erosion – Vaucluse

Vaucluse was designed and built by Cheal for Carrus Corporation in 1999. The client’s goal was to deliver 100 sections to the market within one year, on time and on budget.

A layout was soon completed that connected with five (5) existing roads and required the whole 10ha site to be completely re-contoured.

Cheal designed the earthworks to minimize the amount of exposed material at any one time and to ensure controlled catchment discharges away from the existing homes.

Straw mulch was used extensively as an innovative tool to manage erosion. This attracted region wide acclaim at the time and is now routinely used for any major earthworks.

Another important aspect of this development was the requirement to complete a catchment wide stormwater analysis and design a comprehensive stormwater detention system to retain flows through the existing residential properties and discharge to the Waikato River.

Cheal completed all planning, engineering and surveying elements of the project to help achieve the client’s goal.


Geotechnical Investigations – Holdens Bay, Rotorua

Cheal was engaged by a private developer to investigate the geotechnical constraints of their land holding in Holdens Bay, Rotorua.

The subject parcel was located such that significant geotechnical constraints were envisaged for its potential use of intensive residential development. It was sited on land that sat approximately 2m above Lake Rotorua’s high operating level, on a historically swampy flood delta, with open water courses running through it. Recent developments and older housing were present on land surrounding the site.

The preliminary investigation entailed a series of deep Cone Penetrometer Test (CPT’s), with stand pipes installed such that it would be possible to monitor changes to groundwater levels over time. Select shallow hand investigations were also undertaken to gain information about the immediate soil profile.

Under analysis, the soils proved to be susceptible to both lateral and vertical displacement during relevant seismic events. Assessed against the most recent national guidelines, these soils demonstrated settlement values that exceeded threshold values. A range of concept design options was presented to the developer for consideration, for site drainage, civil infrastructure design and specific house foundations.



Structural Steel Design

Cheal was commissioned by Euroscaffold Ltd to undertake Structural Design for a soffit formwork support scaffold structure. The scaffold was to support the construction of the Turbine and Generator building of the Nga Awa Purua Geothermal Power Station near Taupo.

Cheal provided professional advice, checked compliance of the installation against NZ standards and issued producer statements prior to use.

Based on the Layher modular scaffolding system, the structures were 14m high, sitting on a basement slab located 6m below ground level. In addition to the soffit support were external cantilever working platforms and two internal full scaffold access structures.

The scaffolding was designed to carry the dead weight of all materials – concrete, formwork, reinforcement, self-weight and impact loads from pouring concrete. The total load to be supported was approximately 750 tonnes of wet concrete. To cater for the high and real forces it was important to realise the best performance from the scaffolding structures, something that depended on being able to maintain members in a vertical and straight form at all times.




The NZ CycleTrail – Ruapehu District Council

The ‘Mountain to the Sea’ Cycleway, or Ruapehu to Whanganui Nga Tuhono Trail, is part of a New Zealand government co-funded initiative to build and operate a network of ‘Great Rides’ cycle routes through the country.

Cheal was engaged by the Ruapehu District Council to survey part of the cycleway alignment running through Fishers Track (an old unformed “paper” road, to the west of National Park).

The section of track is very remote and steep and the centre line survey of the road alignment needed to show the formed alignment of the road relative to property boundaries. Cheal Surveyors were able to accurately survey the track and at the same time provide the Council officer on-site with a live, digital representation of its position with respect to the legal property boundaries. This allowed for different alignment options to be considered immediately and provided the Council officer with a better “feel” for the land to assist with site decisions. It also meant that fewer site visits were required, saving both time and money.



Lakeshore Erosion Protection Monitoring Surveys

Cheal has been engaged by Taupo District Council, Mighty River Power and Waikato Regional Council since 2004, to monitor the movement of sediment at various beach locations on the shores of Lake Taupo. The survey data collected is part of an ongoing monitoring program to assist the management of lake shore erosion.

The monitoring involves the annual re-survey of beach profiles at the same locations as established at the commencement of the program in 2004. The data is captured using kinematic GPS techniques. Where the profiles extend beyond the shoreline the data is captured using hydrographic equipment. Cheal own a Ohmex Sonamite hydrographic system that when coupled with the GPS equipment allows real time capture of data in x,y,z format. Profile drawings of the data are prepared and attached to a comprehensive survey report for each locality. Also included within each report is a photo record history. Photos are recorded annually from same locations at each site.

The capture and accurate recording of data compiled to a comprehensive high quality report by our Survey Team allows for our client to make accurate decisions on the future management of lake shore erosion within the Lake Taupo catchment.


Construction Setout

Downer NZ Ltd : NIMT Bridges

Cheal was engaged by Downer Construction in February 2015 to provide precision engineering set out and engineering consultation for the rebuild and strengthening of seven railway bridges on the North Island Main Trunk line, north of Taumarunui.

With expert knowledge in construction set out, Cheal Surveyors managed every aspect of the civil and structural set out work, including accurately and precisely monitoring the movement of the rail track and bridges for the duration of the project. Cheal Engineers also carried out geotechnical investigations and design for crane pads required on some of the sites.

Survey monitoring on bridge BR203, north of Taumarunui

Strict health and safety compliance is required when working within a live rail corridor and Cheal’s experience and workplace health and safety system fitted well with the need to liaise and work closely with the Rail Protection Officers on each site. Daily communications and advance notices were needed when programming in field work, detailed site inductions and emergency plans were all part and parcel of this type of work environment.

Working together with Downer Engineers, Project Managers and Construction Foreman, Cheal was able to provide quality and timely survey and engineering support, with a quality assurance system that has guaranteed our client a high level of accuracy and efficiency in an ever evolving design.



Urban Design – Taupo District Council

This project was three years in the making with the client, Taupo District Council. A major land acquisition was undertaken by Council to obtain land to facilitate a State Highway 1 bypass around Taupo.

The balance land left over from the bypass parcel was re-zoned as Unserviced Residential and is now referred to as the East Urban Lands (EUL).

The EUL site has many redeeming features: aspect to sun and views, gullies for use of stormwater management and open space, and proximity to town. As a signatory member of the Urban Design Protocol, Taupo District Council has set out to develop the subject site through a master plan approach based upon sustainable design principles. A primary aim of this project is to set a higher standard of residential development within the District.

A joint venture between Cheal and Common Ground Studio in Auckland led to the development of the EUL Master Plan and approval of Resource Consent. The Consent allows for a mixed use development of up to 2,200 residential units and 18,500m2 of commercial gross floor area.

The completed built form will include at source storm water filtration systems and a road reserve layout, including wide shared paths which aim to minimise vehicular use and promote alternative forms of transport. Extensive planting and open space allocation will give rise to a high amenity environment for residents.

All project management, planning and engineering aspects related to EUL was carried out by Cheal. This included extensive stakeholder consultation with parties such as the New Zealand Transport Agency, Landcare, Environment Waikato, and the Department of Conservation.



Residential Subdivision

Cheal Planners are experts in the subdivision of residential properties. The subdivision of an existing residential property requires a resource consent application in every case.

These Consent Applications require a scheme plan showing the location of the current and future buildings and current and future services including access. Cheal Planners in conjunction with Cheal Surveyors regularly lodge these applications and work with other professionals such as architects to ensure the needs of the client are met in every case.

All projects require an understanding of the client’s timeframes and clear communication. Costs associated with these projects include the initial subdivision application, survey work, management of contractors for services and an assessment of Council’s development contributions. Cheal Planners are experienced in all of these matters and are able to provide timely advice and service on all components of such a project.



Bel Group Dairy Farms

Cheal has recently been engaged to provide planning advice and related services to Bel Group Dairy Farms based in the Hawke’s Bay.

BEL Group currently milks 8,626 cows across 8 dairy farms totalling 2,439ha with a further 960ha of dairy support land. Cheal has already assisted the company in its latest water permit replacement process, the establishment of further dairy units and the rationalisation of existing water rights.

Reliable and dependable planning advice is critical to the operation, and whether it’s a quick phone call to confirm a basic regulatory requirement, the preparation of a resource consent application or the review of a Plan Change to identify implications on the farming operation, Cheal is proud to be associated with what is a dynamic and progressive dairy farming business.

Our role with Bel Group represents a growing demand for expert advice and services within the environmental sector of the Dairying industry, and Cheal’s environmental services are well geared to meet the demands of farms of all scales. We understand the value of trusting and dependable relationships with our clients and aim to provide this type of service to our rural clients.


3D Laser Scanning

Marton Historic Buildings 3D Scan

Cheal was engaged by our client to scan heritage
building facades in the town of Marton. The buildings
are of significant heritage value to the town.

The facades were captured with our 3D laser scanner
from various locations and the data processed with
high quality imaging software.

The captured data is used to prepare elevation and plan views of the
heritage status buildings. In capturing this data we
now have available a model that can be called
upon in the future for maintenance or reconstruction

Isometric view of The Whitehart

Isometric view of Marton Granary

3D Scanning Hydro Electric Power Stations : GSP Limited

Our client engaged Cheal Surveyors to 3D capture
their Hydro Station facilities at three locations being
Keepit, Hume and Burrinjuck within the state of
New South Wales. The client’s requirement was to
capture the entire exterior and interior of each of
the facilities and deliver a 3D CAD solid model to
import to SolidWorks software.

Our 3D Scanning operator captured all of the
information required within one week. As well as
the CAD solid model output we also delivered FARO
Webshare 2Go files which enables the client to view
and interrogate (extract measurements) from the
imagery captured with the scanner. This is beneficial
in that it enables the engineering team to view and
navigate any part of the facility without the need to
visit the site.

Keepit HEPS: 2D drawing deliverable

Hume HEPS: Section through solid model