Our Story

This family-owned business started in 1980 when Chris Whitaker returned to New Plymouth from completing his OE abroad.  After approximately six months of thinking about his future Chris saw that there was opportunity in the petro-chemical sector and from there Whitaker Civil Engineering was born. 

From this early start, the company steadily grew and gained reputation for delivering complex engineering projects and engaged in the development of the oil & gas sites across the Taranaki province.


Family has always been a strong factor at Whitaker’s over the years and remains so to this day, with excellent staff retention and has developed strong skills and capabilities within the Project Management team and workforce. 

The core work staff is approximately 80 people delivering multi discipline civil works.  Having an open-door policy for staff denotes a core company value of looking after our people and improving their ability to deliver.


With the family connections Frances stepped in to a Health and Safety role in 2003, this short-term role turned out to be an eight-year employment.  She then left the company in her career pursuit but returned to Whitakers in 2014 where she is now the Managing Director.

Graeme Dravitzki is a known local name, he started as a Teamleader / Operator for Chris in 2002.  His passion for all things civil engineering has to offer had him work his way up the ranks and landed himself in the Directors seat in 2014.


The balance Frances & Graeme bring to the company has continued the success.  After celebrating 40 years in the industry in April 2020 Whitaker Civil Engineering is still going strong an look to continue in the foreseeable future.



Whitaker Civil Engineering takes pride in being a company of opportunity.

Our People

The company is committed to providing the highest level of service to its clients. Due to our high-profile customer base and the service contracts we have maintained, the company and our workforce understand the need to provide, at all levels, quality workmanship and professionalism in all our operations.

We have a very good reputation with our clients and the public and pride upon having a pro-active and professional team of people.


For construction project delivery our people are:

  • Carpenters (trade certified and apprentices / concrete specialists )
  • Operators (Heavy machine operators / roading specialists / earthwork specialists)
  • Drainlayers (trade certified and apprentices / water reticulation specialists)
  • Hammer Hands (carpentry skilled personnel / concrete workers)
  • General Hands (multi-discipline general labour / safety watches / traffic controllers / steelfixers)


Our Equipment

WCE prides upon providing an up to date service, the company operates a workshop facility for the up-keep and maintenance of its vehicles and machinery. All machinery is maintained to a high and safe standard.


The company also owns sufficient equipment for all its construction activities including scaffolding, traffic management, confined space rescue & gas detection, compaction & earthworks, carpentry & concrete placement and survey. Work-crews are assigned with vehicles carrying complete kits of equipment items and tools.