8 September

22 News – Sept ’16

22 News & Quiz

  • TVNZ – opens
  • Cocktail Party
  • New Cadet
  • Quiz – win lunch at Mekong Baby

This month one of our projects was officially launched – TVNZ (stage 2). This was a service intensive project and included the mechanical, hydraulic, electrical and data services. Key challenges were keeping the building fully operational during the works and redesigning existing building services to meet the needs of a modern multi-purpose media space.

What a night! On September 1st Debbie Darling (Chief Purser) and Captain Robert Mannes took our guests on a journey Around the World at our annual cocktail party. Terrific turn out, scrumptious cuisine and beverages from Asia, America, Europe, ….. plus prizes and entertainment made for a FUN night. It was great to catch up with so many clients, colleagues and friends in the industry.


Our international theme for the evening was inspired by past intern Stefan Nel who is currently on the adventure of a lifetime – The Mongol Rally – across Asia and Europe. His team, “Pandamonium” are fundraising for NZ Surf Lifesaving and we would like to thank all those who donated to the cause. They have almost reached their final target – they are just $400 shy. To donate follow this link. https://explore.givealittle.co.nz/search?q=pandamonium

We welcomed a new cadet on board this month, Thomas Hume. He has joined our mechanical team and comes from a family of architects so is already talking the lingo like a pro!

This month’s QUIZ is designed to foil the Google sleuths. You’ll only know this one if you’ve spoken to the man himself. Last Christmas Nick Donovan and Robert Mannes each holidayed overseas (in different continents). Name 3 countries that Nick OR Robert visited on their trips. Get one wrong and you’re disqualified. Get them all right and you’re in the draw to win lunch at Mekong Baby – yeeeum !  Entries close September 16, send all entries to Jennifer@22degrees.co.nz

– 22 Degrees Team

25 July

22 News – July/August ’16

22 Degrees News – July/August

  • New Faces
  • Awards
  • Whanganui River Adventure
  • Cocktail Party
  • The Wild and Wacky – Mongol Rally

We’ve witnessed extraordinary times since our last blog. Our collective socks were shocked off by BREXIT and the rise of the Donald. Political turmoil has rippled around the globe and closer to home, our housing market continues to boil and bubble… Here it is, only half way through 2016 and ‘change’ appears to be the only constant.         

At 22 Degrees we’ve hired three new engineering cadets and been joined by very experienced electrical engineer, Ahmad Sheikh. His extensive quality assurance and site experience is already proving invaluable.

Several of our projects have received prestigious awards recently.

  • Hopetoun Residences won a New Zealand Property Council Award for best in class (Multi-Unit Residential Property) –– Paul Brown Architects and Tawera Group.
  • The Orange (redevelopment of the Orange Hall in Newton) won the NZIA Auckland branch (Commercial) Architectural Award – Crosson Architects.
  • Tarawera High School, Kawerau  – has been short listed  for a World Architecture Festival Award along with entries from Japan, the UK, Germany and Thailand –- RTA Studio

Social ‘movers and shakers’ Alex and Barbora, came up with a death defying adventure for the annual team building excursion. The Whanganui River beckoned and Team 22 rose to the challenge. Although just between you, me, and the rest of our blog readers, the management team had some trouble staying in their canoe. Yes, Robert and Ryan co-paddled the only canoe to capsize. TWICE! But who’s counting.

Our journey kicked off at Whakahoro, at the famous Blue Duck Lodge before launching our tandem canoes the next morning. Being so late in the season we had the river practically to ourselves. So we drank in that gobsmacking scenery and went all Zen as we experienced the tranquillity and isolation.

Of course our nights weren’t as tranquil – once the snorers cranked up and Nick let rip with some blood curdling shrieks in the dark. Apparently a few local rats/possums mistook his face for a bush highway. We nearly lost Alex on the famous Bridge to Nowhere and considered renaming it the Bridge to Oblivion.

Our guide, Jamie, from Unique Whanganui Journey, was fantastic. Even the food was great! Of course we were so hungry after all that aerobic exertion we’d have eaten our canoes. It was a brilliant adventure which really pushed the envelope and brought us closer together. We witnessed young Stefan set out as a boy and return as a man! We saw paddling worthy of Hamish and Eric. The Wooden Paddle Award went to Nick and Glenn – the most synchronised team and the only one of two teams not turn on their outboard motor.  It will be hard to top next year.


Talking of amazing adventures, a past intern Stefan Nel, has just embarked on the infamous Mongol Rally – 10,000 miles across the mountains, desert and steppes of Europe and Asia. There’s no back up, no support and no set route. There’s only 3 rules:

  1. You can only take a farcically small vehicle
  2. You’re completely on your own
  3. You’ve got to raise £1,000 for a charity

Visit http://www.theadventurists.com/mongol-rally/ to find out more.

Stefan and co-driver Sam, are fund raising for NZ Surf Lifesaving. They’ve bought a beaten up 1L Fiat Panda which can comfortably reach a top speed of 65km, so is perpetually overtaken by Audi, BMW and Mercedes drivers at 140km plus.

22 Degrees are proud sponsors of their madcap adventure. We’d appreciate it if our friends and clients could lend their support too with a $20 (or more) donation via their Give a Little page. https://explore.givealittle.co.nz/search?q=pandamonium

As you read this the “Pandamonium” team have just left Budapest and are off to Romania. Follow their journey on Instagram instagram.com/pandamoniumrally or Facebook facebook.com/pandamoniumrally.  Let’s reward their blood, sweat, tears (and insanity?).


Inspired by all this travel, our intrepid, cosmopolitan, team have come up with an international theme for this year’s cocktail party – Around The World at 22 Degrees.

We’re holding it upstairs in our office later in the year. Look out for your invitation.

We’ve got a great Quiz coming soon – so watch this space.

– 22 Degrees Team

16 September

22 News – Sept ’15

Since our last blog, Christmas has come and gone and that slow January start (when you catch up on all that filing) never eventuated. We’ve recently expanded our teams across all divisions to cope with continued growth and we’re relishing the opportunity to work on even more diverse projects.

We’ve well and truly settled into our new office and the Ponsonby lifestyle (the café next door LOVE us). Check out our new signage.


Since our last blog additions to the team include Jedd Henderson (electrical & mechanical), Kyaw Lin (Senior Electrical Engineer), Stefan Yong (electrical), and two undergraduates.

On the training front – Robert Mannes has been running seismic seminars for IPENZ around the country. Alex is adding to his mechanical and hydraulics expertise by undertaking his Masters in fire engineering at Canterbury University. Several of the team have completed   industry courses on lighting design, data, REVIT and much more. Its important to keep up with the play and to constantly upskill.

All work and no play makes for dull lunch conversation so naturally we’ve squeezed in some cool social activities this year. In April the team went South to gorgeous Nelson and Marlborough for several days of kayaking, tramping, wine tours, bowling, a beer tasting and a terrific visit to the WOW museum and classic car display.

Nelson Combined

Kayaking on a brilliant day in Queen Charlotte Sounds or tramping through beautiful Abel Tasman Park is definitely up there on the “Feels like Heaven” scale.  Of course it wasn’t just tranquillity and slow rhythmic paddling for all of us. Andrew thought a race was a brilliant idea! Seriously disadvantaged by flying solo in his two seater kayak, Nick tried his best to keep up but needed a cuppa and a lie down afterwards.


The team discovered the surprising thrill of flicking a frisbee around a golf course in an evening of Frisbee Golf with New Zealand’s premiere Frizbee Golf Champion, Simon Feazey (who recently competed internationally). Everyone had a blast followed by pizza under the stars. There’s been a few fishing trips but not nearly enough for the snapper lovers among us.

We’ve enjoyed some tasty team lunches and dinners with highlights including lunch at Sails, and a recent dinner at Mekong Baby which left us all waddling home after some major overindulgence. What a seriously delectable and generous set menu! Quiz contestants take note!

It’s our 15th birthday!!!! Our next function for clients and friends is planned for October 16 – put it in your diary and watch this space. Meantime we’ll likely be providing the odd informal breakfast croissant or two in front of the TV screen during the Rugby World (recorded and played at the more palatable 7 AM ) if you happen to drop by.

The latest quiz is quite tricky so if you have the answer email alex@22degrees.co.nz and all correct answers will go in the draw to win lunch at Mekong Baby (our new favourite place) OR if you’re out of Auckland a voucher for books or movies – your choice!!!

Jennifer Austin Mannes

13 October

22 News – October

It’s been GO GO GO since our last blog (too long ago!). We moved into our new office in Crummer Rd; had a rip roaring office warming party; renovated upstairs and leased it out and waged a ‘kill or be killed’ battle between the Mechanical, Electrical and Hydraulics teams (at Megazone). The Hydraulics team were victorious and top scorer was Alex – which we put down to that Aussie killer instinct (and possibly a mis-spent youth). AND we’ve grown again! We hired an additional mechanical engineer – Nick Donovan. All that, while the country re-elected a National government!

Late August, a single yellow (license plate GOODBYEPORKPIE) mini was stationed in front of the office –and set the scene for our “Kiwi Road Trip” theme party to celebrate our move. It was an excellent night complete with home brewed beer – 22 Brew, scrumptious Kiwi fare, a Kiwi Quiz (close fought battle) and an excellent turn out. For anyone worried about its late night disappearance – it was found a little the worse for wear but still driveable in Bluff.

It was great to catch up with so many clients and colleagues and for those unable to make it – we hope to see you soon. For guests wondering about our lovely MC’s condition (due to give birth next week ) – no news yet but it was heartening to see so many willing Dads.


We’re LOVING our new office. There’s lots of space to spread our wings and we’re right next to one of the best cafes in Ponsonby (actually that has its down side).

New Office

Despite several bouts of flu – which were generously spread amongst the crew (no-one got the STAY AT HOME memo) we’ve worked on a record number of projects. The construction industry is enjoying a buoyant period and to help us cope (and thrive) we’ve been working on improved internal efficiencies in the office and we’ve added staff.

In early October, Nick Donovan joined the mechanical team and soon we will take on an engineering cadet to work across all three services. Sara Kilonback joined us in July to take over administration and financial systems. She previously worked with us seven years ago and we’re delighted to have her back. She’s doing a great job – as are all our staff. We’ve also just returned from a ski-ing weekend for some well-earned R and R, as everyone has had their nose to the grindstone and is doing a brilliant job.

Ryan was lucky enough to be invited to a product launch for Mitsubishi Electric in Wellington.  They released their innovative solution to the ever apparent refrigerant volume limit outlined within AS/NZS 1677. It was so riveting in fact, that as the night grew long, alternate transport to Auckland the next day had to be organised. There’s dedication for you!

The latest quiz is a classic Kiwi ‘scratch your head’ one so be sure to give it a shot! Our prize is a voucher for MOVIE TICKETS and popcorn and ice cream to be enjoyed on a rainy day (not that we’ll have any rainy days this Summer of course).

Jennifer Austin Mannes

27 February

22 News – February

We’ve hit the year running with a busy schedule of work, two additional people and all shoulders to the wheel!

A number of last years’ projects have now been built. We’ll highlight a couple. The NZMA (New Zealand Management Academies) building in Carbine Rd, Mt Wellington, is a diverse multi-purpose training and administration space.  An office/warehouse conversion,  it now houses: separate commercial kitchens, a functioning bar and café with barista training facilities, classrooms, computer suites and commercial offices. It’s now operational and offering students a truly hands on experience.

A second building is also of note because the whole 22 Degrees team is enjoying the completed project, each week!  17 Maidstone Street Grey Lynn is the new home of ASC Architects who designed the building conversion. They share the building with Bodyneed, a massage physiotherapy and Pilates sports clinic which has moved in  downstairs. Each Monday morning at the crack of dawn, the 22 Degrees team kicks off the day with a Pilates class. So while we’re stretching, bending and sucking in those core muscles, we can admire our work.

Two new people have come on board this year. Josh Le Mon joined the electrical team in January and is already proving a great asset. He brings with him over a decade of experience as an electrician, before completing his Bachelor of Engineering. This brings the electrical team to three, so we’re well-resourced for  strong growth in electrical work.

Susanne McKay joined us in February. She was most recently assistant to the MD at engineering consultancyTonkin & Taylor and has a wealth of administration experience which we’ve put to full use already. She will be working with Rhonda Roberts our Office Manager.

If you’re visiting our premises, you’ll see some additions. We’ve added a green wall designed to make the office prettier and healthier – all that extra oxygen! Thanks to Andrew Roberts for putting it together. We’ve also created our own home brew – 22Brew inspired by all the keen craft beer enthusiasts in the office. Robert kindly bought us a home brewing kit for Christmas and it’s now in full production. If you pop in late on a Friday afternoon you will likely be offered a drop. It’s not half bad!

The team is in full training for their upcoming cycling adventure down south. In April we’re off to ride the Otago rail trail. Ryan is our resident cycling expert and will be  contributing a blog on how the adventure unfolded, once we’re all back in one piece.

Jennifer Austin

16 December

22 News – December

It’s been a busy and satisfying year, with a record number of projects undertaken. Our very own Aussie, Alex Davis has settled in and proven a brilliant addition to the team. He’s embraced Kiwi culture boots and all (touch rugby boots) so  we’re not giving him back  – take that Australia! Ryan Thompson has graduated with honours from AUT after studying part time for the last few years. Congratulations Ryan – you have worked your tail off, and now you know almost as much as Rob!

Electrical, is growing. Josh Le Mon joins Francois and Fred in the electrical team, in the New Year. Francois completed a post grad science and technology diploma focused on lighting design – so we’re up on what’s hot in lighting.  Robert and Ryan have undertaken advanced training in control systems and that’s an area you’ll see 22 Degrees expanding  in next year.

On a social note, the fishing skills of the whole team have lifted with input from fishing guru George Reed from 1st Maintenance. Thanks George! We’re looking forward to reeling in some big ones over Summer.

Jennifer Austin

26 August

22 Quiz


Do you know? Email alex@22degrees.co.nz – the first 5 correct answers received by Wednesday, September 4 will go in the draw to win a fine bottle of South Island vino and a Gibbston Valley cheese.

26 August

Best of the South


Event-best-of-the-south-2Last week we celebrated another ‘good year’ with a South Island themed event at Robert Mannes’ Grey Lynn villa. Filled to capacity, we sent the craft beer adventurers downstairs while the wine lovers fraternised upstairs but in no time at all everyone was mixing!

The wonderful Bob Campbell ran a mystery wine competition (it was a sav folks!!) while Glenn our 22 degrees resident craft beer guru encouraged people to sample an amazing array of beers. The night went so well we had to send out for more beer and wine half way through.

Everyone raved about the food with the pulled pork sliders, mussel fritters and mini beef pies getting top honours. Oh and those mini dessert tarts – YUM!!  A very big thank you to our super hero dream catering duo of Sian Bennett (who also did the flowers) and sidekick Jason who devised a fantastic menu and kept us well fed on the night. Sian by the way caters only ‘on the side’ and is actually a qualified architect (she’s brilliant; call us if you want her number).

Lisa Crawley was our talented and glamorous pianist on the evening – she’s a well known singer/songwriter too. Check out her albums and quirky videos here http://lisacrawley.com/

A big thank you also to our lovely trio of waiting staff – Jenny, Rawinia and the tireless Char. They were all amazing – up and down those stairs all night (we hope your legs still worked the next day girls). Thanks also to our daughter Emma and friend for their help and to our dog for remaining so calm despite so much excitement.

Everyone seemed to have a brilliant time, as did we! It was great to catch up with so many friends of 22 degrees. Definitely one of our favourite themes – not sure how we’ll top it next year!

Jennifer Austin-Mannes