New chief to lead construction firm
Civil engineer Katrina Kidson has been appointed chief executive of Nelson firm Kidson Construction.
The former director of the civil engineering and construction firm has moved into the role as a result of several leadership changes designed to strengthen the company's strategic and operational performance, ahead of predicted substantial growth in the construction sector forecast for this year and beyond.
Ms Kidson, who has been a director of the company for four years, has relocated to Nelson from Auckland to lead the business started 50 years ago by her father, Brian Kidson.
Ms Kidson's brother, Matthew Kidson, has been running the business for the past eight years and will maintain a key role in the firm, identifying new business opportunities across the wider group of Kidson companies.
The firm founded by Brian Kidson in 1964 handles engineering and commercial building works around Nelson and the West Coast.
The 40-employee company has secured and delivered a wide variety of the region's civil infrastructure projects from water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades, through to the seismic strengthening, design and construction of a variety of institutional, commercial and industrial buildings.
Matthew Kidson said the firm had weathered the recession well, and its track record provided a solid foundation for company growth, he said.
Ms Kidson went to Nelson College for Girls and studied civil engineering at Canterbury University. She has been a civil engineer for 20 years, and was most recently chief executive of design and planning consultancy Isthmus in Auckland.
Prior to that she held a range of operational and strategic roles with global engineering and environmental consultancy MWH in Dunedin, Christchurch, Thames, Auckland and Sydney that spanned project and programme management, team leadership, client relationship and strategic and change management. It culminated in her position on the Asia Pacific Leadership Team where she was responsible for leading organisational change.
Ms Kidson is among the few women in the country to head a construction firm. She said it was a position she relished and hoped would motivate young women to enter careers in engineering.
"Over my 20-year career I have been lucky enough to experience a diverse range of roles that have inspired and challenged me.
"My engineering degree has enabled me to develop sustainable infrastructure that strengthens communities.
"This work has never been as important or rewarding as it is now with the major and challenging programmes of work currently underway in New Zealand such as the Canterbury rebuild," Ms Kidson said.