I have worked in the building industry for the entire 46 years of my working life and have been a contractor building seawalls and other varied construction around coastal, road, and river protection for 40 of those years. I have acquired a reputation as a trouble shooter and innovator skilled in solving difficult problems to whatever construction project I am working on.

I completed my training as a carpenter in 1971 spent 5 years building houses in Wellington and then set up house in Paekakariki to begin my career in earnest.


I married Marie-Jean in the Paekakariki Catholic Church in 1976 and we held the function round the corner in Memorial Hall.

Not long after that time the storms of the late 70s took a large toll on the coastal regions of the Kapiti Coast.

It was decided that timber seawalls were the way to go after some information came from Holland on how to build them using water to liquefy the sand in order to found them into the beach.

Pretty soon as a partner in the Simpson and Mills Building Company I was in my element constructing and reconstructing the timber seawalls still protecting the coast today.

Gaining the confidence of the Kapiti Council an opportunity arose from that work to construct the 110 meter twin steel Armco tunnels in Matatua Road. This project was the first in NZ to be constructed in the Wet and presented many challenges to be overcome.



Tawa Culvert

pumped out ready for walls

Added to this often using the seawall methods of building I constructed bridges, unconventional and unusual structures. One notable job being the foot bridge across the estuary of north Paekakariki.

I also constructed hundreds of concrete pipe supports supporting the Wellington water supply line through the Wainuiomata Tunnel making use of the left over concrete of the Paraparaumu plant.

I designed and installed the 1.6 kilometer concrete extension for the Timber seawall at Paekakariki. This saved the wall during many storms.

extending the palings with concrete toe


extending the palings with concrete toe2

In 1999 I took over the Lower North Island distributorship of Hebel Lightweight Concrete and have been marketing and contract building using that medium for the 13 years since. I was called to go to Nelson for 8 months to complete Fashion Island, a large shopping mall which needed much innovative and unconventional inventions to install heavy large prefinished panels from the inside of the buildings. All missions considered impossible successfully completed.

John Mills

One thought on “ABOUT US

  1. Well done John! I had not realised you had constructed the bridge over the stream at Paekakariki!
    This is a timely and positive contribution to oppose this green foolishness that is pervading all aspects of our society. What you are proposing will be a great asset to the community and visitors alike.
    I will carry on reading the site as I am in bed with a dose of ‘flu.
    Best regards

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