Profile: Bay Shaping, creative earth movers

Photography by: Kylie Ormsby

Bay Shaping Bay Shaping focuses on creative golf course shaping and private property earthworks Bay Shaping
Bay Shaping The Team: Dave and Kirsty Graham Bay Shaping
Bay Shaping The Snaplock and tilt hitch and bucket was bought after a recommendation Bay Shaping

Bay Shaping delivers creative, golf course shaping, and private property earthworks that appeals greater than standard earth moving.

With the increase in generalist businesses, specialist contractors are now proving it pays to be niche.


It’s a formula that’s seen Te Puna-based Bay Shaping grow significantly over the year as they focus on creative design rather than standard earthmoving.

Established in 2016, when owners Dave and Kirsty Graham identified a gap in the market for creative earthwork projects in the Bay of Plenty, Bay Shaping focuses on delivering creative, golf course shaping, and private property earthworks.

With more than 18 years’ experience in the golf course industry, 12 of these as a specialist shaper in the golf course construction industry throughout New Zealand, it’s Dave’s unique eye and creative flair that’s secured key contracts for Bay Shaping.

This includes the more recent Omokoroa Golf Course shaping project, which coincides with the new ‘Fairway views’ subdivision being constructed right next to the 11th hole.

Expected to be completed in June this year, the shaping of the new route will redirect the line of play to steer golfers away from potentially striking the new residential houses. It’s a creative shaping project that involves more than standard earthmoving.

"It’s about taking the natural environment into consideration and utilising existing features to create a finish that fits the picture," Dave explains.

It’s also what sets Bay Shaping apart from other general contractors. With the company’s main objectives being quality, precision, and efficiency, having the right equipment to ensure a project is completed efficiently and to a high standard is vital.


With a CAT305, five-tonne excavator at the ready, Bay Shaping bought their first Snaplock+ tilt hitch and bucket four months ago, after a recommendation from their local mechanic.

"We were on the search for a hitch system that would allow a full 180-degree tilt, tough enough to withstand our workload," Dave says. "On a complex project, the quick hitch allows us to change attachments at the flick of a button, making our excavator incredibly versatile. "The tilt hitch allows us to provide precision shaping to extreme gradients with quality results and the quick hitch allows us to work efficiently."

Dave rates the ability of the attachments to complete the project more efficiently, including being maintenance-friendly with extra reach and smooth motion.

"The ability of the tilt-hitch comes into play in the more intricate areas of the course," ave says. "For instance, bunkers should have a variety of angles, so during the shaping process, we’ll use any part of the bucket to achieve the end result. "The long edge of the Doherty bucket is ideal for this."

Making the most of the opportunity, Omokoroa Golf Course is also revamping the 11th hole with new tees, shorter play, fresh bunkers, and green. This will tie in with the existing course and a new challenge for the local golfers

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