Special feature: Waikeria Prison demolition

By: Lyndsay Whittle, Photography by: Lyndsay Whittle and Michiel Rensen

McMahon Services NZ Ltd opts for an Indeco breaker for the Waikeria Prison demolition contract

Site manager David Gaynor (left) and Richard Roberts dwafed by the huge breaker/hammer

When McMahon Services NZ required a heavy-duty breaker to carry out the demolition of some 14,000 square metres of concrete floor area that varied in thickness from 150mm to approximately 300mm, the one rock breaker that stood out among the competition was the Indeco HP7000 FS attachment supplied by Crush & Screen Ltd—the New Zealand agent for Indeco attachments. The Indeco HP7000 FS (the FS stands for Fuel Saving) breaker/hammer is an impressive piece of machinery, weighing in at four tonnes and operated by McMahon’s 46-tonne Komatsu 450LC-8 excavator.

The official handover

Richard Roberts and Dane Fitzpatrick

Deals on Wheels paid a visit to the Waikeria Prison site, 47km south of Hamilton to see the official handover of the heavy-duty attachment and see excavator operator, Sean Fitzgerald, make a start on the huge task ahead.

The HP7000’s chisel is 180mm in diameter

Once the Indeco HP7000 FS was attached to the excavator and was standing upright on its 180mm diameter chisel, it was handed over from Crush & Screen’s sales manager Dane Fitzpatrick to McMahon Services NZ’s general manager Richard Roberts, both men being dwarfed by the breaker’s immense size.

Machine operator Sean Fitzgerald making a start on the huge project ahead

Measuring 3.7 metres tall, McMahon Services NZ chose the 4000kg attachment by using a recognised industry rule-of-thumb, whereby an attachment should be roughly 10% of the weight of the machine operating it.

Reduced fuel usage

The Indeco hammer working at height

Dane explained that Indeco hammer’s hydraulic system is designed to use less oil per minute and lower operating pressure, meaning fewer revolutions per minute on the excavator leads to fuel savings of up to 20%, without sacrificing performance and productivity when compared to others of the same weight and performance.

Expanding further, Dane says the principle of the HP7000 FS and other Indeco breakers is to perform solely by hydraulic pressure, using an oil flow of 250 to 305 litres per minute. Other brands of breakers produce force by means of gas activation.

The largest Indeco breaker in demo in NZ

While the HP7000 FS purchased by McMahon Services NZ for the prison demolition isn’t the largest breaker/hammer in the Indeco range (there are three models that supersede it in size), it is, however, currently the largest Indeco breaker in use in New Zealand outside of quarrying operations.

Crush & Screen says that in total, there are 24 different sizes and versions of Indeco breaker/hammers available. For the benefit of the technically-minded, aside from being fitted with an auto-lube system, the Indeco HP7000 FS produces a force of 10,500 joules of energy with each blow, however, Dane jokingly says he tells his customers, "If it makes the ground shake like there’s a mini earthquake taking place, then it’s doing its job."

Richard says he’s been impressed with the consultation and service his company has received from Crush & Screen, adding that their technicians came on-site to set up the breaker on the excavator, checked that the pressures were set correctly, and were on hand to give sound servicing and usage advise.

Environmental considerations

Although temporarilly shored up, the 111-year-old building is to be demolished

Richard told DOW that while it won’t take long for his team to bring the 111-year-old building to the ground, there are a number of logistical issues that need to be dealt with along the way, not the least of which is the remote location of the demolition site.

"Because of the remoteness, most of the processing of the concrete will take place on-site—re-crushed to an AP65," says Richard. Aside from supplying McMahon Services with the Indeco HP7000 for use on the prison site, Crush & Screen has also supplied two ‘Screenpod S45’ dust suppression units.

The plaque is in remarkably good condition

These units have an impressive 45-metre throw, mitigating the need for frequent relocation of the base unit. McMahon Services NZ has also taken delivery of two IFP pulverisers—a 45-tonne and a 20-tonne model—along with an IMP 45 multi-processor (rotating crusher) from Crush & Screen.

With McMahon Services NZ’s brief being to demolish the top jail and return the land to pasture, it will be early 2023 before the last piece of plant rolls off the land at Waikeria Prison.

McMahon Services New Zealand

While relatively new to the New Zealand marketplace, McMahon Services was established in Dry Creek Adelaide in 1990 and is contracted to governments and private clients for construction and demolition across Australasia.

They specialise in delivering complete project solutions for demolition, deconstruction, asbestos removal, and industrial and environmental remediation services.

The business is headed by general manager Richard Roberts, who says the company’s first contract in this country was decontaminating a warehouse that stored a collection of vintage vehicles and other artefacts in 2018 for an Auckland museum.

Crush & Screen Ltd

Crush & Screen Ltd evolved in 2020 to fill a gap in the New Zealand market for the hire of mobile crushing and screening machinery. Its growth and success as a specialist in this area led to the search for other complementary product lines that suited its client base.

Hydraulic attachments for use in civil, demolition, quarrying, and recycling sectors were a natural fit and Crush & Screen identified a gap in the market for quality, high-performance, and reliable attachments. The company was appointed the exclusive sales agent for Indeco hydraulic attachments in New Zealand in early 2021.


Indeco—founded in 1976—is a family-owned Italian designer and manufacturer of hydraulic hammers and a variety of other attachments and equipment for the demolition and quarrying sectors.

With its many different hammer models divided into large, medium, and small, and available in various versions, Indeco has the widest range of hammers available anywhere in the world.

The company’s range of IFP and IRP pulverizers use the latest technologically advanced materials, such as special extra-strength HARDOX® alloy steel. Indeco pulverizers are specifically designed to withstand high levels of pressure, wear and abrasion, and prolonged use regardless of job site conditions.

Indeco ISS Steel Shears stand out for their cutting-edge design, for their extreme robustness, and for their technical innovations that substantially increase their efficiency.

For more information, e-mail dane@crushandscreen.co.nz or visit crushandscreen.co.nz.

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