Obituary: Ashley Maurice Hartley 1948-2016


It was a huge shock to the New Zealand construction industry to hear of the death of Ashley Hartley while on holiday in the United Kingdom on September 3, 2016.

Mr Hartley, who was Registered Master Builders Association president in 2006-07, was well known for his passion, dedication and commitment to construction in New Zealand, and was actively involved in the industry up until his death.

Mr Hartley began his illustrious career as an apprentice and building technician with Mackersey Construction Ltd in Hastings in 1966, before becoming head quantity surveyor, programmer and project manager with the company in 1970.

As a quantity surveyor, Mr Hartley joined the New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors as a technical member in 1978, and went on to become an associate in 1994, was registered in 2003 and made a Fellow of the Institute in 2006.

In 1999 he had a spell as manager of Lockwood & McMillan Group Ltd before becoming general manager of Gemco Construction Ltd, where he distinguished himself and steered the company to where it is today.

Mr Hartley won two New Zealand Institute of Building (NZIOB) Building Manager of the Year awards.

He oversaw millions of dollars’ worth of construction in the North Island, and was responsible for a wide range of construction work, ranging from residential and industrial to large commercial, including churches, hospitals, prisons, grandstands and freezing works, with individual contract values up to $150 million.

The indefatigable Mr Hartley was always willing to give back to the industry and share with others four decades of experience in the industry.

He ran many training workshops for various associations, and also served on BRANZ’s Building Research Advisory Council as the Registered Master Builders Association representative.

Mr Hartley is well known for the Best Practice Guide, which he authored, and has become a mainstay for RMBA members.

Mr Hartley has been described as the “elder statesman of Hawke’s Bay’s construction sector” — a fitting tribute to his legacy in the industry.

Away from work, Mr Hartley was a calm, generous man who was always ready to share his knowledge with those around him.

He was a big Hurricanes rugby supporter, and a devoted family man, who is survived by wife Denise, and daughters Kirsty and Rachel.


Ashley Hartley — Roll of Honour:


• RMBF National Lifetime Membership 2008

• Assisting with Qualification Review Committee for Construction Management Diploma — 2008

• Member of ACC advisory group preparing Health & Safety documentation for residential builders — 2008

• RMBF President and Director — 2006 and 2007

• RMBF Vice-President and Director — 2005

• RMBF Junior Vice-President and Director — 2004

• Director, Construction Information Ltd — 1999 to present

• Member of RMBF Contract Peer Review team (Residential Contract) — 2005 to present

• Member of RMBF Commercial & Contracts Committee — 1985 to present, including chairman 1990 and 1991

• Chairman of RMBF Health & Safety Strategy Committee — 2007

• BCITO Regional Board — 1998 to 2001

• RMBF representative on NZ Standards reviewing NZS 3910 Conditions of Contract for Building and Civil Engineering Construction — 1996 to 1998 and 2001 to 2003

• Presented with a certificate at RMBF Auckland conference in 1999 for continuous attendance at 22 national conferences (total of 30 conferences attended in total)

• A fellow of the NZIOB after joining in 1984. He became a registered construction manager in 1998

• BCITO Construction Management Diploma committee — 1996 to 1998

• RMBF representative on Joint National Committee with NZIQS reviewing NZS 4202 Standard Method of Measurement — 1996

• Member of RMBF Health & Safety Committee formed to produce Health & Safety booklets for members — 1993 to 1994

• Federation National Councillor and Central North Island Regional Councillor — 1985 to 1990

• Member of Department of Building and Housing working group reviewing Schedule 1 of Building Act

• BCITO assessor in Carpentry Practical and Theory