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Our History

In 1945, Theodor Henry Busck established Busck Concrete Limited at Onerahi Road (now Riverside Drive) in Whangarei, Northland.

Theodor got his start in precast concrete thanks to his father, August Busck (1866-1947), a Danish immigrant who first arrived in New Zealand in 1888, and was an eminent contributor to establishing a quality commercial dairy industry in this country. In his late adolescence, Theodor studied Engineering at Auckland University thanks to the sponsorship of a Danish relative. However, Theodor was unable to finish his degree as his father wanted him back at Busck & Barnes Concrete, a venture established by August in the 1920’s to manufacture pumice concrete boiler frames. Theodor managed marketing and sales for Busck and Barnes Concrete from the mid 20’s and was able to increase turnover rates.

In the early days of World War II Theodor welcomed his son, Christopher John Theodor, into the world. He would be the first of four children born to him and his wife, Imelda Francis Meadows. Theodor was also heavily involved with the Auckland Army Territorial Forces, which included some time spent training troops in Northland. By 1943, Major Theodor H. Busck had joined the WWII Expeditionary Forces, New Zealand Army Engineers Division, and was off to New Caledonia to build an airport, then to the Solomon Islands to build bridges and defense infrastructure, and destroy bridges that may have aided the Japanese armies in an invasion – despite the fact that the New Zealand Army had wanted to keep him on home ground (Theodor had been so insistent that he be sent overseas, he actually threatened to join the Navy if the Army did not oblige him).

In 1945, Theodor returned to New Zealand and asked his seventy-nine-year-old father for his old job back at B&B Concrete. August told his son he would have to start again as a labourer at the company, as his old position had been given to someone else in his absence. It was at this time that Theodor moved his family to Northland and opened his own precast and prestressed concrete manufacturing plant, Busck Concrete – which would become Busck Prestressed Concrete as we are known today.

History of Busck Prestressed Concrete: Key Dates

1888 August Busck first arrives in New Zealand from Denmark.

1906 Birth of Theodor Henry Busck, son of August and Augusta Busck.

1912 After over two decades spent creating a high quality commercial dairy industry in NZ, August Busck turns his attention to concrete.

1924-25 Theodor Busck leaves Auckland University and his Engineering studies early despite being sponsored by a Danish relative, because his father wants him back at his concrete company. Theo works in marketing and sales, increasing turnover.

1936 August Busck, with his son Theodor Henry Busck as a shareholder, registers new company, B&B Concrete.

1940 Christopher Busck born, first son to Theodor and Imelda Busck.

1943 Major Theodor Busck, NZ Army Engineers Division, joins WWII Expeditionary Forces.

1945 Theodor returns from war and moves his family to Whangarei, Northland, to establish his own company Busck Concrete at Riverside Drive. Busck Concrete starts out selling the same pumice concrete products as B&B Concrete, namely, chimneys, flues, and fireplaces. Over the next twenty-seven years of his life, Theodor builds the Busck Empire to span all of Northland: opening depots in Dargaville, Kaikohe, Puketona and Kaitaia; designs and builds the first machines for pressing concrete masonry in New Zealand; and manufactures concrete foundation blocks, stairs, fireplaces, chimneys, laundry tubs and shower bases during Northland’s post-war housing boom. Through close association with engineers Rhys Thomas and Peter Fraser, he also establishes use of prestressed bridge beams and components for Water Supplies and Sewage schemes across Northland.

1947 Death of August Busck (1866-1947).

1960’s Christopher Busck purchases B&B Concrete and renames it Stresscrete, entering a Technology Sharing Agreement with Busck Concrete. Busck Concrete share their development of Busck Unispan – a 76mm thick flat prestressed concrete flooring slab method still used today; while Stresscrete share engineer designs for large prestressed and precast post-tensioned concrete reservoirs and prestressed pole designs still used as Stresscrete Standard today.

1964 Chris returns to Stresscrete after completing his BE(Civil) at Canterbury University, studying internationally in France at Centre Des Hautes Etudes DeLa Construction and American universities, working in the American Concrete Institute Research Laboratories, and travelling to Denmark.

1965 Chris joins his father Theo at Busck Concrete and consults Stresscrete on product and method designs. He is now considered the leading Prestressing and Concrete Technologist in New Zealand; he advises NZ Ministry of Works on standard bridge beam designs and NZS Code revisions.

1967 Busck Concrete manufacture beams and piles for bridges and wharves, curved reservoir panels, and other components for water supply reservoirs; also Portland cement, Unispan, double tees and structures for the Marsden Point Port and Refinery.

1972 Death of Theodor Henry Busck (14 Mar 1906-4 Mar 1972). Christopher was granted sole management rights to the Busck Family Trust assets by his late father. In the years to follow, construction booms and profits are rolling in from Busck Concrete tanks, troughs and reinforced power poles; Christopher Busck wins contract to make Cooling Water pipes for Marsden A Oil Fired Power Station, to be laid on the sea bed off Ruakaka Beach; Christopher moves operations from Riverside Drive to a larger site on Fraser St, where Busck Prestressed Concrete remains today.

1983 The impact of the Recession catches up with Busck Concrete and the Busck Family Trust has to sell. Busck Prestressed Concrete Ltd is formed to purchase Busck Concrete’s Fraser Street Operations. 50% is owned by external investors from the local construction industry, and the other half is owned by former Busck Concrete employees Bill Roache, Brian Olsen, John Campbell and Rodney White.

1987 Russell and Ben Bennetto operating as Top Half Steel Fixers, are invited to join Busck cutting, bending and tying reinforced steel. Busck reinforcing workshop established at Fraser St.

1995 Russell Bennetto becomes Managing Director for Busck Prestressed Concrete.

1999 Busck begins to manufacture electricity power poles. Ross McLennan, Asset Manager for Vector in Auckland, was on the AS NZS Code Committee at the time writing new code revisions, and seeking a manufacturer who would allow him to witness load testing of poles made in alignment with new draft AS NZS code. Busck was the only one that agreed, and as Fletchers (Stresscrete) would not, they eventually lost all pole business to Busck.

2005-20 Between 2005 and 2020, Busck Prestressed Concrete undergoes national expansion, with operations plants opening in Palmerston North, Invercargill, Ngaruawahia (now moved to Morinsville), Marsden Point Ruakaka, and Ashburton. In 2007, a factory is opened in Christchurch where Busck is awarded a railway sleeper contract for Kiwi Rail. In 2011, Busck commences sleeper production for TasRail.

2020 Busck lands a large contract casting wharf components from Ruakaka factory for Viaduct Basin Auckland for the 2021 America’s Cup Regatta. Titan Engineering is formed with 50% ownership and sole manufacturing licence owned by Busck, and 50% by William Comer. Bill Roache, one of the original employee shareholders, passes away.

2021 Busck and Herd Homes go into partnership, with Busck as the sole licensed manufacturer.