b'S R A EY LY R AE E H TThe timesThe early days of Dixon & Haddon were set against a backdrop of industrial unrest in New Zealand. Aggravations came to a head in the 1970s during construction of the BNZ Centre in Wellington when the Boilermakers Union claimed the sole right of its members to weld the structural steel. It was a time when steel structures were welded on site, rather than prefabricated in the workshop. Meccano-style construction using simple bolted connections was an emerging technology overseas but had yet to be adopted with any success in New Zealand. Dixon & Haddon entered the scene during this transitional era, as the industry moved towards largely bolted structures and off-site fabrication.Meanwhile, the bitter dispute between the Muldoon government and the Union brought work on the BNZ Centre to a standstill, leaving the structure to brood half-finished over the city for several years. Designed in the late 1960s, the 103m-high building finally opened in 1984, six years late and four times over budget. Ongoing strikes and go-slows ultimately led to the Unions deregistration. But structural steel was the real casualty, slipping out of favour in New Zealand for many years. Left: Structural steel was a casualty of the industrialaction involved in construction of the BNZ Centre, Wellington.Photo courtesy of the Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington. 15'