About Us

Subsurface Civil & Drilling is a trenchless pipework installation company in Canterbury which has completed substantial projects, both in size and complexity, throughout New Zealand's South Island.

Our Team

Our team are loyal, hardworking, passionate about what they do and, most of all, strive to provide services and products above and beyond our clients' satisfaction.

Subsurface Civil & Drilling staff carry a range of qualifications:

First aid, SiteSafe, Constructsafe, (L1) STMS L2-3 NP, CCC approved water installers, CCC approved PE welders, Confined space, Kiwirail approved installers, EAC achieved installers of electricity, Dangerous Goods Licences (DG).

The trenchless staff are all NZQA trained and certified in Directional Drilling, Directional Drilling Tracking, Pipe Laying & Site Supervisors. They also attend the most up to date trenchless mud schools in NZ for large pipe bore installs.

Our Story

Deane (Herb) Herbert started Subsurface Drilling after eight years in the trenchless drilling industry. His vision was for a company which could provide a professional one-stop trenchless installation service.

Today the company owns and operates several directional drills which are capable of installing pipes from 20mm in diameter (down to the side of a house and under the vege garden) to pipe diameters of up to 450m (down road ways and under buildings).


Subsurface Civil & Drilling specialises in several different methods of trenchless installation including directional drilling, pipe ramming, thrust boring, conventional trenching, chain trenching, pipe cracking and pipe bursting.

We take pride in our directional drilling operations. Disruption to businesses and the public is minimised with our hydro-excavation trucks. We also have a truck on site during directional drill or pipe cracking operations to take care of the spillage of drilling fluids.


Past and Present

Subsurface Civil and Drilling’s very first contract was for Connetics Limited, who were successful in securing part of the Telstra/Saturn contract to install a new telecommunications network in the Christchurch CBD, as well as urban areas.

This work consisted of installing several continuous ducts, from 63mm to 110mm diameter, along with the installs of vaults and pedestals that were installed at most boundary lines. To cross the roads on this project pneumatic hammers (thrust boring machines) were used.

Since starting business Subsurface Civil & Drilling has worked throughout the South Island of New Zealand, and has an established working relationship with Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri District Council, Hurunui District Council, Selwyn District Council and SCIRT (Christchurch City Council Earthquake Rebuild).

We have very strict health and safety guidelines in place in order to conduct safe on-site practices and lessen the risk of damage to persons or property. We conform to legislative and regulatory requirements, including the requirements of the Resource Management Act 1991, the Building Act 1991, Building Regulations 1992, and the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992.

Subsurface Civil & Drilling has implemented procedures for identifying and locating underground services which have been drawn from the ‘Guide for Safety with Underground Services’ provided by Occupational Health and Safety.

We also provide continuous improvement in health and safety standards, and are committed to providing services that meet or exceed our customer’s expectations.

To accomplish this, we:

  • Identify our customer’s needs and supply to the agreed standard, every time.
  • Provide a safe working environment and ensure that the appropriate resources are assigned to all working areas.
  • Provide appropriate supervision and training.
  • Improve productivity through continuous improvement.
  • Continue to improve communication between all parties.
  • Ensure that an effective quality system is maintained and reviewed on a regular basis.

The responsibility of quality is shared by all staff and management, and is adopted as an integral part of everyday work.

Deane started in the trenchless industry in 1992, working as a site supervisor in charge of the underground installation of power and telecom services, water-main renewals and sewer pipe renewals.

In July 2000 Subsurface Drilling was created when two men had a vision on what they wanted to achieve. This vision was setting up a trenchless installation company that could provide a professional one-stop installation. One of the partners already owned and operated several successful businesses in and around Christchurch, and the other had been involved in all aspects of conventional and trenchless installation.

The company started off by purchasing the first new Ditch Witch 2720 directional drill in the South Island from Loadlift Equipment, to whom they are still purchasing equipment from to this day.