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Rewarding great work

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Not long ago my wife and I went to the theatre to see a musical and when it was finished everybody stood up to give a well-deserved big round of applause to the cast performance, who had just delivered a perfect and synchronised piece of beautiful work.

I have always wondered how somebody would feel after receiving such an intense and honest appreciation for the mere fact of doing what they are supposed and hopefully paid to do so, their job. The reality is that most professions and professionals do not get any sort of recognition. This is the case in the construction industry, even when the work we do has a massive impact on the wellbeing of our society, as we build roads, hospitals, bridges, houses, and other sensitive structures that allows us to an easier, healthier and more comfortable life.

In my personal experience after five years helping engineers, contractors, and other construction stakeholders in New Zealand to design and build better and safer segmental retaining walls, I believe we need a formal system of training and better recognition for good work and that goes beyond the typical Kiwi acknowledgement of “Thanks Mate!”

Since it is never too late, we at Cirtex Industries are committed to showing leadership in this regard and as part of our educational and training commitment we are bringing back two Allan Block programs that will help contractors do a great job and get professionally recognised and rewarded for it.


After a year of absence, the Allan Block Contractor Certification is back, and this time we are determined to do it in a way that hopefully reaches and helps more contractors than ever before. The Allan Block Contractor Training is designed to provide New Zealand contractors and landscapers the proper training, basic knowledge about segmental retaining walls and best practices, and the right tools to ensure that only high-quality retaining walls are built.


The Allan Block Contractor Certification Training is a three-stage program that blends the details of wall design and the experience of retaining wall construction to help us define each contractor’s individual level of ability and service. This on-going certification program will also help us provide a better understanding of how and why retaining structures work so well. 

This certification provides multiple benefits to contractors, as they do not only just improve their knowledge and understanding, but it allows them to be eligible for certain jobs; for instance, when project engineers and developers approach us looking for experienced contractors, we only recommend certified contractors, as they guarantee a successful end result and increase client’s satisfaction, what we define as great work.


The Allan Block Rewards Program is designed to recognise those Allan Block Certified Contractors for their loyalty and commitment to building top-quality Allan Block projects around New Zealand.


Our Allan Block Rewards Program goes from January to December each year, starting again the following year. At the end of each period, contractors just need to tell us the number of Allan Block job sites they have completed using either the Allan Block or the AB Ashlar retaining walls, including wall dimensions and who was involved in the project. Later we will arrange their certificates and provide them with valuable and amazing Allan Block merchandise; tool belts, coolers, contractor backs, t-shirts, jackets, mallets, and so on. It is very simple, the more Allan Block retaining walls you build, the more rewards you will receive, and the more you are familiar with the system, the easier it gets.



As proven in other parts of the world, we believe that both the Allan Block Contractor Certification Program and the AB Rewards Program will provide huge value to New Zealanders. The most successful relationships we can build in our industry are by giving our contractors and landscapers the best possible training and tools to complete their projects, and by showing appreciation for their loyalty and their efforts.

About Santi Alvarez

Santiago Alvarez, Santi, is a business manager and mechanical engineer with many years’ experience in business development and engineering. Santi arrived in New Zealand from Spain four years ago, and since then he has been working with earth retaining systems across New Zealand.