Our History

Brown Bros (NZ) Ltd had its beginnings in the time of the South Island Gold Boom. During the 1930’s Nathanael Brown drilled for gold on the South Islands west coast, operating up to four rigs that were locally manufactured.

Following the end of the boom Nathanael relocated to the Waikato region in the North Island and established the existing business. Brown Bros (NZ) Ltd grew alongside the thriving dairy farm industry, which demanded water supply bores to help the industry realize its full potential.

Today, Brown Bros Drilling is still a family owned and operated company and operate's in many different drilling markets, from water wells to exploration drilling, geotechnical drilling to environmental drilling, and energy drilling to horizontal drilling. 







The 2000's again brought innovation, this time in the Geotechnical and Environmental drilling market, with Brown Bros Drilling introducing Direct Push technology and the Membrane Interface Probe (MIP) and our first Cone Penetration Test (CPT) unit.


Throughout the 1990's Brown Bros Drilling continued to update its drill rig fleet, With multi-purpose top drive rigs mounted on various carriers to suit New Zealand's difficult topographical conditions.


More innovations occurred in the early 1980's with the introduction of Top Head Drive rigs with angle drilling capabilities, high pressure air compressors, and Reverse Circulation and air core drilling into the company's already extensive range of capabilities.


Early 1970 heralded the “Energy Crisis”, the government of the day demanded more coal, so exploration in coal boomed, with Brown Bros Drilling playing a pivotal role in exploring the New Zealand Coal Fields.


The 1960's saw quarries, mineral, and coal exploration continue to grow alongside the still booming water well industry. Then in the late 1960's, some firsts; Wireline coring, and the company’s first Heli-portable Wireline core rig.

1940's & 1950's

In the late 1940's water well drilling still dominated the company's interest, however coal exploration drilling started to play a role in the company. This was the seed from which Brown Bros Drilling expansion into the young exploration markets began.