Robert a James

Courier Boy


Robert A James was born in Wellington in 1933, where his father was a Design Engineer with the Wellington City Council. During his youth, Bob showcased his talents as a sprinter and long jumper, and his long jump record remained unbeaten for 13 years.

In 1952, Bob passed his Engineering School Entrance exams at Victoria University and graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor's Degree in Civil and Mechanical Engineering from Canterbury University. He then spent three years with the NZ Ministry of Works, where he played a significant role in the construction of the Rongotai (later renamed Wellington) Airport, and was later transferred to the Taumaranui Office before joining the contracting firm Downers.

While constructing the Whangarei Slipway, Bob met his wife Kay, and they moved to Outram with their young family to work on the development of Dunedin's Waipori Falls hydroelectric scheme. In 1970, Bob's career took a new direction when he became the Wellington City Waterworks Engineer.

Photo - EveningPost Photo 21 May 1951 ‘R A James, schoolboy athlete’.


The Fight against corrosion

Courier Boy

The fight against corrossion began in 1972

Bob was recruited by the late Dr CG (Graham) Robilliard, an esteemed member of the ACA who attended the first ACA Conference in NZ in 1962 and was later awarded ACA Honorary Membership. After receiving three months of cathodic protection (CP) training in Sydney, Bob was tasked with establishing the NZ Branch of Dimet Corrosion Control from an office in Petone, Lower Hutt.

In 1978, he co-founded the Wellington Division of the NZ Branch of ACA alongside John Duncan, who served as its first Chair. Bob then became the second Chairman and also took on the role of CP lecturer for the inaugural Certificate in Corrosion Technology Course held in Petone in 1984.


Cathodic Protection (NZ) Ltd

Courier Boy

In 1989, Bob established his own company, Cathodic Protection (NZ) Ltd.

Bob became known as Mr. CP of NZ where he designed, installed, and maintained CP systems on numerous wharfs and pipelines throughout NZ, as well as in some Pacific Islands. Bob's outstanding projects included the Maui Pipeline and most of the NGC pipelines, where he installed CP in a wide range of locations and assets, including the Invercargill water tower (see above photo).

He imported large quantities of M27 high-potential magnesium rods from China for use in bags of gypsum bentonite as sacrificial ground anodes in high resistivity pumice soils. Even in his eighties, Bob continued to work. He recently sold his office and workshop in Petone, where he used to cast his own lead-silver anodes for Impressed Current CP systems to protect wharf piles.

After Bob's passing, Grant Chamberlain took over CPNZ.


Open 6 Days


Years of Experience

NZ Wide



Year Established