Harbour Bridge barrier mover takes on gender barriers too

Barriers on the Auckland Harbour Bridge aren't the only ones Naomi Harrison is moving.

The mother-of-two is making waves in the male-dominated infrastructure industry, working to change the perception of the woman's role in the workforce.

"When truckies come past they see the hair braid and do a double, triple take," she says.

She operates what the New Zealand Transport Agency describes as a "huge beast with feelers": a barrier transfer machine with two engines and cabs at each end.

The machinery can pick up 16 750kg blocks of concrete at a time, manoeuvring them down the highway to change land directions depending on traffic flow.

Ms Harrison says she wants to prove there are more jobs out there for women than nursing or cooking.

"We need more females in the infrastructure industry... My nine-year-old daughter thinks I'm the coolest mum in the world," she told Newshub.

Ms Harrison has been in her job for two years and says while it may sound like a dull job, she's seen some bizarre things.

"When we were doing maintenance on the weigh-bridge we saw a car in the closed lane. As we came up to the car to move it on, we saw, from a distance a scene, reminiscent of the Titanic.

"Hands down on the steamy window, bums in the air - we waited for them to finish before moving them on."