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2| News


Attractions such as the new Roxburgh Gorge Trail cycleway are getting rave reviews.

Central Otago region has plenty to offer Jo Bailey The Central Otago District Council has been “pleasantly surprised” at the findings of BERL’s draft 2013 report into the region’s economic performance, says economic development manager, Warwick Hawker. “The draft report reveals the Central Otago economy has performed very well to exceed both Otago and the New Zealand averages in all key performance indicators, including resident population growth, GDP growth, GDP per capita growth, employment growth, labour productivity growth, business units and business size growth.” The positive findings also saw Central Otago move into the top 10 local authorities in New Zealand in the Berl Local Authorities Rankings Report 2013. “Central” as the sparsely populated region is known, has fewer than 18,000 permanent residents. It encompasses major towns Alexandra, Cromwell, Roxburgh and Ranfurly, but does not include tourist hot spots Queenstown and Wanaka. Hawker says a number of key sectors are driving the region’s economic activity, mainly

agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, and tourism. “Traditional sheep, wool and beef farming are performing well and there is quite a bit of dairy support activity starting to happen along with a few dairy conversions. “Cherries, apricots and apples are the good news story for the horticulture sector, with the wine industry now climbing out of the double whammy of the global financial crisis and a major increase in production that hit at the same time.” Hawker says that the Christchurch earthquakes had a big impact on the Central Otago tourism sector, but both domestic and international visitor numbers are now on the rise. “Central Otago has traditionally been a domestic holiday destination. “However attractions such as the Otago Central Rail Trail and two fantastic new cycleways, the Roxburgh Gorge Trail and Clutha Gold Trail are getting rave reviews and drawing lots more national and international visitors to the region.” This is having a positive impact on local communities and businesses, with opportunities for them to provide a range of services to visitors, he says.

Exploring the Stewart Town gold mining area near Bannockburn.

“Cherries, apricots and apples are the good news story for the horticulture sector, with the wine industry now climbing out of the double whammy of the global financial crisis and a major increase in production that hit at the same time.” A survey of the local community, done as part of the development of the council’s Central Otago Economic and Business Development Strategy 2013-2016, identified some of its key priorities. “It was an interesting exercise, with residents telling us they would like to see us drive population growth. “The latest Census has already revealed a significant rise in the Central Otago population particularly those aged 50 years and above,” says Hawker. “However we still want to do more in this area, when it comes to attracting people with portable skills, such as those in the IT sector who are keen to work from home, then perhaps close down the computer and head off for a kayak or bike ride.” Hawker say that developing a high quality tele-communications network and ensuring Central Otago has the best possible access to ultra-fast broadband services for businesses, schools and residents is a key priority in order to attract these new residents. Hawker says the Council would also like to see the education sector grow to attract more students from New Zealand and overseas, and provide more community education course options for local residents, particularly its “large and active retired population”. Other initiatives include bringing in additional resources and funding to help local businesses take advantage of new opportunities and projects; and explore the sustainable use of water to provide a lift in the region’s economic well-being. “This can be a dry, difficult district to live in without water. “So projects such as the proposed Manuherikia Catchment scheme, which could potentially irrigate another 20,000 hectares while at the same time improving river, stream and wetland environments and habitats for indigenous species as well as sports fish in the Manuherikia and Ida valleys, need to be seriously considered.”

Warwick Hawker: “Central Otago has traditionally been a domestic holiday destination.” The availability of labour is another “interesting challenge” facing the region which has almost zero unemployment and relies heavily on attracting seasonal labour to help its key industries, particularly viticulture and horticulture. Hawker says the Central Otago District Council has developed a Central Otago brand, with the catchphrase “World of Difference” that is owned by the community, and promotes a set of shared values among its businesses and residents. “We see the brand as an asset that underpins the region’s business activity by helping businesses that sign up to develop values within their workforce that aim for a high quality, premium standard. “The brand also promotes Central Otago as a stimulating, positive place to live, with a lifestyle that is second to none.”

Pioneer targets business energy savings A new energy management service just launched by Pioneer Generation Ltd is helping New Zealand businesses to make significant savings on their energy costs, enabling them to boost their profits. With an estimated 43 percent of all electrical energy being wasted (USEA figures), this represents huge opportunity for businesses to cut their energy costs. “While most businesses are aware of their energy costs, very few have an understanding of just where their electricity is being consumed,” says Pioneer Generation’s Energy Solutions manager, Chris Dawson. “We are working with our customers to help them gain control of their energy usage and then to address inefficiencies. “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Pioneer is using proven Eniscope smart meter monitoring and evaluation technology from the UK to monitor energy use “downstream of the retail meter” which pinpoints where businesses are actually using and wasting energy. “This relatively low-cost, non-invasive system captures energy information and provides a rich online interface for users to track and monitor their energy usage across all aspects of their business, in real time and the in-depth analytics package then helps to identify the trends.

“We are working with our customers to help them gain control of their energy usage and then to address inefficiencies.”

Community driven: Pioneer Generation account manager Andrea Krsinic, left, and Carole Gillions, manager of the Alexandra Community House.

Once energy consumption has been measured and verified, it quickly becomes clear to customers where they can reduce their use, change usage patterns or optimise existing plant and equipment.” The approach is a targeted one and deals with areas that represent the largest cost reduction. By monitoring areas of potential energy leaks and then plugging them, the savings are able to be delivered. Eniscope makes the invisible, visible by identifying exactly where their energy use

is going, second by second customers are able to prevent waste and make substantial savings. “Seeing is believing and the Eniscope completely removes the guess work and a customers’ risk of investing in energy efficiency solutions before the true areas of need have been identified.” Dawson says successful trials have already been completed on Pioneer’s own sites and across its broad customer base including an airport, hospitals, councils and community health providers.

“The trials have allowed us to thoroughly test the service and demonstrate some real benefits. “We are now confident going to the market that we have a proven proposition which has the potential to save up to 30 – 40% of a customer’s energy use”. “Not only do we provide the energy management report service. “We follow through with solutions that can make a real difference to our customers’ bottom lines and it helps that Pioneer can provide the service to businesses bundled with a retail electricity proposition or as a distinct service nationwide.” Pioneer Generation is a long-established and trusted community-owned electricity generation, distribution and supply business with its origins in Central Otago. The business is 100 percent New Zealand owned by the Central Lakes Trust (CLT) which has proudly distributed around $63 million in grants back to the local community over the last thirteen years. Pioneer’s growth in recent years has brought,not only diversification and a nationwide presence, but has positioned the business to focus on energy efficiency delivering value directly to customers in the areas where they tell us they are affected the most. “We ­have the capability and experience to deliver a full range of end-to-end energy solutions to customers, from the largest commercial and industrial companies, to small-to-medium business enterprises right throughout New Zealand”.

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4| C Hughes & Associates


Surveying Central brings satisfaction Jo Bailey Charlie Hughes says playing a part in the development of Cromwell is the biggest achievement of his 40-year career as a land planner and surveying consultant. “I’ve seen the population go from 700 to around 4000 since I moved to Cromwell in the late 1970’s. “Back then we were involved with the hydro development, when the town was being expanded for the Ministry of Works workforce. “There have been some quite large developments since then and it’s ended up a very pleasant town.” Hughes started his surveying company in Cromwell with other partners in 1976. He traded in his own right from 1987 until recently, when he formed a new company, C Hughes and Associates Ltd, with two of his longstanding employees, Tony Cox who is based in Cromwell, and Matt Suddaby who heads the Wanaka office. Providing the total package for residential subdivision development is the company’s main line of work, he says. “We project manage subdivisions from start to finish on our clients’ behalf, from the earliest concept drawings right through to getting individual titles for the land.” Services including “innovative” subdivision design, surveying, resource consent management, engineering design of urban infrastructure, project management of construction including tendering and contract administration, boundary surveying, and obtaining new certificates of title. At Christmas time the company completed a new 45-lot subdivision in Cromwell, with more stages of this development to come. Although it specialises in large subdivisions, C Hughes and Associates works on residential and rural projects of any size, says Hughes. “We have completed quite a few smaller subdivisions for private individuals as well as several infill subdivisions in the older part of Cromwell, where people have cut their original quarter acres sections in two.” Other work includes tenure review surveys for high country lease holders free-holding their land. “These are interesting jobs and it can be quite good to get up in the tops away from the phones.” Hughes says business slowed after the recession but has picked up again over the last year or two. “Things are coming along nicely. Several of our clients kept their consents current, and started up their developments again once the market improved.”

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The company covers a wide area, regularly travelling throughout Central Otago and the Queenstown Lakes District. C Hughes and Associates employs six staff, with its size an advantage in the Central Otago market, says Hughes. “We are large enough to cater for any project, but small enough to provide a personal approach to all our clients.” Outside Cromwell, the company covers a wide area, regularly travelling throughout Central Otago and the Queenstown Lakes District, with projects completed as far afield as Southland, the West Coast, and Mackenzie Country. Hughes has seen big changes in surveying technology since he started out four decades ago. “Technology has really leapt forward with modern equipment making it a lot easier to adhere to the industry’s stringent requirements,” he says. “We continually update our equipment to the latest Swiss made Leica (formerly Wild) instruments which has been a good, reliable brand for us over the years.”

He believes surveying is a good career option, with the company in the process of employing another graduate. “We have always assisted graduates to get the experience they need to get them through to their qualification.

“Surveying is one of the few degrees people are virtually guaranteed a job at the end of their studies. “It is a fairly specialised field and there is always a big demand for good people,” says Hughes.

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Specialised Structures |5


Custom building specialist finds niche Jo Bailey Unique American barn-style homes are proving popular in the Otago market. “There is strong demand here for these cost-effective, exceptional looking homes. We’re building a number of them,” says Greg McDowall, director of Specialised Structures Central Otago. The Cromwell-based company is part of a nationwide network of customised building specialists delivering quality, affordable buildings. In the residential market the firm offers a range of house options from KiwiBarn designs through to economic one, two and three bedroom concepts. McDowall says one of his favourite recent projects is a three bedroom barn-style home built by the company for clients at Queenstown. “This home has a verandah off one side of the barn, with feature timber cladding and macrocarpa trim. It looks great and has a rustic, traditional appeal.” Specialised Structures is perhaps more widely known nationwide for its extensive range of multi-purpose buildings of “any shape, size, design and cladding”, including carports, garages, farm buildings, and industrial, retail and commercial buildings. But it is residential projects, such as garages, carports, and particularly the American barn-style homes which account for most of Specialised Structures’ business in Central Otago. Flexibility in design, style and cost are key advantages of choosing the company, he says. ”Buildings can be constructed from steel, concrete, tilt slab or timber, with a range of cladding options providing clients the opportunity to custom-design their build. “We are known for our ability to build something out of the ordinary, with steeper roof pitches a feature of many of our homes.” Specialist Structures’ architectural designers and engineers work closely with the clients throughout the design stage to meet their needs and design an exceptional looking home, he says.

Specialised Structures is widely known nationwide for its extensive range of multi-purpose buildings. “They have the expertise and experience to suggest ways to use new and innovative materials that achieve both functional and aesthetic results.” The complete process, from design and engineering to permits, consents and construction are all completed in-house, resulting in a seamless experience for the client. McDowall was a contracted builder to Specialised Structures Central Otago for six years before he and his wife Judith took it over in 2011. Jo Garmonsway helps them to run the office, with a team of contracted builders carrying out the construction work. The branch is backed by the New Zealand-owned group’s nationwide head office in Alexandra. Design work is carried out by Alexandra-firm Dunstan Design and Consultancy, with HFC Group providing structural engineering consultancy.

Brands offered by the company including KiwiSpan Buildings; Cow Houses; Timber Structures; and Simplified Structures, which is a cost effective range of pre-engineered, predesigned “off-the-shelf” buildings suited for simple garages or implement sheds. McDowall says the company regularly designs and builds garages with a habitable area attached to provide an additional living or office space for clients.

It also works on a smaller amount of rural and commercial work, with recent projects including an aeroplane hangar, and a small berry processing factory for a client in Alexandra. “Overall we’re pretty happy with where things are at. “There are quite a few competitors in Central Otago but everyone seems to have their own niche.”

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6| Central Motorways


Charter work booming for Alexandra firm Jo Bailey Transport provider Central Motorways has the South Island covered when it comes to conference and business charter work, which is a growing market for the Alexandra-based firm, says marketing manager, Kim Driscoll. “We work behind the scenes to provide transport logistics for several conference organisers, and are also a good first point of contact for businesses organising their own conferences or events.” Ms Driscoll personally liaises with these clients to “take the hassle” out of the process for them. “We’re in touch with venues, tour operators and accommodation providers in a number of destinations, so can provide businesses with a range of options, and give them an idea of what their transport requirements and costs might be.” Central Motorways provides airport transfers, pick-ups and drop-offs from hotels to various daily activities or tours, evening dinner transfers, and even larger charter tours for its corporate and business clients. In addition to its head office and yard at Alexandra, Central Motorways has depots and fleets located in Queenstown, Wanaka, Cromwell, Dunedin, Christchurch and Auckland. “A lot of our work in the South Island starts from our Queenstown or Christchurch depots, as most visitors arrive at these airports. “However with multiple depots located throughout the island, we can easily service the entire market.” Central Motorways is a specialist in the Southern Lakes district, where it provides

chartered sight-seeing, ski transport, and coaches to a number of tourist based businesses. “We also do quite a bit of coach touring work which comes mainly through wholesalers, although we do have some international clients coming straight to us to source transport and driver/guides. “Our drivers have a wealth of local knowledge and experience, and can provide an interesting commentary throughout the journey.” Ms Driscoll says the company often helps international clients to put a group tour itinerary together. “Many are under the misconception the South Island is very easy to get around and sometimes have an unrealistic expectation of what their tour can achieve. “We are able to advise them what will and won’t work, and help them plan a tour that meets their expectations within their time frames and budgets. We enjoy nutting it all out with them.” Central Motorway also generates its own sight-seeing tours, such as its popular private wine tours to Cromwell and Bannockburn for small groups, she says. “Our golf tours are also really popular. We do a lot of seven to 10-day tours where people base themselves in Wanaka and Queenstown and play at all the golf courses.” Central Motorways was founded in 1979 with one bus, and now has over 90 ranging from 16 -seaters up to 49 seater luxury coaches which are maintained to the highest standards of cleanliness and safety. “With such an extensive fleet we have the right vehicle for every comfort level and budget. Our four star coaches are mainly used

“We’re in touch with venues, tour operators and accommodation providers in a number of destinations, so can provide businesses with a range of options, and give them an idea of what their transport requirements and costs might be.”

Central Motorways’ vehicles are also available for short- and long-term lease. for our charter, tour and conference work. We also have a modern, second-tier fleet of buses that are used for school trips, sports teams, and ski transport.” Central Motorways regularly provides skifield transport, with its vehicles driven by experienced operators who are experts in New Zealand road and weather conditions, and who have been put through a specially designed training course. “We are proud of our perfect safety record on the mountain, and 5-star safety rating from the New Zealand Transport Agency,” she says. The company doesn’t operate any scheduled runs, apart from some daily trips for groups to Milford Sound which run regularly during summer.

Taking visitors and locals to major events such as Warbirds of Wanaka, the Blues and Roots Festival, and concerts at Gibbston Valley Winery are the only transport solutions the company sells individually to the public. Otherwise Central Motorways looks after chartered groups, including family groups, wedding parties, and sports teams. Its vehicles are also available for short- and long-term lease. Such a diverse range of work keeps the company’s experienced team of drivers, “interested and motivated”, says Ms Driscoll. “They could be at Milford Sound one day, taking kids on a school trip or guests to a wedding the next, then off on a golf tour the following week. There is always so much variety. They love it.”

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Central Motorways |7

Central Motorways is a specialist in the Southern Lakes district, where it provides chartered sight-seeing, ski transport, and coaches to a number of tourist based businesses.

8| Alexandra Golf Club


Perfect venue to combine work and play Jo Bailey With picturesque surroundings and a well appointed clubhouse, the Alexandra Golf Club is becoming a popular venue for corporate functions, team building days and promotional events. Businesses and organisations that have already held successful events at the course include Fulton Hogan, the Otago Chamber of Commercial, House of Travel Otago and The Mirror newspaper, says the club’s secretary, Alan Janman. “We host around 100 players at some of the larger tournaments. “It’s a great way for companies to reward staff and clients and enjoy some competitive fun and social networking.” The club is keen to attract more of these sorts of events to its award winning, well groomed 18 hole championship course, which provides easy walking on its narrow, tree-lined fairways and its semi links layout a good challenge for any level of golfer. “We are quite happy to run the tournaments on companies’ behalf, doing everything from organising the draws, to managing the tee starts and results, providing on-course refreshments, and organising pre- and post-match catering, although companies are also welcome to arrange their own catering if they wish. We can even organise activities for non-playing partners,” says Janman. There is room to seat up to 200 people inside the expansive clubrooms, and another 40 on an outside patio area which has views “among the loveliest” in Alexandra. “We believe we’ve got the perfect facility, with full bar and cooking facilities, plenty of space and car parking, and a stunning outlook.” He says the club is also the ideal venue for smaller groups keen to “combine work and play”. “We have a large meeting room that can be hired for AGMs and team building days at very reasonable prices, with the option to play a few holes of golf as well.”

The well groomed 18-hole championship course provides easy walking on its narrow, tree-lined fairways with the semi links layout a good challenge for any level of golfer. With a range of accommodation options available in historic Alexandra and nearby Clyde, and attractions including local wineries and restaurants, the Otago Rail Trail, four wheel driving, mountain biking, and cruising and fishing on the Clutha River, there is the opportunity for companies to put together a unique package based around a golf event at the club, says Janman.

Alexandra Golf Club was founded in 1901 and moved to its current location in the 1960’s.

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“We are quite happy to run the tournaments on companies’ behalf, doing everything from organising the draws, to managing the tee starts and results, providing on-course refreshments, and organising pre- and post-match catering....” “Alexandra is slightly off the beaten track but is full of interest because of its old gold mining history. “The scenery here is spectacular and we think it’s a great place to come, particularly for people who like the outdoors and want to experience something a bit different.” Alexandra Golf Club was founded in 1901 and moved to its current course location, its third, in the 1960’s. Two of its most popular annual events are in November - the Central Otago Charity Classic for men, and the Ladies Sunshine Classic held a week later. Both tournaments attract between 200 and 240 players over a weekend. Alexandra has already hosted several local tournaments this season and was one of five Central Otago golf clubs to participate in the Mt Michael Autumn Classic in April. This year 470 players from throughout New Zealand and overseas rotated between the five courses over five days, a great opportunity to showcase the club to a wider audience, says Janman.

The club has a strong local membership and an army of volunteers who do an “enormous” amount of work to run the club and assist its two full time green-keepers with course preparation. “We have introduced a few initiatives this year, including setting up the course with junior tees on the back nine holes to enable them to get a handicap based on a shorter course,” says Janman. “We already have a strong nine-hole ladies group and intend to promote the same for men.” The club’s new website went live in January and is successfully promoting the club to a wider audience and network of sponsors. “We are proud of our strong links to the local community and the Central Otago District Council who provide us with a long term lease for the land. “Although we are keen to promote the facilities to people outside the region we remain very much focused on providing a great recreational facility for local people and promoting the sport of golf.”

Flooring Xtra - Alexandra and Cromwell |9


New Zealand link makes the difference Karen Phelps Flooring Xtra has built its reputation by only dealing with New Zealand distributors and manufacturers. The difference for customers means a huge variety of flooring options all under one roof backed up by sound guarantees, says Alexandra and Cromwell Flooring Xtra director Paul Rillstone. “We’ve taken a philosophy of making a commitment to New Zealand manufacturers and suppliers. “We do not import direct and are focused on supporting the New Zealand industry. “For our customers this means we can offer them better prices and guarantees they can rely on,” says Rillstone. Flooring Xtra is New Zealand’s largest flooring retail brand with over 50 stores in New Zealand and over 60 in Australia. Flooring Xtra is not a franchise but has been intentionally established as a co-operative because of the value the company places on local ownership and relationships. “Our customers not only deal with a local but all profits stay in New Zealand in our local communities. It helps local economies to stay strong and stable,” explains Rillstone. Rillstone started in the flooring business in 1994 and about five years ago converted the businesses in Alexandra and Cromwell to Flooring Xtra after seeing the benefits he could bring to his customers. His Flooring Xtra stores offer a wide selection of flooring options including wood, carpet, ceramic tile and vinyl. Brands include well known industry giants such as Cavalier

Flooring Xtra stores offer a wide selection of flooring options including wood, carpet, ceramic tile and vinyl. Bremworth, Godfrey Hirst, Irvine International Floors, Robert Malcolm, Karndean and Jacobsen. Rillstone says current trends in flooring include alternate fibres such as solution-dyed nylon, tri-extra and polyester yarns, which can be softer than wool yet offer superior wear.

He points to the Norman Ellison ‘cloud’ collection of polypropylene carpets and the Stainmaster solution dyed nylon range which provide incredible softness yet are fade and stain resistant as well as hard wearing. In hard flooring, vinyl planking and tiles are proving popular - the products are made from vinyl yet imitate wood or tiles. Rillstone’s Flooring Xtra stores offers showrooms in both locations with full product displays so people and loads of ideas for inspiration. The company offers in-house colour and design consultants and an obligation free measure and quotation service.

Covering the Central Otago and Maniototo area, Rillstone says in-home consultations can also be arranged. If they prefer, customers can take home samples to try or samples can be couriered to their door. Flooring Xtra in Alexandra and Cromwell employs its own professional carpet, vinyl and tile layers. Rillstone says this gives the company good quality control over each project from start to finish. Flooring Xtra in Alexandra and Cromwell undertakes both residential and commercial projects and offers an installation warranty on all installations.

“Our customers not only deal with a local but all profits stay in New Zealand in our local communities. It helps local economies to stay strong and stable.”

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10| Totalspan Central Otago


A rural spin on contemporary homes Karen Phelps

The Totalspan range of plans includes garages, sheds, farm buildings, commercial buildings, carports and barns.

• • • •

Totalspan has put a unique rural spin on contemporary homes with the release of its new Barnhouse range. Based on the classic American-style heritage barn, Totalspan has put its own New Zealand take on the design producing a range that has proved popular, says Totalspan Central Otago director Geoff McPhee. The range offers open-plan style living and a mezzanine floor is also possible with a bedroom and private living space. An open-plan kitchen, dining and main living space leads to easily accessible outdoor areas. Large windows encourage plenty of natural light. The plans range in size from 97.4 to 184.4sqm. All plans can be altered to accommodate individual taste, says McPhee. “Because we control every aspect of the building process, including design and manufacturing, we can custom-design to our customer’s specifications. “Our designs allow for easy, cost-effective future additions and modifications. “From our range of plans including garages, sheds, farm buildings, commercial buildings, carports and barns, we can customise buildings to suit any project from three metres to over 24 metres wide and any length.” The Barnhouse homes, as with all Totalspan buildings, are made using Axxis Steel framing, a galvanised, high-tensile steel specifically designed for New Zealand’s house-framing market. McPhee says that Axxis Steel is exceptionally strong. “It’s fire-resistant and strong and has been shown to have excellent earthquake resistance. Its durability means that it won’t rot or support mould growth and it won’t suffer from borer or other insects.

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Totalspan Central Otago |11

CENTRAL OTAGO Focus “It’s also galvanised to prevent corrosion when good weather tightness principles are applied to the cladding design and installation,” he explains. All the materials used in Totalspan buildings are sourced from New Zealand (New Zealand Steel is a major supplier) and buildings are manufactured by Totalspan and delivered to site for erection. Totalspan buildings are engineered to meet stringent New Zealand building standards, local standards and conditions and Totalspan has now built more than 15,000 buildings over the last 12 years. “Totalspan stands behind its products with an industry-leading 25-year structural guarantee and 5-year workmanship guarantee,” says McPhee. He assists clients from beginning to end helping with design, manufacture and build, from concept to completion. Totalspan only uses approved and experienced licensed builders and has site safety processes in place on all projects. With its head office based in Christchurch, Totalspan offers 26 franchises around New Zealand. All franchises are locally owned and operated offering expert knowledge and individual project management. McPhee and his wife Margaret became franchisees for Central Otago in 1999 after working in the industry for over 25 years. On display at their Cromwell headquarters is an office block made from a 7.5m portal, with garaport, garage, and verandah attached. There is also a 9m and 15m metre portal, two utility sheds and a carport which can be inspected on the site. The McPhees are currently constructing a Barnhouse and new Farm Building to show even more of the range. Totalspan is also focused on giving back to the local communities who support the local franchises through sponsorships including sports, schools and charities. One recent nationwide initiative is the Totalspan Undercover Kids bus shelter programme, which helps protect Kiwi kids and

All Totalspan buildings are made using Axxis Steel framing, a galvanised, high-tensile steel specifically designed for New Zealand. keeps them safe on rural bus routes. Totalspan provides a free, no-obligation site visit and detailed no surprises quote. McPhee says that the market is the most buoyant it’s been in five years and “enquiry levels are high”.

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“Because we control every aspect of the building process, including design and manufacturing, we can custom-design to our customer’s specifications. Our designs allow for easy, cost-effective future additions and modifications.”

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12| Carden Building


Firm’s reputation keeps work coming Jo Bailey Cromwell firm Carden Building has a solid 12 months work ahead, and is already chasing work for next year, says owner Trevor Carline. “The market down here is excellent at the moment, and overall it has weathered the recession pretty well,” says Trevor. “We’ve only had two weeks without any work to do in the last eight years.” Trevor and his wife Stephanie started the firm 12 years ago. However he has more than 30 years experience in the industry, including a 12-year stint in Christchurch as a self employed builder contracted to a large group housing firm and commercial building company; and three

years in Queenstown as project manager for a commercial construction firm. “My main focus is on the residential market now, mainly building standard sized homes from around 170sqm up to 280sqm. “It’s a good market to be in, especially in Cromwell where there is a lot of new development going on.” Carden Building is just finishing off two houses, with another three at various stages of construction. “We normally float at around two to four houses on the go at a time which keeps downtime to a minimum. Otherwise it can be feast or famine in this trade.” The firm covers the entire Southern Lakes region. One of its current projects is in Wanaka, and it completed a Queenstown home last year.

Carden Building does a wide variety of work in the Central Otago region. “We’ve got homes coming up at Cromwell and Mt Pisa next year, where we will build the fourth home for one of our clients. “Repeat business is a big part of what we do. We don’t do a lot of advertising apart from putting up the odd sign. “Most of our business comes from word of mouth which you can’t beat.” Trevor says the firm occasionally builds kitset homes and completes renovation and alteration projects, “just whatever is going around at the time”. “We’re about to start earthquake strengthening works on a Historic Places Trust home at Clyde.” Carden Building has a team of four staff, two contracted builders and two apprentices. “It’s a good size crew who enjoy the variety of work we get involved with.” Trevor has extensive experience and local knowledge and believes building or renovating doesn’t need to be a stressful, prolonged or budget blowing experience.

“We never lose sight of the fact people are putting a lot of trust in us, and that most of our clients are spending the most money they will ever spend in their lifetime on one single project. “It can be a stressful process for some people, but we are happy to guide them through it.” Clients are welcomed onsite throughout the process, and Trevor doesn’t get too concerned when clients make minor changes during the build. “It has to be right. We are fair about extras and don’t charge a lot to change things.” He says the aim is to deliver a quality product and helpful, friendly service. “It’s important to strike up a good relationship with the people that we build houses for. “I like catching up with people in the street after their house is finished and having a chat. Doing our thing and keeping people happy is what we’re all about.”

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TRANSPORT We sell, service and install Central Otago to Haast & Southern Lakes wide. Custom Design & Insurance Work undertaken

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Proud to Support Carden Building Ltd 38 Antrim St, Cromwell

Proud to Support Carden Building Ltd

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We erect the fastest, stay up the longest and always come on time! CALL US TODAY 0800 SLSCAFF M 021 750 388

Central Otago Focus  
Central Otago Focus