Metrapanel modular panel housing system is celebrating 25 years in business. It’s a milestone in itself but it is the future that the company is most focused on, especially opportunities in the North Island market, says Metrapanel Business Manager Melissa Savage.

Located in the Waikato in Huntly, around 70% of Metrapanel product is currently heading to the South Island, in particular Christchurch. But with the shortage of houses in Auckland Savage says huge growth opportunities have been identified which has meant that the company is looking to bring on more installers in the Auckland area. To attract the right people the company is currently holding a series of information evenings for potential installers.  “We are currently investigating options to align ourselves with reputable, innovative building companies that share the same core values in the Auckland area. We currently  work with Panelwood Homes and Legacy Properties but feel with the enquiry level that we are getting in the Auckland area we need at least two more installers.”

Metrapanel is a New Zealand family owned business originally established in 1994 by Les Wykes. It was owned by Fletcher Building Limited before being bought by Les’ daughter Melissa and her husband Andrew who are today the principal drivers of the business, maintaining a strong focus on business growth and development. In 2014 the company celebrated surpassing Fletcher's’ best unit production with a record amount of sales.  Metrapanel produces a range of wall, ceiling and flooring products suited to a variety of construction including multi storey apartment blocks, retirement units, residential homes and also due to the new falling from heights legislation, a safe compliant ceiling solution. Savage says that the key benefits of the products are strength, durability and rapid installation. All Metrapanel products are fully BRANZ appraised.

The company supplies its products nationwide to 35 trained installers. In 2013 Metrapanel established an onsite Health and Safety training programme for certified installers to use when installing Metrapanel. The initiative secured Metrapanel a spot in the 2014 New Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Awards. With 520 attendees, Metrapanel was selected as a finalist for category 6 - best health and safety initiative by a small business.  Savage says that buildings built 25 years ago – such as the Netherland Retirement Village in Hamilton – are still in good condition with the owners enjoying low maintenance costs. She considers that the success and longevity of the company has been achieved by being hands on in the business and surrounding themselves with a good trustworthy team. It is family values that Savage believes will be one of the most important factors to take the business into the future to meet market demand:

“Family businesses are able to offer speed to market. We think about making a change in the morning and put it into action in the afternoon.  We also have a high level of trust amongst our team working closely together with the aim to grow the business to its full potential. Twenty-five years means that we have a proven product in the New Zealand market. Production is increasing as a result to keep up with customer demand. We are excited about the future of prefabrication and the advantages it offers developers, builders and most importantly home owners.”

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