White Associates strengthens leadership structure to support growth 

At White Associates we are strengthening our leadership structure in order to develop our people and support the continued growth of our business into the future.

We are broadening our director base

Alongside Konrad Trankels, Graham White, Justin Maritz and Darin Bayer we are pleased to announce that Brett Zeiler has taken the opportunity offered to become a director of our business. A well-recognised leader within our business, Brett has been instrumental in helping us achieve much over recent years, and his directorship is well earned.


Says Brett: “It has always been my ambition to become a shareholder – director of a company, and particularly this company, where the whole team right through to the directors and shareholders work so well together. It has always felt like  such a natural fit for me within the White Associates team, and it is hugely rewarding for me to be invited into the ownership structure. I’m really looking forward to an exciting future working within a great team.”

We have created a new Associate level and appointed four Associates

As part of our succession planning and to provide more opportunities for our team, we have created an Associate level to provide opportunities for our emerging leaders to lead the management and delivery of our projects.

It is a natural progression to promote four of our senior QSs to being Associates, and our first four Associates are Muriel Gondipon, Weng Tan, Ian Chamberlain and Jesse-Paul Conradie, all of whom are well recognised in our team as exceptional people and leaders of client work.

Our four Associates are now the key operational managers of our client work, holding the day-to-day leadership role in managing our project delivery. Working closely with our directors and their own teams, they will cover at least two spectrums of work each:

  • Muriel – post-contract and advisory
  • Weng– post-contract and funding
  • Ian – post-contract and advisory
  • Jesse-Paul – funding and advisory

Our Associates will also work with our senior QSs, our intermediates and juniors to bring our cadets in and up through the business.

All White Associates clients will continue to have a director involved in their projects

This structural strengthening improves our ability to provide great service and adds to our quality oversight and control. It makes our service more resilient and demonstrates to our clients the trust and value we place on our key people, giving our clients greater access to our senior staff.

Konrad Trankels says: “This new structure sets White Associates up for the next step in our growth as a business. As our team has grown past 30 people, we needed to strengthen our structure and processes to deliver projects effectively for clients and to maintain the level of service we aim to deliver for our clients.

“As a maturing organisation, these changes will enable our directors to focus more on our business strategy and the future needs of our clients while providing experienced Associate leaders to manage projects. We want to build a strong, stable and rich working environment for our team as we grow, and enable our directors to work on the business as well as with our clients so we can develop and grow further still.”

Justin Maritz adds: “This is great news for our people because it opens up potential for everyone in the company to grow. We have always said that we are focused on building the company and leaders from within. We needed to create a step up between senior QS and Director to provide growth opportunities for our people. The Associate role creates a promotion pathway for people who are exceptional at managing clients and projects, and this new structure is a natural progress that adds value to the company and our clients.

“As we grow, we are still relentlessly keen to provide a great quality of service along with great quality control. Now we have the ability to acknowledge the skillsets of people delivering on projects and give our people a clear pathway to growth. It is an exciting time for our company, our people, our clients, and our prospects as a business.”

Sustainable Coastlines Planting Day

Tree Planting Day

The Sunday before New Zealand went into our second Level 4 lockdown the White Associates whānau and our friends at ASC Architects & Bluewater Project Management were lucky enough to be able to hold a tree planting day along the coastline of the Te Atatū Peninsula 🌱🍃🌲

We managed to plant over 400 native plants which will help protect, regenerate & maintain these areas for years to come!

A special thanks to Sustainable Coastlines for helping us to organise this special day !

INTRODUCING: Olivia de Rooy – From Queensland to Queenstown

White Associates is excited to welcome our latest Cadet, Olivia de Rooy who joined the Queenstown office in April this year.

Originally from Cairns, Olivia moved to the Gold Coast to study a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Marketing and International Business at Griffith University. After completing the three-year degree, she realised that as much as she enjoyed the study, she didn’t want to pursue a long-term career in marketing.

Having arrived in Queenstown with her Kiwi partner three weeks prior to last year’s lockdown, Olivia was introduced to quantity surveying by a family friend.

“This conversation sparked something in me. I’m now in my third semester studying a Diploma in Construction Management, majoring in Quantity Surveying through Open Polytechnic. I love the numbers and factual side of quantity surveying and feel I’ve finally found my niche.”

Olivia was introduced to Elliot Smith who leads the White Associates Queenstown office.

“We were looking to grow the team and introduce a cadet into the local business,” says Elliot,

“Olivia has hit the ground running! She brings a high-level of attention to detail and is enthusiastically supporting us on the wide variety of projects that we are working on within Queenstown and across the South Island.”

Having enjoyed her first four months, Olivia’s impression of White Associates is an organisation that is close knit, supportive and helpful.

“It’s fantastic to be part of a small local team but still feel so connected to the wider business.

“The work to date has been really interesting. It’s analytical and I love the challenge of understanding the detail and finding ways to make positive change that helps the client and overall project outcomes.”

Currently she is providing support for the team working on the Queenstown projects in Jacks Point including North Villas, Clubhouse Lane and Willow Pond. Olivia is absorbing the onsite learning, adapting her previous experience in retail management to hone her communication skills and build strong relationships with clients across the South Island.

Muriel Gondipon, Senior Quantity Surveyor at White Associates, who leads the cadet and mentoring programme for White Associates says:

“Over the 24-month cadet programme Olivia will be introduced to different disciplines and competencies of a quantity surveyor consultant via five key milestones. These provide a learning opportunity and overview of the skills required to help her progress within the industry and organisation. Additionally, we touch base fortnightly to discuss topics and any issues to ensure she feels supported both personally and professionally.”

Read more about our Cadetship Programme here 

jacks point

It’s all grow… in Queenstown!

In our most recent newsletter, we told you about a superb company called Hector Egger that picked up and transported a Swiss factory to Cromwell in order to lead a new wave of prefabricated construction in the South Island.

This article follows the Hector Egger trail by exploring not only how the products from that factory are being used – in the development of Willow Pond and Clubhouse Lane precincts at Jack’s Point – but also how our own team is travelling in Queenstown as we work on these projects – and more.

In December 2019, we announced we were establishing an office in Queenstown, to be led by our rising star Elliot Smith. Fast forward 18 months, and it’s all go for the White Associates team, with many cutting-edge projects getting our pulses racing in the adventure capital of the world…

Active and busy across the region, Elliot now leads a growing team, having employed a new quantity surveyor, Olivia de Rooy. Elliot and Olivia are working on a rich variety of development projects including subdivisions, high-end homes, retail and commercial developments, as well as hotel and civil works. These include the leading-edge Willow Pond and Clubhouse Lane developments in Jack’s Point, where the latest prefabricated construction techniques and materials are being employed. They are also starting a number of projects at early inception stages, including apartment projects in town.

Elliot Smith at Jack’s Point

“The market is really positive with projects starting to take shape following Covid last year, and investors and developers are commencing work and building momentum,” says Elliot. “Having a team on the ground is proving exceptionally valuable, as we have learned so much about the challenges and opportunities of the region.


Resources are still incredibly limited, including a lack of a robust and resilient supply chain. Therefore, local knowledge of the intricacies of working within this environment is essential. In particular, one of the main challenges in the South Island is the complexities of winter work, particularly how it can affect project timings like laying asphalt and concrete. You have to get it right, and it’s something that our team are across.”

When considering how resource issues are affecting projects in the region, clients need to make sure the project team is considered early enough, including the procurement plan for the project due to supply chain delays. Darin Bayer, Director at White Associates, says that detailed planning and resourcing are becoming essential.

jacks point
Jack’s Point

“It’s incredibly tight for some of the bigger projects that are coming down the line in Queenstown. Resourcing alternatives from the likes of Christchurch may offer a solution to the issue, but Christchurch is also experiencing a growth in demand, particularly within the residential sector and infill development.”

However, he says funders are focused on getting involved in the right projects in the region.

“From a project finance perspective, if a deal stacks up then they will be extremely supportive. We’re working hard on the ground, growing the team in Queenstown and embracing what intricacies that the Queenstown market offers.”

Willow Pond

Willow Pond and Clubhouse Lane

White Associates has been appointed as funding representative on a number of projects within the exciting new residential, and commercial district Jack’s Point on the shores of Lake Wakatipu, just 15 minutes from Queenstown.

As detailed in our previous article Swiss Precision in Cromwell, White Associates assisted in concluding the construction contracts with Hector Egger. Hector Egger is now working with Falconer Corporate Limited to develop two projects within Jack’s Point Village: Willow Pond and Clubhouse Lane.

Falconer Corporate Limited, a New Zealand company specialising in property development in Auckland and Queenstown, has already completed a number of houses in Jack’s Point. They are currently engaged in delivering 80 x 3-bedroom houses at Willow Pond, including 17 lakefront properties, and working on Clubhouse Lane, which is 880m2 of commercial space and 24 apartments.

Elliot says that Darby Partners, the owners of Jack’s Point, sell land parcels to developers such as Falconer.

“Dean Falconer, founder of Falconer Corporate, has created something really impressive at Willow Pond. Essentially he has taken it from being an overgrown pond to a really appealing space. He is making the pond into a real asset: a unique and identifiable feature.”

Willow Pond

Willow Pond is a perfect example of a design that is workable, can offer scalability and generates time efficiencies through the Hector Egger model. Willow Pond is a shining example of how the component-ised building concept can be used well.

Working alongside Falconer Corporate, Elliot sees how they are changing how building is being undertaken in Queenstown, and the positive effect that it is having.

“Falconer uses Hector Egger’s product, and it’s so great to see this on the market. It offers affordable and attractive housing for first time home buyers and delivers an exceptional finish. It really showcases how prefab homes can be used within a local development and be adapted to Jacks Point covenants.”

From a funding and Quantity Surveyor point of view, Darin also comments that component-isation helps in establishing a programme.

Clubhouse Lane

“Once it is in the delivery schedule there is not going to be delay in components, and once the components arrive on site the structure can be installed quickly.


This process provides more confidence in the actual pricing elements with fewer variables. As it’s built in the factory, timeframes and components remain the same, and production can be done on scale with less opportunity for costings to be incorrect through the contractor.”


He adds that funders should give this approach more air time. “This model is worth examining closely, as it can get a project to the point of sale quicker, in turn reducing time risk, which ultimately benefits the funder. Most funders want to know what the timeframe is and anything that can be done to reduce that is a benefit to all.”

The fact that the end product delivers stunning aesthetics and design is an added bonus.

Clubhouse Lane

Elliot adds:

“Our funding advice approach also covered Falconer Corporate’s other project within Jack’s Point. Clubhouse Lane is the first mixed use development to be released in Jack’s Point Village, comprising 28 residential units and 12 commercial spaces. It’s a pretty spectacular example of how modern, well designed retail, commercial and residential spaces can add a significant dimension to an already-beautiful location.”

Elliot finishes by saying how excited the team are by the momentum they’re seeing within the South Island.

“The team is here to provide advice which can help add value and impact with our local knowledge. We’re servicing projects throughout the lower South Island, working on projects from Christchurch to Queenstown. Our team move around the South Island working with clients, so for example if you have a project in Dunedin or Invercargill, and you need funding advice, then we’re keen and available to help.”

Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day

Kōrero Mai, Kōrero Atu, Mauri Tū, Mauri Ora – Speak Up, Stand Together, Stop Bullying!

Celebrated annually around the globe, Pink Shirt Day began in Canada in 2007 when two students took a stand against homophobic bullying, after a new student was harassed and threatened for wearing pink. The next day hundreds of students turned up to school in pink, some from head to toe, to stand together against bullying.

Pink Shirt Day is now a global movement, and is celebrated by schools, workplaces and communities around Aotearoa each year.

In support of the movement, on 21st May, White Associates proudly wore pink and ran a fun raffle which raised $250 for the Mental Health Foundation. These funds will help to continue to raise awareness about bullying prevention and provide resources that promote inclusive workplaces, schools and communities nationwide.


Pink Shirt Day 2


Hector & Egger

Swiss precision in Cromwell

When you think about Switzerland, what comes to the forefront of your mind? Is it expensive watches, exclusive banking, cuckoo clocks or chocolate maybe?

Although this is a story about none of those things, it is about something for which the Swiss are also globally renowned: precision. Specifically, the precision involved in assembling a very Swiss factory at the bottom of the world, replicated to the centimetre to accommodate precision machinery that was transported by ship from Langenthal, Switzerland, to Cromwell, Central Otago! And not just any factory – but one that now produces precisely prefabricated timber panels and elements for the residential and commercial construction sectors.

It’s also about two people who couldn’t shake a dream to provide a more efficient, sustainable, cost effective and higher quality option to the building industry.

So who are these people, and what is their company called?

Hector Egger New Zealand is the company; a new Cromwell-based joint venture business formed between Swiss company Hector Egger Holzbau AG and two Queenstown-based partners, Tristan Franklin and Stephan Mäusli.

Hector Egger NZ specialises in manufacturing high-tech timber structures and prefabricated timber panels for residential and commercial building construction. It uses a suite of proven offsite manufacturing solutions pioneered by Hector Egger Holzbau AG, which has 20 years’ experience in offsite manufacturing of timber buildings and structures, with three ISO 9001 certified factories operating in Switzerland.

Hector Egger NZ has recently completed construction of a new 3,500m² Cromwell factory and office building, and manufacturing got underway at the beginning of this year. The company’s intention is to improve the diversity of construction options available in the New Zealand market, provide cost certainty with higher quality outcomes, be more sustainably focused and produce timber panels and elements faster than traditional building methods.


Hector & Egger
Left to Right: Michael Schär, Tristan Franklin, Stephan Mäusli & Paul Schär.

How did this all come about?

Tristan Franklin, Director of Hector Egger NZ, explains: “Stephan has a long-standing relationship with Hector Egger Holzbau AG originating from an office building he designed in Switzerland 17 years ago. He maintained a relationship with the company owners after the project, thinking for a long time that offsite manufacturing could work well here in New Zealand given the similarities we share across building codes and timber construction.

“After the Christchurch earthquakes, Stephan approached Hector Egger Holzbau AG about exploring the obvious opportunities together, but it was still slightly too early for prefabricated buildings and the market was just not receptive at the time.

“Going forward to early 2017, Stephan and I met when we became neighbours in Queenstown where he had moved to run a well-known construction company in the region. We got talking about construction and some of the many issues being faced by the industry, and he suggested making contact again with Hector Egger Holzbau AG to explore this opportunity again. Stephan set up a conference call the following week to introduce me as well as the opportunities we saw in New Zealand, and this Monday night conference call is a discipline we have maintained every week since then.”

At the same point in time, Hector Egger Holzbau AG were finalising the upgrade of their largest factory in Switzerland to a fully robotic operation, meaning the existing machinery was going to need to come out. Rather than sell this to other companies in Europe and therefore giving away the IP in their customised machines, they could see an opportunity to extend the useful life of the machinery in New Zealand.

The NZ partners were invited to Switzerland for the 170th anniversary of the original timber construction company. They spent a couple of weeks at the HQ developing the relationship and also understanding the workings of an advanced timber Offsite Manufacturing (OSM) business. Not long after this visit, Paul and Michael Schär visited New Zealand where they spent several weeks further assessing the opportunities in New Zealand with Stephan and Tristan.

“They particularly liked the size and scale of developments in New Zealand and also the repetition of design typologies that they saw here,” says Tristan. “In Switzerland everything is very bespoke, but here the opportunity existed to work with developers, councils and government on projects with scale and repetition.”

Hector & Egger

How did they progress from there?

“We originally looked at leasing an existing factory and bringing the machines down, but we soon realised that we would be better to fully commit and copy the exact form and IP of the Swiss business,” says Tristan. “This even involved replicating the footprint of the Swiss factory to the centimetre to follow the lean manufacturing processes they had developed over 20 years in operation.”

Making the decision to buy land and build their own factory, the NZ-based partners looked around the North Island and Christchurch for the right site, before eventually deciding there was plenty of opportunity for a business of this size in Cromwell – an ideal location geographically situated near Queenstown and Wanaka, with excellent road access to Dunedin, Christchurch and Invercargill.

They purchased some land on Old Saleyard Road, and set about designing a replica of the Swiss factory, explains Tristan.

“Although the main factory is built primarily of steel, Kingspan and precast concrete we were able to manufacture our offices – a two-storey, 450m2, un-treated timber building in Switzerland where it was then shipped down in six OT 40-foot containers and assembled onsite in 8 days. It was important to demonstrate our own methodology in the new Cromwell building and this would definitely extend to the main factory structure on any future expansion!”

Hector & Egger

How did they build the new factory office building?

Tristan explains:

“As with all of our projects, the process starts with a 3D model to help visualise all of the connection details, calculate material quantities and resolve any issues or clashes in the structure. We can then break each project down to the very last staple and screw which in turn allows us to provide fixed price quotations to our clients. Once the 3D model and shop drawings are completed we then pass those files through to the factory for processing. This starts with the cutting of all of the timber components, moves through to the assembly of the panels and elements and finishes with the transport and assembly of our timber structure on site.”

White Associates were involved through this process, with director Darin Bayer assisting in setting up bank funding and providing advice on offsite materials and the procurement process, before facilitating the drawdown process. Getting involved early 2019, when the partners were procuring subtrades, Darin says that visiting the site made a strong impression.

“When I went to the bare site I was immediately impressed at the precision involved,” says Darin. “The components for the office were being shipped from Switzerland, and everything happened exactly as anticipated. Even with Covid in the mix, they overcame their timeframe and delivery challenges by applying additional resource here in New Zealand. The process worked so well.”

For his part, Tristan says that White Associates were “fantastic, really good to work with. They made a real effort to understand the differences in our methodology compared to what they normally deal with. Trying to get something like this established in New Zealand is incredibly difficult, and without financially strong business partners, plus a foot up with machinery, it would have been almost impossible to execute.

“When we initially went to the banks, we struggled to get the big four to understand what we were proposing, which was really frustrating. It was hard to get them to invest the time required to understand our business model, and although all thought it was a great idea and much needed in the market, they were not able to assist us with lending. It wasn’t until we met the new Queenstown Commercial Manager for Kiwibank, who really committed to understanding our business plan and financial model, that we eventually banked the entire project with him. Kiwibank also saw the calibre of White Associates as PQS, and if they signed off on a claim then they were comfortable. White Associates have been an important part of that financing puzzle.”

Hector & Egger

The build was not without its challenges. Starting on site in January 2020, the on-site team were just about to start vertical works on the factory building when lockdown paused everything for six weeks. As soon as they could they got back on site and completed the build in November, with Code of Compliance issued in January 2021: a 12-month project from start to finish.

“We achieved exactly what we said we would,” says Tristan. “Our timelines and budget were accurate, and we started to manufacture on 11 January as originally planned. Covid-19 certainly threw in a few extra challenges around commissioning of machinery, as we couldn’t get the specialist technicians in from Europe, but with a combination of service agents in New Zealand and online technical support from Europe, this was successfully achieved.”

Outcome: how do they feel about the facility now it is up and running?

“It’s fantastic,” says Tristan. “We have a great-looking clear-span industrial building and a high-quality timber office building, really functional and performing exactly as we intended.”

He says that the facility replicates the same IP and processes as their Swiss partners and is focused on the same lean manufacturing principles developed in Switzerland.

“Our panelised system is either engineered to meet NZ code or designed to be fully compliant with NZS 3604 building standards. It is faster to completion, less expensive and higher quality when manufactured offsite. This solution can be used equally well across stand-alone houses, medium density developments, multi-storey apartments, schools and commercial buildings. A 150m2 family home will take approximately 6-8 weeks in design and engineering per typology, 5 days factory manufacture and 3-5 days on site installation to weathertight envelope. We also provide fixed pricing for the manufacture and installation of our timber panels and elements.


The rest of the world is starting to embrace the use of mass timber to reduce the amount of steel and concrete in construction, and given our Government’s targets around reducing carbon emissions, timber construction is definitely on trend. By taking construction into a controlled factory environment with no adverse weather effects, minimising waste, enhancing quality, improving health and safety outcomes and reducing time on site, offsite-manufacturing has an important role to play in the future of the construction industry.”

He adds that Hector Egger NZ is already working on its first project, prefabricating wall, roof and mid-floor panels for six duplex houses for Jacks Point in Queenstown, with several other projects contracted and many more in the pipeline.

“We are very positive for the future and committed to showing that New Zealand can build better quality, cost effective and sustainably focused buildings than is currently the case.”

Hector & Egger
North Villas, Jacks Point

How can NZ developers and builders use this process and facility?

“Talk to us early,” says Tristan. “If you’re going to prefabricate then you need to make this decision early in the process. This allows us to work alongside the project team to design and value-engineer the building for offsite manufacture and prefabrication.


We are very happy to show people through our new facility with the aim of encouraging the adoption of prefabrication, and to make more and more people aware of the benefits. And just like the Hector Egger company motto – ‘Think. Plan. Build’ – we will approach every project with the same methodology, and always in that order.”


Lessons from the 2020 Maelstrom

What a year: what stress, what challenge, what change; what resilience, what teamwork, what an effort.

And what learnings! As we come to the end of this year of all years, a year in which we have all been put to the test like never before, we have paused for thought to examine what we have learned through it all:

NZ Inc. is in a way better position than many thought earlier this year

The blizzard of stories in March and April of lockdowns, headwinds, unemployment, casualties and economic retrenchment – and even another great Depression – did not make for pretty reading. It is to the Government’s credit therefore that the economy has in many sectors been insulated by measures it put in place. Although the hospitality, retail, tourism and travel sectors have been hit hard, today’s headline unemployment number of 5.3% is nowhere near the prediction of 10% we saw in May.

Available GDP information shows that the much-desired V-shaped recovery has taken place so far, and is likely to be followed by a slow rise up into 2022, when it is predicted to accelerate again. Lockdowns have been far less costly than feared – for many – and relatively strong positivity in the workforce about job security is driving investment confidence.

We do have a deep-rooted structural issue with housing supply, and commercial and retail property are constrained. Consents are rising for dwellings, although their slow approval pace is still hurting growth, and development sections are being snapped up. Heightened demand in the industrial sector is also driving land prices up as retailers race to meet online shopping demands.

Low interest rates are fantastic for the economy and confidence, but take care

With the $10 billion we usually spend nationally on overseas travel filtering around the Kiwi economy right now, many Kiwis are proving to be quite resilient. And, with interest rates so low, people are using their banks’ money to drive yield from assets. Continuing liquidity in the market is driven partly by quantitative easing, and the Government is evidently keen to keep pumping it in, so there is plenty of money to be lent. The banks are flush with cash, if you can put the business case together to access it.

In this environment, due diligence has to be key: do development projects stack up, and what does the margin look like? In a fast-moving world, it can be tempting to rush projects. We caution that project design must be where it needs to be, and we would advise against rushing pricing. The little you save in interest rates at the moment you’ll burn through in poor planning costs downstream.

Beware the ripple effect

Although the construction sector hasn’t gone through a tourism-style extended halt, busy (when permitted) consistently this year, it’s worth saying that the larger size projects we’re busy on now are ones we have been working on for a year or two. It’s only when the pre-existing projects finish that we will see if and how new projects are going to come through. The rubber won’t hit the road on this for quite a while. When Commercial Bay, NZICC, The Pacifica and other big developments are completely finished, what will the picture look like?

There have been many projects coming on stream in this last quarter however there will be large gaps to fill the void for the developments noted above.

What’s stimulus comes next?

Another big question is how the Government can/will keep the economy going with the debt they are carrying. They won’t be able to spend for ever – so how do they stimulate things? Investors are still pretty hungry for yield, and are driven to property assets based on historically low interest rates. FOMO is a factor at present, without doubt. However, at some point the momentum may slow down in the event of aggressive Government policy in areas such as LVRs and possible debt to income ratios being introduced.

Expect a flight to commercial property

If a longer-term recovery is on the cards, we can expect to see continued house price inflation for a while yet. However, we anticipate a flight to commercial property as people miss out on the dwindling number of residential sections and investment opportunities, so they are already turning to purchasing old commercial buildings with opportunity to add value and obtain a reasonable yield. In our world, this means that feasibilities will be tested strongly. The question will be this: with land prices so high, will developments stack up?

Be responsive

The way in which our team responded to such a disruptive year has been a real highlight for us. It was almost seamless, despite being given 24 hours’ notice to vacate our offices in March. The second time was almost natural… The way everyone adapted and got on with what was happening meant we didn’t really skip a beat. With everyone working remotely, checking in on each other, pulled us all in closer together.

Three-legged stools work well

Our biggest learning, and new company mantra as we move into 2021, is to be a three-legged stool. This means we need to :

1.  Be efficient

In 2019 our team worked a total of 22,000 man hours. In 2020 this jumped to 30,000, and we’re doing more work in more areas than ever before. So, while we’re working on our core client base and have a steady influx of new enquiries coming through, it is a tight and competitive place out there in the market. Keeping our product at a high quality as we work at speed is a key focus for us. We had thought so much about flexibility, and then it got forced on us. So one message is: Just do it. 2020 gave us the platform to introduce real flexibility and digital efficiency, and we continue to develop our BIM strategy and diversify our portfolio of skills and successes.

2.  Be prepared

To be fast on our feet, nimble and quick to react, we needed to be ready. This means having the tools, resources and people in place and prepared to act when needed. In 2019, public sector, residential and retail sectors dominated our work. In 2020, although subdivisions slid down our scale, industrial and residential projects moved up into greater prominence. It also means we need to think further ahead. 2020 has been good for this: when we started the business, we didn’t really know what was coming beyond three months, but now because of the situation this year we are thinking so much further ahead.

3.  Be connected

Now more than ever we need to keep up communication, making it front and centre: internally and externally. We have seen that the importance of diversity through our portfolio is hugely critical. Although it is the same for any business, when you get a sudden event it drives home how important it is to maintain connections even if you’re not currently working with them.

Diversity is our way forward

Diversity of work, diversity of team. A great thing about White Associates is that our team has become diverse through our natural culture, rather than through a process of positive discrimination. Although this is an area we’re always working on, it is good to realise that our stats show that the diversity of our team is on the rise, women now making up 38%, and eight cultures are represented in our team today. To take this further in 2021, we will be working to find out more about each other’s cultures, and to celebrate them more intentionally, so we can celebrate our individuality.

Thank you all

In a tough year, we have come through it well as a team to deliver services at an exceptional level. It’s been tiring for us all, but extremely rewarding to see such personal and project progress. The thing we value most, time and again, is the magic that happens when project teams come together truly collaboratively to deliver. It has made 2020 special in many ways, and for that we thank you, as well as for the opportunities you give us.

And to keep the conversation going, we’d love to know if these lessons that we have learned are in any way similar to yours!

One last thing:

Bring on our 2020 15-year anniversary party – in 2021!

Mt Eden Correctional Facility Winner at 2020 NZiOB Awards

The annual New Zealand Institute of Building (NZiOB) Awards celebrate exceptional examples of collaborative partnerships between consultants and contractors within the industry.

We’re delighted to announce that the team who worked on the Mt Eden Correctional Facility Building C project came home with the Hays Interdisciplinary Collaboration Award at this years award ceremony.

A massive congratulations to our very own Brett Zeiler, Neville McAnnalley (Leighs Construction), Neville Clarke (WSP), James Bones (Beca), Patrick Dowle (Department of Corrections) and to the many others involved in the project. We’d like to give a special shout out to Weng Tan who also played a significant role on this project.

The judges commented that

“the team was committed to collaboration, creating a site office to be shared by the client representative, consultants, and contractor, for the duration of the project. This collaboration ensured a well-executed project.”

Riverside Market

Riverside Market generates awards buzz as visitors flock

Just over a year ago, a temporary symbol of Christchurch’s powerful resilience, creativity and determination became a permanent city attraction when the Riverside Market opened to customers.

Since then, the hugely popular covered market has gone from strength to strength, attracting 30 independent food outlets, 40 fresh produce stalls and 10,000 visitors every day into its welcoming, humming 3,500 sqm space at 96 Oxford Terrace.

Now nominated for the Yardi Retail Property Award at the Property Council NZ Property Industry Awards 2020, Riverside Market has also attracted praise from visitors and media alike for its ability to provide a stellar new offering in the city centre. As Stuff.co.nz wrote in a review recently,

“Riverside Market has completely electrified the inner city with its bustling community hub, complete with a 7-day-trading farmers’ market, owner-operated eateries, and boutique retailers.”

This success is extremely satisfying for us at White Associates, as we love being involved with projects that become integral to their city. As White Associates Director Darin Bayer says,

“Riverside Market has become a focal point in Christchurch, a real community hub at the western end of Christchurch’s retail precinct, for visitors and locals alike. It was a very successful project and is now doing extremely well. This is the sort of project we get excited to work on – we really enjoyed it.


Built overlooking the east bank of the Avon River, it is intertwined with several laneways, with the main Little Oxford Lane leading to the CCC carpark and Ballantynes department store. At a time of supporting local, Riverside Market supports local growers and small businesses by purchasing fresh, organic produce, meat, seafood, freshly baked goods, coffee and more. A strong point of a local market is a reduced carbon footprint, minimising food packaging and waste and travel both for producers and purchasers of locally grown food.”

Riverside Market

A high-end retail redevelopment on the site of the previous Re:Start Mall, bordered by Cashel and Lichfield streets and Oxford Terrace, Riverside Market includes a farmers’ market, restaurants, food stalls and retail shops.

The development by Richard Peebles, Kris Inglis and Mike Percasky contains not only the farmers’ market but also 15 high-end fashion and retail tenancies, 4 mezzanine floor hospitality opportunities and an open rooftop bar. Outdoor seating spills onto Oxford Terrace, which has been paved and pedestrianised to create a lively and engaging destination for locals and visitors.

Investor Richard Peebles says he had wanted to create a farmers’ market in the city for a long time, but finding the right location had been difficult until the Re:Start site and surrounding land became available through Crown company Ōtākaro.

“The markets also offer the ability for small businesses and entrepreneurs to essentially incubate their businesses – barriers to entry are low,” explains Richard.

White Associates provided bank funding Quantity Surveyor representation for this development. White Associates Director Darin Bayer says that this transformational development is testament to what can be achieved

“with incredible vision, thorough planning and a strong commitment to providing the Christchurch community with an outstanding new precinct.”

Richard Peebles has been involved in numerous other central city projects, such as the McKenzie and Willis development on High Street and a three storey build on the Hereford end of The Terrace that houses a restaurant & bars on the ground and first floor with office space at the top.

“It’s great to be part of the building momentum. The city has really taken shape post-quake and the Riverside Market has contributed towards making everything a lot more lively and active”.

Let’s hope that Riverside Market can add gold at the awards to the plaudits it is already attracting from the public!