‘Keeping it local’ attributed to success of iconic kiwi brand

Now in its seventieth year, one of New Zealand’s most recognised and trusted brands, Lockwood Homes, believes one of the secrets to its longevity has been a focus on local sourcing.

“In a world where many companies rely on global manufacturing chains to help produce their products, our capability to source our main manufacturing element – timber – has seen our business thrive,” says Managing Director Andrew La Grouw.

Keeping it local has always been important for Lockwood, which is celebrating its seventieth birthday this month. The nearby pine forest plantations and timber mills were the key driver for Lockwood to establish manufacturing in Rotorua.

“Not only have we forged an enduring relationship with local suppliers, but the advantages of local sourcing have become even more relevant during these Covid times, allowing us to increase our manufacturing capacity to meet current demand.”

Founded in Rotorua in 1951 by two Dutch immigrants, Lockwood Homes are national treasures – and for 70 years they have been part of the fabric of our country.

As one of New Zealand’s most iconic innovative manufacturing success stories, family-owned Lockwood has proven to be as enduring as it is successful.

“From our humble beginnings, with our first home built as a fishing bach in Rotorua, to now having constructed more than 50,000 Lockwood homes and buildings around the world, we are extremely proud of our rich history,” says Andrew.

“Today we have a team of more than 50 people at our head office in Rotorua where the components for our homes and buildings are still manufactured to exacting standard by our team of skilled craftsmen and women.”

With its patented x-profile construction and solid wood insulated materials, Lockwood’s innovative practices have helped to forge New Zealand’s reputation as a nation of ingenious, no.8 wire go getters that punch above their weight on the national and international stage.

“We have supplied Lockwood homes to all corners of the globe and been involved in many interesting and challenging projects, including building 300 Lockwoods in Iraq for Saddam Hussain,” says Andrew.

“But I am most proud of all the Lockwood homes that have been built in New Zealand for kiwi families. High quality housing is important to family health and wellbeing, and I’m proud of our tradition of setting and maintaining our own quality standards.”

Andrew says no matter what the size or scale of the business’ achievements, the most successful component of their business has, and will always be, its people.

“We are honoured to have shared the lives of all our employees, some of which have been with us for more than 35 years.

“We’re proud to say that the average length of time our staff members stay with is 11.5 years, compared with the national average of just four years,” says Andrew.

Lockwood has been voted New Zealand’s Most Trusted Building Brand in 2013, 2014 and 2016 and runner up in 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.