Celebrating 85 Years

Keith Hay Homes are proud to be celebrating 85 years of building in New Zealand. 85 years of helping kiwi’s into their homes. 85 years of innovation in the building industry. 85 years of employing kiwis and working with local, regional and national sub-contractors/suppliers. 85 years of a NZ owned and operated family business.

We believe this milestone is worthy of nostalgic reflection, plus represents an opportune time for us to consider the contribution we can make to the future of the New Zealand building industry. For both reasons we believe it’s fitting time to celebrate our company.

85 Years in summary:

Keith Hay (pictured above) pioneered the transportable housing market when, in the late 1940's, he won a tender to relocate an American army camp from the Auckland Domain to Panmure by using the novel method of shifting the buildings in large sections instead of dismantling them.

New Zealand’s desperate housing shortage after the war provided an opening for an innovative approach. Constructing houses in a central assembly yard and then transporting them to suburban locations. Keith Hay was an innovator in the development of house shifting trailers and winches on rubber tyred tractors.

Hay transformed home construction through the use of native timbers, new materials and new production methods. He saw the potential of replacing expensive imported timbers and relatively scarce native timbers with Pinus radiata for house construction. Pine was a renewable source of timber and could be nailed more quickly.

Through the 1950s Hay fought the conservatism of local councils and building societies to make building with Pinus radiata permissible. He was also an innovator in speeding up production methods, cutting labour costs, and incorporating plastics and other new materials into home construction.

Today, Keith Hay Homes is still proudly a family owned and operated company, focused on helping New Zealanders into their homes. Keith Hay’s son David Hay is Managing Director and has been working in the family business for over 50 years. David’s daughter Roseanne and son Matthew are third generation family members working in the business. Matthew Hay was a founding member of Offsite NZ (previously Prefab NZ), General Manager of Keith Hay Homes and also directs the Executive Team who are constantly working on the evolution and development of the company and their product range.