Keith Hay Stories

In 1957 Dad (B Cooper) bought a Keith Hay home and put it on the farm in Waikite Valley, Te Kopia Road. Mum always complained that it was better than our house. 

Murray Cooper , Pyes Pa

Our Keith Hay Home was delivered 59 years ago, it was very exciting to watch the delivery. The original home is still there. 

Des Hawkes , Northland

We have lived in our Keith Hay Home for over 60 years. We have very special memories in this home. 

Mike Wilson, Snells Beach

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This cute Keith Hay Homes house was built in 1973. These photos include the original interior, including colours and carpet. Around 5 years ago it was renovated a little....though the original kitchen has been kept (including the oven!) – it has just been spruced up with a new paint job. It is now enjoyed as the family holiday home.

McLeod Family Holiday Home, Thames

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Recently (01 July 2019) we purchased a Keith Hay home on Rakino island.

It is our wonderful new Bach and purchased from Sonny and Rosemary who built it and owned it for 45+ years. It is cliff top and has a magic view.

We are going to do it up in neutral tones as currently is yellow and blue with 45 yr old vinyl flooring. We will also glass deck in and paint the exterior charcoal.

The point is the home is a solid A frame. Probably from your collection 50 years ago and we love it! The winds are wild out there at Rakino island and it is remote. It must have been quite a build in its day. The underneath, cut away into the hillside, is a concrete block foundation with 2 double bedrooms upon which the top of the A frame sits perched on the cliff.

The quality of your product has withstood the test of time and rugged elements. It is a testament to your 80years of business. Congratulations! - no mean inter-generational feat!

For us it is however not remote as it only takes us from door to door an hour in our sealegs. It's a relatively close Bach for us from St heliers via sea to Rakino.

We would welcome the Keith Hay family anytime, and love to take you over there.

Kind regards

Mary Patterson & Paul Binns

I began working at Keith Hay Homes in Blenheim in the late 1970s, as Branch Secretary. It was a great branch, and Gilbert Pratt the manager ran a great team. It was most exciting when there were homes to be delivered into the Marlborough Sounds, never a dull moment. At the end of 1981 we moved to London for 3 1/2 years with my husbands job, and when we returned in 1984, I rejoined my Keith Hay friends with a sales position on the Concourse, West Auckland. It was always a special time when Sir Keith came to visit the Branch, we had a special silver teaset and tea was carefully made. I still recall Keith saying that the office temperature should be set at 16°, as it would keep us on our toes - sure did! I left a year later to begin a full Real Estate career, something I am still doing 34 years later, but I remember my time with the Company so well with fondness, and that is where my fascination with all things housing began. It was a privilege to belong.

Jenny Thorpe

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Memories of our Keith Hay Home.

It was February 1958. It had been a very hot summer. We used to live next door to South School in Otorohanga. This particular day was a Sunday and I was aged 8 years old. I had passed the comment to my Mum that I wished the rain would flood the School so we could have time off School again. She said that would flood our home if that happened. However the rain persisted and on the Monday the river was running very high. We didn't end up going to School as the flood waters rose up to flood the whole of Otorohanga.

Our home was one of the worst hit by the flood. So afterwards our family home was condemned. It was an old villa that just didn't stand up to all of the ferious water and mud. My parents decided we needed a new home quickly. So they purchased a section up the Main North Road, in Otorohanga. Then they decided to go to Keith Hay Homes to see about getting, a new home built. What excitement each weekend. We would drive to Horotiu in the weekend, to see the progress on our family home. It didn't seem to take Keith Hay Homes very long, to getting it all built, and finished. In the early morning, one day, our new home arrived on the back of a truck. In those days, our home, was one of the bigger homes to be transported on the back of a truck. Such excitement once again when it arrived. My parents always sung the praises of Keith Hay homes for being so quick and efficient, and building a lovely strong, warm home. After having been living in two caravans while our home was being built, my Mum felt, once we moved into the new home, it was like living in a palace. I have many happy memories of our family time together in that home.

Well done Keith Hay Homes.
Congratulations on your Building and transporting homes for 80 years.

Dorothy Mark (Chaffey)

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I was an apprentice in the late 60s,early 70s at the Drury branch. The manager was Graeme Sutton. Was an enjoyable time, good workers there at the times. During my apprenticeship I drove the workers bus, a Thames Trader with long bench seats in the back. A lot of the time I'd go with the delivery team, up early taking a new house to somewhere. Then towards the end of my time I was with the maintenance guy and we would go and finish off the houses on site - steps, bases, etc. Lots of memories.

Brian Wolfe

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"My name is Joe Stockman and I worked for Keith Hay Homes from 1954 until 1960. My older brother Gerry (now deceased) also worked for Keith Hay Homes for a number of years. I was employed as a mechanic/engineer. My position was to keep a fleet of trucks, trailers, forklifts on the road. As new branches started they required more carpenter benches, swing saws, buzzer benches etc. I built 32 and 40 ft house removal trailers, designed and built winching units on Fordson tractors, mostly for the new branches that Keith Hay Homes started in Hamilton, Warkworth etc. It was a lot of challenging work. In 1955 we had Keith Hay Homes build our first home, and it was moved to our section in Butler Street, Mt. Roskill. Photos above of house on trailer being placed on section, also my brother Gerry operating the bulldoze putting the house in place. We were very proud of our L-shaped home, with the bell casting weather boards, and it still looks excellent today (also photos above). In 1963 after we had moved to the Waikato to start our own business as a garage/service station, we again had Keith Hay Homes build us another home. This time it was built at the Hamilton branch. Once again it is still standing proudly in Eureka. My relationship with Keith Hay Homes continued after leaving in 1960, as when my workshop was built they asked me to build a 40ft house moving trailer. This was really a great advertisement for me, as the locals could see my capabilities, and from then onwards it was all up hill. Thank you Keith Hay Homes. We now live in Whangamata and anyone who knows us are welcome to call and have a coffee, chat and talk about the good old times. A great company to have worked for and been associated with. Congratulations Keith Hay Homes on 80yrs. of great service."

Joe Stockman

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Late last year we moved into our fantastic house built by Keith Hay Homes Hamilton branch with Robert Smith at the helm, what a pleasure he was to deal with as were all the contractors and staff at this branch.
Quinton Presloo at Drury branch was our first contact and helped us get the whole thing off the ground, what a great representative of KHH he was.
Though it took longer than we hoped, the quality of the build has been up to our high expectations and we now live in a Horizon home from the architects series and its everything we hoped for.

Anna Bargiacchi & Ken Lever

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"Steve Rofe and his team constructed our Keith Hay home at Bulls. We wanted a nice warm low maintenance small home, a nest for our old age We love the open plan no waste space design. We purchased the section at Springvale, Whanganui in June 2016 and construction was commenced in September. At the same time we started a 6 x 12 metre shed on our section. The house was delivered 12 June 2016 a few days after we had completed the shed. The last 18 months have been busy, building decks, pergola, skirting around house base, fences, drives and paths and developing the section, work that is still under progress. Our new home has lived up to our expectations, sunny, warm, spacious and convenient. Was great doing business with Keith Hay Homes."

John and Janice Carson

Jo Holden Quote

My Uncle - Rueben Clive Hiscock worked for Keith Hay Homes for over 40 years in Rotorua - he even received a gold watch.
Here is a picture and story of my Grandmas house in 70 Orkney Rd, Mt Maunganui - the photo is from the 1950's.
This story is from 10 years ago... One of the last original baches at Mount Maunganui, sitting untouched for 30 years, is being auctioned at the end of this month. The solid two bedroom home has a rustic 1950s feel about it - but today cobwebs hang from holes in the ceiling, dust covers the window panes and lawns crawl up visitors' shins. Children in the neighbourhood had taken the opportunity to build a treehouse in the gum tree that the occupant, Florence Kate Moores, once planted. The nostalgic bach in Orkney Rd has not been lived in since 1979. Real estate salesman Peter George said the house definitely had a unique feel. "During my 17 years in real estate, I have never had to sell anything like this. There are only about 10 of these in the Mount," he said. Originally built in Rotorua in 1950 by the former owner Rueben Hiscock, the house was transported to its present location, only a five-minute walk from the beachfront. "He did a fabulous job with the house; he was a perfectionist with the work that he did. Dad always used to say that the house was 'the Mount's first transportable home'," said Rueben and Joy Hiscock's daughter

Jo Holden

Barry Tremaine Quote

Thank you Barry for an updated testimonial after 6 years of living in your Keith Hay Home...

"We've been in our Keith Hay Home just over 6 years now & we're still as happy with it today as we were the first day we moved in. People who visit always comment on what an amazing home it is. If we build again, no surprise It'll be a Keith Hay home".

Original testimonial:

" Keith Hay Homes did two things which stand out for our family, firstly they exceeded our expectations in customer service & secondly delivered a home that was better than what we originally envisaged. Our brief was not an easy one & there were delays with Council, as well as some unanticipated obstacles along the way, but the end result was truly worth the wait, fantastic use of space, great indoor outdoor flow & design flare. If we were to build again in the future, we would only use Keith Hay Homes."

Barry Tremaine

Jeanette Jenkinson Quote

My Son David Johnson and his family now live in a Keith Hay Home Built in 1961 in Kaikohe.

House as it is today pictured above. Still standing the test of time.

Jeanette Jenkinson

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My parents bought a very basic 20’ by 40’ 2 bedroom house in 1954/1955 and had it transported to its current site at Gladstone Road, Northcote.
The black and white scanned photos show the house delivery and there’s an image of the house today.

The photos are dated 1954, the local traffic officer (pictured) was Mr Findlay who drove a Ford Coupe with a whip aerial.

The route from Mt Roskill must have been tortuous back then - via Riverhead and via Glenfield, Birkenhead and Onewa Road.

John Burland