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Celebrating 80 Years of Keith Hay Homes

Keith Hays Digging

Keith Hay pioneered the transportable housing market when, in the late 1930'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.

Transforming home construction through the use of native timbers, new materials and new production methods. Hay 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 45 years. David’s daughter Roseanne and son Matthew are third generation family members working in the business. Matthew Hay is a member of the Prefab NZ Board, 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.

Keith Hay Homes are proud to be celebrating 80 years. 80 years of helping kiwi’s into their homes. 80 years of innovation in the building industry. 80 years of a NZ owned and operated family business. 80 years of employing kiwis. This year represents an opportunity for a nostalgic glance over their shoulders, but also a poignant time to focus on how they can influence the future of prefabricated buildings – an area of real passion and drive for the entire company.

Hopkins Exterior 3.JPG

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