All posts by Jenny McDonald

Urban Homes Sweep Up Awards

Hamilton based Urban Homes has stolen the show by winning seven awards at the annual Gala awards evening. Urban Homes team of Hamilton master builders offer a range of services including new homes, residential investment properties, renovations and more.

Urban Homes entered properties in the categories new homes $600,000 – $1 million, Gib show home and builders own home. They received a gold award for all three homes, won the categories for Gib Show home and Builders own home and won two lifestyle awards – Bathroom excellence and the Interior Style and Finish award.


The award winning show home in Hamilton is open for the public. To see what the fuss is about, visit 2 Fusion Lane, Tamahere weekdays from 8am-5pm.

What’s next for this multi award winning business? More stellar buildings and renovations most likely!

Shop Owner Retires After 73 years in the Business

90 year old Jack Fannon is retiring after spending an astounding 73 years with the same menswear firm. Fannon ran the  menswear store in Dargaville after inheriting it once his father passed.

“Jack was 17 and had a year in the business before spending three years in the army and air force based in New Zealand during World War II. He reluctantly returned to menswear after the war was over but now says he has no regrets.

He says tailoring was big business in those days and menswear was a specialty field. “Everyone had suits and you had to go to a menswear shop to even get a handkerchief.”

“I have kept it like an old menswear store. A lot of my clientele want to be served and have knowledge of what they are buying. I have really good local customers, but for the last six or eight years I have relied on outside customers from all over Northland.”

His business has had some lucky escapes. Major fires in 1961 and 2010 destroyed several nearby shops.

But it is the interaction with customers he’ll miss most when he retires on September 30.

“I’ve never been a hard-nosed businessman,” he says. “I’ve always tried to keep business friendly and personal.” His old-fashioned values extend to his business practices – there are no computers and stock is all counted manually.

“Once you put a person on a computer they just become a number,” he says.

The business will continue trading under its existing name in the ownership of Kate and Emma Smith.

Jack will stay on for a while to help the new owners get up to speed but has no plans to take things easy when he finally walks out the door. “I’m a hands-on type of guy and I’ve got lots of things to do.”

Curated from

Heat Pump Installer Lets Customers Choose their Special

Till the end of October, a heat pump installer is trying a new kind of offering. Instead of giving a generic special which customers can either accept or decline, customers can now choose between two specials.

Customers looking for heat pumps in Hamilton can choose between paying nothing for 9 months or paying no interest for 12 months.


This special is only available for those in Auckland, Waikato,  and Tauranga. Those in Auckland may want to pay special attention to this offering.

With the Auckland council planning to ban open fireplaces and wood burners, it may be time to consider getting a more health conscious and easily maintained heat pump.

According to the NZ Herald, A new wood burner and flue can cost about $3500, heat pumps cost about $2000 for a small room, a 2000 watt heater costs less than $100 and four cubic meters of firewood costs around $400. So heat pumps appear to be one of the most economic and effective ways to heat your home!

Innovation for dairy farms

With New Zealand recieving so much of our annual earnings from farming, it is no wonder that kiwi’s are constantly innovating and improving farming systems! It’s even less of a surprise when new innovations com from the Waikato, hub of many dairy farms and Gallagher.

PETA Enterprises is a great example of this. Based in the Waikato, they manufacture agricultural dispensers. But these dispensers aren’t any boring old invention. They control animal’s metabolic diseases by administering prophylatic materials. This is incredibly difficult considering too much or too little could be catastrophic. And with changes in temperature, water consumption and animal size this complicates the process even further.

Dispensers offered by PETA include bloat dispensers, multi-purpose solid dispensers and zinc dispensers. Clever local and international merchants have picked up on the value provided by PETA’s dispensers. They are sold by local farming merchants, dairy cattle and large animal vets, by RD1 and through the Australian agent Shoof Agstar.

PressureBall’s Inflated Sales

In September 2014 PressureBall achieved their biggest month of sales ever. And these sales weren’t just above their previous month – they were almost double.

A wide international market has picked up on PressureBall’s potential. Sales were around the world to countries including USA, England, Ireland, Sweden and Japan. This is just another example of a New Zealand business scoring big in the international market.

PressureBall is an alternative to pressureless tennis balls. It’s an innovation that makes sure new tennis balls never lose their bounce. It is also used to restore old tennis balls pressure.

It’s encouraging to see local businesses expand their markets. Even better to see a lot of overseas interest! Local businesses should be encouraged and see that living in somewhere geographically isolated is not such a disadvantage anymore. Thanks to the Internet.

NZ Business Scores Big in International Market

Moving operations from geographically distant New Zealand overseas can be tricky business. But a New Zealand manufacturer has proved with the motivation it is easy to excel. Even so, one has to ask whether it is for everyone.

Mid to high-end shoe manufacturer Minx Shoes successfully moved offshores to Canada. The manufacturer had humble beginnings in a shoe factory in Waikanae. Now they are flourishing in Canada with an expected 400 outlets. Minx has further plans of globalisation through expanding into the UK.

However Dan Khan from Unlimited digital business magazine warns that moving off shores is not for everyone. He points out that competition for engineers is fierce and so it you are a tech company it may just be better to find talent at home. He also warns that the competitive landscape in the US is intense.


Goldstar Specials for Home Shows

Coming soon to Hamilton is the Home and Garden Show, an event which showcases the latest products and trends for home owners. This event is no small feat to Hamilton as it attracts over 30,000 visitors annually!

However to most people, the sound of 30,000 visitors sectioned out over four days is a little daunting – with all the queues, noise and crowds. Many people who already keep their finger on the pulse of renovation trends may only want to go to the shows for the incredible deals offered.

Goldstar Heat Pumps have launched new specials on heat pumps linked in with the Home Shows in Auckland and Hamilton. These specials are still available online so if you only want to attend the Home shows for the deals, you cane save time and order online. Some prices have been cut by $950. All prcies include both GST and installation. However these specials are only available while stocks last so it’s recommended you don’t wait too long!

These specials are available for those looking for heat pumps in Hamilton, Auckland, Tauranga and the Waikato.