Our history

Back in the day…

Two men, a Ford Prefect, a wooden trailer and £25 each is what took Bruce Stewart and Lance Calder to bring this venture together in 1955 in the small South Island town of Milton.

From the beginning, we’ve had our eyes on the future. It was during the great New Zealand wool boom when sheep farming was doing a roaring trade, Bruce and Lance realised that all these farms needed buildings on them.

Our first barn was created when the client came to us with some railway iron and asked if we could use it to put a barn up for him. That led to what you might call a ‘lightbulb moment’. The introduction of using steel in agricultural buildings (and the manufacturing of it) was the first of many innovative processes we’ve shaped here at Calder Stewart.

For 30 odd years we ticked away, building a solid reputation for quality construction. Come 1985 it was time to pass the torch to the next Generation of Stewarts, and more manufacturing divisions were added to the Calder Stewart stable.

By 2002 our team was 275 people strong, and we kept on growing. We opened new offices in Milton, Christchurch and Auckland, and continued to welcome more staff to meet demand.

But it’s not just doing a good job that’s seen us through the last 60 years. Looking ahead has been essential to laying the foundations of our success. 

Today…

There are around 400 of us! And we design and build large scale, complex buildings and developments in the commercial, industrial and rural sectors across New Zealand.

Our services and capabilities include custom design and build, an extensive land bank, the manufacturing of steel, precast concrete, roofing and reinforcing, logistics, plant and workforce; this makes our process unique in New Zealand.

For our clients, it means:

  • increased flexibility to get what you want
  • more certainty on price and timelines
  • higher focus on quality

60 years down, and thousands of buildings up, we may be innovative leaders in construction, but we’re also still a family owned and operated business, down to earth and still based in the rural heartland of New Zealand.