A friend’s mother had two really stylish architectural townhouses in Armagh St built by Sam and his team at Fleetwood Construction. On her recommendation, we engaged Sam to manage $200k of renovations to our 130 year old home in Fendalton. That was nine years ago! He and his team do a pretty solid job. I have come across one builder who was more fastidious, but also more pricey and that relationship ended up on a sour note. Sam on the other hand, we keep using.
Fleetwood fit the bill for a reliable, well managed building team who are capable of both new builds and renovations, though I think their focus now after the earthquake is more as new home builders. He’s pretty good with communication. We used him again for $130k worth of earthquake repairs in 2014. He kindly scheduled the repairs in during early January while we were away on holiday, and the project – estimated to take 5 weeks – took 6 weeks which is a pretty good turnaround compared to a lot of earthquake repairs. It was quite complicated having to move a six person office and the house and juggle getting the office back in while the house part was still being finished but he pulled out the stops to be accommodating.
I recently dropped something off to Sam’s own new two-storey home, which he recently finished. It is contemporary and elegant, and architectural in style. I would recommend Sam. He has four building teams now and personally project manages each project.
My colleague recently set up a cafe and went through the process of picking food distributors to supply the products she needed. If was quite an intense task, with several different Christchurch food distributors offering equivalent products.
One distributor that stood out to us was Countrywide Distributors NZ. They consist of 14 owner-operated bulk food distributors throughout New Zealand, all under one group umbrella. They offer a wide number of well known brands (including Tegel, Watties & Mr Chips).
Countrywide distribute to cafes, restaurants, hotel/motels, retirement homes, schools and fast food outlets, offering a large range of frozen, dry and chilled goods at competitive prices.
The food service distributors in the Countrywide network all operate modern multi temperature warehouses and vehicles.In contrast, their major competitor offers a decentralised approach, with each regional centre responsible for the product range and pricing.
Countrywide’s centralised approach allows them to co-ordinate and centralise payments, purchasing and policy development which helps keep their pricing competitive.
With so many subdivisions popping up in Selwyn & Christchurch – it’s hard to find differentiating features. In terms of Rolleston sections and subdivisions the three main subdivisions that spring to mind are Faringdon, Devon Park and Stonebrook.
I’ve done a bit of research into the soil profiles of the Rolleston area, and found that the soil at the Stonebook and Faringdon sites is an eyre soil which is very sandy and stony. The soil is grey and desert like – which is not ideal for gardening! Compare this to the other side of the Rolleston township, where Devon Park is, the soil is Templeton silt loam which is super fertile. This type of land with its alluvial gravels, demonstrated its strength through the Christchurch earthquakes – with no major damage, and no liquefaction.
I’ve heard from others in the market, that some subdivisions are cramming in lots of smaller sections, right up close to each other. Devon Park sections are a decent enough size that you could have your own little landscaped garden – without being wall-to-wall with your neighbours. Stonebrook and Faringdon are a bit further away on the outskirts of Rolleston, whereas Devon Park is only a 5 minute walk to supermarkets, shops, cafes etc. Devon Park is also only a few minutes away from Rolleston School.
I was recently asked to compare health insurance plans for my employer who wanted me to look into health insurance companies who specialise in group insurance. We were aware of Sthn Cross, and my previous employer offered health cover with UniMed, a lesser known brand but one of the top four in New Zealand. I also looked into Nib. My main concerns were whether we could get staff cover for pre-existing conditions, and finding flexible options that would enable different packages for factory staff versus executives. I was also concerned about the amount of paperwork to set up a scheme and how much work it would entail.
All three were good at coming back to me (UniMed has a new Sales Manager), and similar benefits. In the end, I recommended UniMed. They had a comparable plan to Sthn Cross, but premiums were cheaper which we could pass onto staff. Luckily our staff numbers met the minimum size criteria which means that pre-existing conditions will be covered – something that individuals can’t get if they apply outside a company. I knew UniMed had a good record for paying out, but the clincher was that UniMed won the category for most satisfied customers for two years running in an independent Canstar survey (2013 and 2014).
They’ve offered assistance to get us up and running and also to put information on our intranet and careers page which is something we didn’t have last time and will be really helpful.
I was recently driving from Dunedin up to Christchurch via Timaru and remembered that a good friend told about a really good arborist and garden equipment supplier in Timaru called MetroGreen. I was looking to get a good quality pole saw and pruning saw so I decided to pop in and take a look.
MetroGreen stocks a the full range of pole saws including WOLF-Garten, ARS, Jameson, Bahco, Samurai, Wicked Tree and Silky saws including all the spare parts and blades. I was really impressed and decided to go for the Samurai based on MetroGreen owner Ken Malcolm’s recommendation after talking to him about my garden project back home.
In addition to saws, MetroGreen also stock a full range of secateurs, knives, axes and machetes as well as quality tool sharpeners and tool sharpening equipment to keep your garden blades razor sharp all the time.