Looking back four years ago, 2015 was a big year for many.
Globally, we got our first look at Caitlyn Jenner while pondering if Kylie Jenner’s lips were real. Trump announced he was entering the U.S. political race while Justin Trudeau made Canada cool again.
Closer to home, Prime Minister John Key was embroiled in ponytail gate. Richie McCaw brought home the Cup again (too soon?) and we bid a final farewell to rugby legends Jerry Collins and Jonah Lomu.
For McKenzie & Co. founder Clayton McKenzie and fellow Director James Kitchen expansion was on the horizon.
Surveying is a critical part of the McKenzie & Co. offering and we desperately needed more hands on deck in that department, says Managing Director Clayton McKenzie.
“The hunt for additional surveying support was born out of need rather than a desire to expand the business. We grew rapidly from the outset and it quickly became apparent that our small Auckland team couldn’t do it all.”
In typical Kiwi fashion it was a contact of fellow Director James Kitchen’s wife that led to the discovery of a business for sale in Taupo.
Already delivering comprehensive expertise in surveying, planning and project management, Central Surveys Ltd was the perfect complement to the McKenzie & Co. family.
The companies took a cautious approach at first by partnering together for the first six months. As Clayton describes it, “It was too early to get married so we decided to date first.”
In the end to wasn’t a hard decision to purchase Central Surveys. It was the character of the people in Taupo that made it a no-brainer.
“I remember working alongside Russell and Jerome thinking to myself, “these guys know what they’re doing”. Their big-ticket expertise was evident from the outset and it was obvious to our clients as well.”
“Within months we had major clients asking for the likes of Russell by name. That’s one hell of endorsement if you ask me.”
Merging two existing businesses together can be a challenge and it was important to Clayton and James that the newest members of the McKenzie & Co. family were well taken care of.
“It’s a big responsibility to take on a new business. We were conscious from the outset that our people in Taupo were made to feel like equals. There were no “poor cousins” in this family”.
Putting their money where their mouths were, Clayton and James committed to investing equally between the two sites.
“We made sure they had all the same equipment and technology as we did in Auckland, everything from gear and even coffee machines.”
This investment, both in people and equipment was not lost on the Taupo team.
Central Surveys was for sale for more than two years bringing with it a lot of uncertainty, says Taupo Manager, Jerome Feuillade.
“Waiting in limbo was starting to have a negative impact on our activity and morale. So, the announcement that we were joining McKenzie & Co. was met with relief, excitement and a little bit of apprehension.”
For Jerome and the team, it was more than an investment in computers, cars and other technology that they were looking forward to.
“It was being part of a larger team, the opportunity to share expertise and have additional support when needed that gave us confidence.”
“And of course, the highlights are the company get-togethers. The Christmas functions, ski trips, sporting events like The Nugget.”
In the following four years, the Taupo team has doubled in size, with additional engineering and surveying skills offering even more expertise to clients nation-wide.
Meet the people behind team Taupo here.