Tuesday, 20 November 2018

WHITIANGA WEATHER

A top team at Platinum Homes

A top team at Platinum Homes

Robert and Angela Duxfield came to Whitianga twelve years ago from Wellington where they owned a Prenail Frame and Truss business and where Robert also had a building company. They were looking for lifestyle change and with the construction industry booming at that time, they didn’t have much difficulty convincing each other that Whitianga was the place to be.

Robert started RCD Builders and Angela started working as an interior consultant at a local business. Things were ticking along nicely and Robert even had time for some diving and fishing, two of the reasons he was keen to call Mercury Bay home.

Keeping an eye on the market, Robert and Angela realised demand for design-and-build houses was picking up and they started looking for a franchise they could purchase.

"When Platinum Homes in Whitianga came onto the market towards the end of last year, we jumped at the opportunity," said Robert. "It was a really good call. We were busy from the day we took the business over. I think it helps that I’m a builder by trade. Many owners of franchise building companies don’t have a background in construction. They do a good job, but I’m maybe just that little bit more aware of pitfalls that may be lurking around. And I’m also trying to get onto the tools every day.

"I must also say that we were fortunate that Kevin Andrews and Butch Matherson decided to stay on with us from the previous owner. Butch is still making sure that all the jobs run smoothly and Kevin keeps on bringing in the sales. His contacts with key players in the areas we work in are invaluable."

Robert and Angela cover the whole of the Coromandel and the Hauraki Plains. They have nine builders at the moment working for them, including two of their sons. Adam, a builder, and his partner have returned from Perth to join them and Joel, the younger brother, is doing his builder’s apprenticeship through the business.

"That’s the one thing about the business we didn’t expect," Robert said. "The eagerness of our family to be involved. It’s great that there’s enough work to keep all of us busy."

To that Angela added, "We’re a close family. Sunday evening dinners are once again a big thing. We really enjoy that."

Robert and Angela are also locally minded. "Being part of a franchise, we have to use some national suppliers, but where we can we try to use local tradesmen and buy our materials locally. It’s important for all businesses in the area to support each other," said Robert.

Angela also said that she and Robert believe that it’s important to be active in the local community. "We’ve recently sponsored some jackets for one of the Mercury Bay Junior Rugby teams and I support an older couple who don’t have their family around. Community spirit is the one thing that really makes the whole Mercury Bay area unique. I cannot think of a better business in a better place for us to be in right at this moment."

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The Mercury Bay Informer is a highly popular community newspaper, based in Whitianga. The paper is distributed throughout the Coromandel Peninsula, coast to coast from Thames to north of Colville.