New Zealand kit set housing provider, TRENZ Homes has expanded its reach into the Fiji market by beginning a series of public consultations with interested locals in Suva, Pacific Harbour and Nadi.
The company is offering custom-built, cyclone-proof houses that can be constructed within a three to four-month period- a nippy building package that’s been welcomed amid a massive rebuilding effort since Tropical Cyclone Winston destroyed up to 40,000 homes in early 2016.
“We have held several workshops and seminars and currently prospecting and feedback has been extremely optimistic,” noted director, John Smith, who is in the country with TRENZ Fiji licensee Phil Evans and local channel partner, Nemani Tueli.
“Our designs and material are mostly manufactured in New Zealand and Australia, with local construction partners. Ideally, we’d like to change the building landscape, using traditional material, and incorporating a look that is reflective of indigenous Fijian designs.”
Smith added that there was much scope for traditional building material as a better alternative to heavy cement and blockwork.
“We’re committed to building fully-engineered, superior homes using affordable quality material that are cyclone-rated and more budget-friendly. These includes water-resistant, mould-proof Maglock flooring and BGC fibre cement claddings, which has proven to withstand some of Australia’s toughest environments. Those we’ve met here are receptive and understand this new concept of sustainable kit homes we’re introducing and its different build convention. There is a better way to build that will last the distance.”
TRENZ has set up kit homes in other Pacific countries such as Samoa, Niue and the Cook Islands and say they are flexible with designs and products, offering two-bedroom to eight-bedroom homes that would be suitable to most local landscape or terrain.
Tueli noted a key challenge was the over reliance on concrete structures.
“We’re trying to move away from that and move into a 21st century building concept. It’s an uphill battle sometimes but we’re positive that home owners will embrace this alternative method to better and durable homes, especially in the Pacific, where it is important to have cyclone-rated properties. It’s a mindset and education we are also promoting that is evident in New Zealand and which we hope will be more adopted here by more locals.”
Evans noted that they had a close partnership with Bunnings Trade Innovation, which supply most of their products, while plans were also underway to delve into resort-style kit homes and the design of boutique, resort properties.
“The homes are modern while still retaining a local aesthetic. There’s competition out there of course but we strongly believe that we have a super product, with a highly skilled team trained to set up these homes anywhere in Fiji.”
The TRENZ team has met a series of real estate developers around the country and has also set its sights on establishing its kit homes at new sub-divisions.
It holds consultations for interested buyers in the Western division at the Mercure Hotel in Martintar, Nadi on June 17 from 1pm-2pm.
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