Local roofers among the best of the best

(Left) Luke van Oosten, and Jordan Lawrence (right), receiving national recognition for their outstanding workmanship.

Christopher Cole, manager of Wānaka Roofing is beaming like a proud dad; two of his boys made the top six finalists in the inaugural Colorsteel Awards which is a great achievement for a small town like Wānaka. 

Jordan Lawrence, 22, was a finalist in the Young Roofer of the Year category, and Luke van Oosten made the finals for Roofer of the Year. 

In the Roofer of the Year category, the judges were looking at the roofer’s workmanship, health and safety practices, customer service and communication, ability to solve problems, and leadership skills, as well as the complexity of the roofer’s past projects and how the individual has impacted on the industry.

For the Young Roofer of the Year, the judges were looking for excellent workmanship, tenacious problem solving, the willingness to go the extra mile, great customer communication, leadership and an impeccable safety record.

The judges were Gretta Stephens, CEO of New Zealand Steel; Graham Moor, CEO of Roofing Association New Zealand; Rod Newbold, roofing expert; Peter Wolfkamp, resident builder and star of The Block, and Ken Crosson, director of Crosson Architects.

For Cole, the achievement of his boys is an acknowledgement of all the hard work the company puts into their projects, and the investment they put into their staff. Unlike many trade companies, Wānaka Roofing employs all their roofers as permanent staff, rather than contractors. This gives the obvious security of employment that endures through the ups and downs of the construction industry. 

“In total we have 23 employees,” said Cole. “We don’t venture out too much. We may do the odd job in Cromwell but we largely stick to Wānaka. We do some housing firms, but mostly we cater to the mid to high end bespoke architectural houses.” 

Wānaka Roofing is owned by The Freeman Group which comprises of eight distinct branches. Each branch is individually branded and operates with a customised business model that matches the unique characteristics of the region that it is located in. The Freeman Group is the largest private, family-owned roofing manufacturer in New Zealand.


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