Waimate location central to success

Waimate joiner Des McMaster has been in business for close to 40 years and much of it has involved projects in the four corners of the South Island. People have asked him why he didn’t move his business closer to the ’action’ in Dunedin, Central Otago, or Nelson, but he was confident that Waimate provided the right stuff for his business and his family.


‘It’s central, and you have a relatively stable workforce,’ he said. ‘It’s lifestyle, and we’re central here to everything. It’s sports accessible - whatever you want to play here you can do it. And the Events Centre has helped the future of that immensely.’

McMaster Joinery has built headboards, tables, chair and dressers for Auckland-based premium furniture company Cavit and Co, fitted out luxury lodges and homes from Awaroa to Queenstown,  and provided joinery for an 84-room boutique hotel project in Queenstown.

Many of the staff are in the 60-65 age bracket, and that collective experience is probably what’s given the company the edge. Des loves the design side of the business, and visualising, adapting, and problem-solving so that the end result is true to the client’s brief. ‘That’s why we’re successful.’

One of the biggest jobs in recent years was the joinery for a $10 million-plus house build at Arrowtown. Projects in Waimate district are important to the business too, with many locals still using the bespoke customised services that the craftsman joiner offers.

The biggest project on the table for them right now is the environmentally sustainable Headwaters camp at Glenorchy. The Waimate company is working on the joinery, doors, and louvres for the project, which includes cabins, huts, and a commons building. All the products used need to be FSC accredited, which means everything can be traced back to its sustainable origin. Des had to source recycled timber for some of the internal doors.

Problem solving, vision, and a can do attitude have contributed to the business’s success. ‘It’s a rewarding job - we would have put through six apprentices over the years. My job is to make sure we have enough work to keep the six people employed here, and their families, going.’

Contact: Des McMaster Joinery, 0800 559 6580
6 Leonard St, Waimate.

Kate O'Connell