The first in a mini-series on The Hutchinson Group, who believe, ‘The world deserves to be looked after better by all of us.’ Monique Balvert-O’Connor takes a look round the first of the family-owned group’s two businesses: The Relocatable House Co.
WORDS MONIQUE BALVERT-O’CONNOR / PHOTOS TRACIE HEASMAN / SUPPLIED
As a ten-year-old, Chrissey Hutchinson was allowed to miss school to watch a relocatable house being moved to her parents’ property.
Her photo album includes a shot of her son Richard, aged three, industriously loading bricks, when his mother and father (Bill) relocated their home.
Perhaps it was written in the stars that Chrissey and Richard would one day develop a venture around their interest in house relocation. And so it is that Chrissey and husband, Bill, and Richard and wife, Claire, form The Hutchinson Group, which owns both The Relocatable House Company (TRHCo), and Goodwood – a wood-waste recycling company. It’s seven years since Richard farewelled the corporate world to join his parents in starting a business, with an initial focus on buying, selling, and moving houses.
These days it’s a more encompassing approach – connecting buyers with sellers, yes, but also including expert consultants and project managers to assist with consent processes and all the essential services wrapped around house relocation.
Richard, who is The Hutchinson Group’s CEO, tells how TRHCo’s progression over recent years has included the appointment of key personnel, such as design, consent, and marketing specialists, sales consultants, and a general manager.
Group staff numbers sit at about 20, with more than 100 homes moved per year. The core market is the Waikato, the Bay of Plenty, and Auckland, with ofices in Tauranga and Auckland.
“It’s easy to feel passionate about this family business with family values,” Richard says. “At its core is plenty that fits under the ‘change for good’ banner – like resourcefulness, sustainability, and helping New Zealanders into homes that are more affordable than many alternatives.
“As the company’s mantra states, we believe that more New Zealanders owning their own home creates better family environments, better communities, and better futures.”
Claire says the database of those wanting to buy houses to relocate is large. “It’s a viable option, especially with increased house prices. And we love that we are setting people up for success.”
General manager, Dave Wilson, says purchasers can save between 30 and 50 percent of the cost of a new building. People have the opportunity of adding value by finishing homes off themselves, too.
Staff at TRHCo are united in their commitment to educate New Zealanders about the environmental advantages. They’re proud to have Auckland Council recognition as a preferred waste-minimisation partner.
“Demolition is, unfortunately, the mindset of many,” Dave says. “They’re quick to demolish, despite the fact that construction waste is a major problem, and there’s a housing shortage.
“We are proving key in preventing many houses from being demolished. And it’s great to see the history of some of these beautiful homes preserved.”
“BEING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL CURVE IS A GREAT PLACE TO BE,” CLAIRE ADDS.
WHY RELOCATE WITH US?
ENVIRONMENT When a house is demolished, all building materials go to land ll, putting huge pressure on our environment.
COST SAVINGS Increase your rental yields, or development profits, by relocating for a fraction of the cost of a new build. Save money you can then invest in landscaping or the interior.
CONSENTS We can handle all the consents for you. We have an excellent relationship with local councils and know exactly what is needed to make the move happen.
CHOICE We have an extensive database of home buyers. And we know what they want, so are able to match buyers and houses.
EXPERTISE We have moved hundreds of homes, on hundreds of di erent terrains. We have seen every permutation possible. You’ll be guided by a dedicated member of our team throughout the whole process.