Hall of Fame Laureate – 2016 Horowhenua – Ross Crowe

Ross Crowe: Innovative Award Winning Builder

At just 27 years of age, Horowhenua born and bred builder Ross Crowe established Crowe Construction.

Working mostly in Wellington but proudly based in Levin, Ross quickly discovered a love for training and mentoring young builders. Even today, with 30 apprentices graduated, he still actively mentors former apprentices as they establish their own businesses.

Ross’ first development project was in Koputaroa. His first commercial contract was the Levin RSA snooker room extension.

But it was when his company built its first service station for BP that he entered a long term niche market; building or renovating service stations, schools and popular food service outlets throughout the lower North Island – projects that require a quick turn around and a robust, quality build.

In 1972 he met Wellington architect Roger Walker when he built the Sandcastle Motel in Peka Peka. Ross recommended against a specified corrugated asbestos roof – demonstrating an ability to identify building materials likely to cause later trouble. The pair remain collaborators, close friends, occasional travelling companions, and regular wine tasting buddies.

Over the years Ross has developed a fondness for different and difficult builds, especially the challenge of architecturally designed bespoke residences. He also undertakes earthquake-proofing in up to 10-story blocks, and relishes complex engineering challenges.

In 2014 the company won the New Zealand Master Builders Award for Te Takere, in Levin.

Ross is a builder not afraid of new challenges. He thinks outside the box and is not distracted by conventional methods of doing things.

He enjoys a laugh and is warm hearted and a regular supporter of community events and initiatives, such as the Lego Exhibition, the Athletic Rugby Club and the roof on the Hockey Turf pavilion.

Today he has eight core staff, including his youngest son, and up to 15 contractors. Ross and wife Jackie enjoy farming, fishing, diving, boating and travel while running his company full time.