We had to overcome small challenges such as, securing public street access to get
the rangehood unit into the building. One early Thursday morning, we got the rangehood in,
with the assistance of a mobile forklift machine and 6 able bodies to man the rangehood into
space. Pre install, we had some threaded rods drilled into the concrete ceiling above, and we were
able to fix the rangehood, to the rods.
Supplying the cabinetry for a restaurant was going to be another challenge for the Christmas Eve
opening. In Queenstown, everyone was very busy for the Christmas rush. It was a tedious task to get
a 15-piece unit ready in 4 weeks’ time. One of my reliable carpenters was up for the challenge of
assembling the cabinetry from scratch, in the given time frame. We decided to go with an
18mm formply. Thinner ply wood wouldn’t withstand the weight, and roughness in a busy
Formply is commonly used for formwork in commercial and road projects. It is very tough and
durable. We decided heavily on this product for strength, and to save the painting expense. We
were looking for a black shade to resonate with the dark ambience of the restaurant and the black
laminated finish was a big saver. Other assembling parts – handles, rails, tracks etc.; everything was
ordered and built within eight days from start to finish.
Gaining the CPU: In an absolutely restricted timeframe; getting a CCC
was going to be a negative outcome. I worked closely with the clients and other sub-
trades involved, to get an emergency code of compliance ready to meet the Christmas Eve opening
We had to comply with the commercial buildings’ fire safety rules & regulations and emergency
exiting. Working with southern fire safety, we had to go through the ceiling space and add in extra
sprinkler units because the building could now have up to 70 guests at any one time. Fitting
sprinklers required drilling rods into the existing concrete beams. This made sure the restaurant
maintained a certain level of health and safety. All the kitchen appliances, electrical and fire safety
had to be up to scratch. We left no stone unturned to acquire any additions to gain the correct
codes. In case of emergency, exit lighting and signs were put in place to have ideal visibility and
proper directions for the customers and staff, in need.
With over 6 sub-trades and 3 builders working simultaneously, the biggest factor faced was
organising and co-ordination. Thankfully, my skill set has always been management and organising.
Travelling between Queenstown and Auckland on a weekly basis was a challenge in itself. I heavily
relied up on the good staff and would still be looking at a bare empty building if it wasn’t for the
guys involved on the tools.