Times are changing for Lockwood Group as its new managing director has stepped into the role his father had held for more than 30 years.

Andrew La Grouw, the son of former managing director, Joe La Grouw, is now leading the Rotorua-based company, with Joe remaining in an advisory position as non-executive director.

Joe said the generational change brought by Andrew's appointment was part of a "natural progression".

"My father made way for me and now I make way for Andrew."


Joe said Andrew had proved his capabilities, having worked as a successful franchisee and sales director over the past decade.

Lockwood Group's new managing director, Andrew la Grouw. Photo/supplied
Lockwood Group's new managing director, Andrew la Grouw. Photo/supplied

"He is ready to take the helm and steer the company into the future."

Innovation had always been a part of the Lockwood brand, Joe said.

"A lot of people ask if we have a research and development department. I always answer 'the company is a research and development department'.

"We started with innovation and it runs throughout the company, with every member of our team involved in looking at new and better ways to produce comfortable, weathertight and eco-friendly building solutions."

Just where that steering will lead the company was made clear as Andrew said he wanted to take Lockwood in a somewhat "familiar direction, but with a twist".

"In one respect, we're going back to our roots as a specialist niche manufacturer.

"We're also moving strongly towards design-led thinking and doubling down on the innovation which has, since our inception, driven the success of the Lockwood Group.

"Design is valued by our contractors on the one hand, and by our end customers who choose Lockwood buildings, on the other."

Andrew's experience of owning and operating the Lockwood Nelson franchise for eight years informed the decision to move away from the franchising model.

"Franchising is a marketing business; we're a manufacturer with a unique selling point and will return our full focus to the production of our construction system while making it as easy as possible for our partners and contractors to work with us."

Dutch immigrants Johannes La Grouw, Joe's father, and Johannes Von Loghem founded the company in 1951, recognising the quality of New Zealand's radiata pine.

Lockwood's first homes for clients were built in 1954, one of which still stands on its original Ngongotaha Stream site.

It is one of more than 50,000 Lockwood homes and buildings found around the world.