Rotorua family owned and operated business Wood Masters Ltd is celebrating 50 years of satisfying, diverse and interesting work.
Wood Masters Ltd owner Peter Bjarnesen says the business was established by his father in 1960 when he started making furniture.
In July of 1970, his father rebranded the company to Wood Masters Ltd and went into creating Māori souvenirs and carvings for the souvenir and tourism industry.
It also creates 21st birthday keys, and trophies and awards too.
"There was nobody doing it at the time, so it was a totally unknown market and field. Now, 50 years later, we are still successfully doing this."
He says it is an industry which has had its ups and downs, such as all the price shocks in the 70s which had an effect on air travel, the Gulf Wars and most recently Covid-19.
"Anything that has an impact on international travel impacts on business."
He says, in turn, anything that is good for tourism is great for business, such as Crankworx and the Rugby World Cup.
Wood Masters Ltd supplies all over the country, including Te Papa in Wellington, Te Puia, Whakarewarewa, Auckland Museum and many shops in between.
The business has equipment that was originally driven by a steam engine from the 1890s through to digital laser engraving and CNC machining, as well as doing work by hand.
He says since Covid-19 put a dampener on the country and Rotorua's international tourism, which has been the business' prime market, they have lost a huge percentage of their business.
This has had a significant impact and they have had to reduce staff, he says.
However, the business is now getting back into making furniture, doing custom machining and profiling, and restoration work to help boost business.
Peter says Wood Masters Ltd has had a major part to play in restoration of the Rotorua Museum's wood turning, mouldings and carvings.
"We have a very strong attachment to it."
He says Prince's Gate Hotel is another place they frequently do maintenance on and replace materials for.
It has been a very satisfying and interesting business to be part of, he says.
"The diversity of work that we do is always a challenge."
He says the celebration of 50 years shows stability, consistency and reliability.
"We must be good at what we do otherwise we wouldn't have survived."
Peter says they will likely have a gathering to celebrate the 50-year anniversary and any former employees are welcome to pop in and say hello.
Andrew Wilson, interim chief executive of Destination Rotorua, says congratulations to the team at Wood Masters on such a significant milestone.
"Businesses connected to the souvenir industry will be particularly impacted by the lack of international visitors to New Zealand at the moment and it's great to be able to celebrate the continued support of this local company.
"Wood Masters' longevity is a clear sign of the business's ability to adapt and respond to changing market conditions over time, which is more important than ever in the current operating environment."
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Bryce Heard says 50 years is pretty impressive and shows the resilience of Rotorua's smaller businesses.
"Congratulations to them and we celebrate with them. They would have been through a few ups and downs over that time."