Skip to main content

Cedar-James White border 192.70 Flat copyThe last dec­ade has seen a pleth­ora of group hous­ing firms rise up, with kit-set designs reflec­ted in the land­scape of new prop­erty devel­op­ments. But for one loc­al entre­pren­eur, the magic of cre­at­ing a unique concept for a site and see­ing it through is very much alive and well.

James Mack­ie of Mack­it is a bit of an enigma. As a design­er, build­er and chief exec­ut­ive, he is both highly cre­at­ive and a fin­ish­er with a pas­sion for grand design.

James holds a Bach­el­or of Design with Hon­ours from Mas­sey Uni­ver­sity and is qual­i­fied in car­pentry, while also being a licensed build­ing prac­ti­tion­er in both design and car­pentry. While work­ing as a build­er after uni­ver­sity, he saw an oppor­tun­ity to close the gap between design and con­struc­tion, allow­ing cli­ents to deal with one com­pany for their entire pro­ject from start to finish.

At just 25 he foun­ded Mack­it, an archi­tec­tur­al design and con­struc­tion com­pany, and now works with a team of eight on both sides of the Rimu­taka Hill. With an eth­os remin­is­cent of the tele­vi­sion series Grand Designs, Mack­it designs and builds for a con­sidered set of cli­ents who want to leave a leg­acy on the land.

We take cli­ents on adven­tures. Build­ing or renov­at­ing a house is often a once-in-a-life­time pro­ject using hard-earned money. Cli­ents want to enjoy the jour­ney and there’s some­thing spe­cial about hav­ing one team see your vis­ion through,” says James.

Mack­it cer­tainly doesn’t fit the ‘group hous­ing’ mould, which can be syn­onym­ous with ‘design and build’. Instead, the team set them­selves apart by pro­du­cing only bespoke designs. Each pro­ject is com­pletely unique, says James. “I’ll nev­er have a cata­logue of plans. I’ll always start off with a con­ver­sa­tion and a clean sheet of paper.

Build­ings have to be spe­cific­ally designed for people, the sur­round­ings they live in and what nature gives you, like sun­light and wind; you’ve got to embrace all that.”

Mack­it deliv­ers an end-to-end ser­vice for renov­a­tions as well as new builds. Some renov­a­tion pro­jects end up being more involved than a new build, but James sees giv­ing old build­ings a new lease on life as a priv­ilege. “Build­ings that have stood for 100 or even 50 years have done so for a reas­on — they were well built, usu­ally with beau­ti­ful nat­ive tim­bers and mas­ter crafts­man­ship. If they have good bones then they deserve a chance to be trans­formed rather than bulldozed.”

Mack­it has done just that with an eight-month full trans­form­a­tion of a 1918 bun­ga­low in Wadestown. It involved the demoli­tion of poorly built add-ons, a redesign of the exist­ing lay­out and the con­struc­tion of a size­able exten­sion, but much of the ori­gin­al still remains.

James and wife Susie’s own home in Greytown is also under­go­ing a rad­ic­al trans­form­a­tion. “It’s still got the bones of the ori­gin­al but it’s got a new cloak on; it looks like a brand-new house. It’s Scand­inavi­an mod­ern style, some­thing I enjoy, and the house lent itself to that quite well.”

While renov­a­tions are hugely sat­is­fy­ing, design­ing new homes gives James the oppor­tun­ity to cre­ate build­ings that he hopes will leave a leg­acy on the land — the type of build­ings people will still be nur­tur­ing in 100 years’ time.



Mack­it Archi­tec­tur­al Design & Construction

PO Box 42, Greytown 5742

p: 0508 Mack­it (0508 622548)

m: 027 277 9221


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.