HAMR Home Building Contractors | Building business success on the Coromandel Peninsula

Starting a new business in the middle of the global financial crisis may not be for everyone, but for Richard and Hannah Warwick it was the perfect time to launch their company, HAMR Home Building Contractors.
HAMR, pronounced ‘hammer’, is created from the initials of Richard, Hannah and their children Amelia, Maggie and Anabelle. Based in Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula, the company focuses on residential new builds and encompasses both design and build.
“When we decided to establish HAMR, people told us we were mad! But we needed a new start as Richard had been made redundant and we had a young family and a mortgage. The advantage of starting a business in the middle of a recession was that it gave us time to work out exactly how we wanted to run it. In ten years, we’ve only had a few quiet days. We’ve been consistently busy and are very happy with how our business has progressed and with what we have achieved.”
Hannah says they are equally comfortable working with high-end architects with multi-million dollar designs as they are with designing and building from their own portfolio of plans.
“We can meet most budgets and requirements. Working across the spectrum means we have flexibility and gives us variety, which makes work really interesting,” she explains.
HAMR is a family business, with Richard as managing director, Hannah supporting him in the office and a team of six builders and one apprentice. The company started out building mainly high-end holiday homes, but over the past ten years has changed to building permanent homes for those seeking refuge from the cities.
“People move here from Hamilton, Auckland or Tauranga and for a similar price to a home in the city, you can build a beautiful brand-new home on the waterfront.  We have plenty of new development here with Whitianga Waterways and the Wharekaho Beach subdivision.  Regardless of where you build in this area, you have access to the ultimate waterfront lifestyle with beautiful beaches on your doorstep.”
Hannah’s connection to Moore Markhams Waverley spans many years, back to the Gresham Walkinton and Co. days when her father Richard was director of that company.   Following Richard’s death in 2018, Jeff Whitlock took over the HAMR financial management, ably assisted by Hannah.
“I had such good training with Dad,” she says. “I used to work in the office during school holidays, sorting out people’s shoeboxes full of receipts! We, of course, relied on Dad for advice but Jeff Whitlock and Margaret Prince have stepped into that role and I am fully reliant on them. I’ve got so much respect for both of them – there’s no such thing as a silly question and they are always so responsive and reliable. They are my go-to for anything finance related.”
Shortly HAMR Homes will be competing in the 2019 House of the Year awards, a competition they have enjoyed success in many times, winning the regional $750K-$1million category three times - no mean feat for a small company competing against new home builds in Auckland, Northland and Coromandel.  In 2014, they were the national winner for the same category.
As for the future of HAMR, Hannah says the ‘current formula’ is working. “We are at a size now that we can ensure everything we do is of the highest quality and our life is balanced. We love living in Whitianga, it is an amazing place to work and raise our family.  However, Waverley will always be ‘home’ to me.”
Photo caption: Waterfront luxury in Coromandel, built by HAMR.