'Speldhurst' a new era for Levin

With $150m of planned development including a community centre and 400 new homes, Levin’s new ‘Speldhurst Country Estate’ promises to be much more than a retirement village.

Developer and prominent local Wayne Bishop is not only passionate about providing the best possible lifestyle for Kiwi seniors, he wants the whole of Horowhenua to benefit.

Wayne has partnered exclusively with Gerard on what he calls his “legacy project” – one where the journey offers just as much community benefit as the destination.

Watch the video here!

Aged care in a rural setting

Situated among green pastures, and flanked by the Tararua ranges to the east, Speldhurst naturally achieves a lush, rural feeling but with the atmosphere and connectedness of a town or suburb.
The homes are independent and individual in style, but do share common traits – mainly homeliness, functionality and spaciousness
Wayne says it’s about reflecting the needs and tastes of retirees, who don’t necessarily want to ‘downsize’:
          “Normally seniors need to sell off all their possessions to move into an aged care facility or retirement village. Speldhurst is different. They can bring everything here, and I think it’s one of the reasons it’s proving popular.”

Range of Gerard profiles, colours and textures

Along with its scale and stunning rural setting, the lifestyle estate is also notable for featuring five Gerard profiles in a range of textures and tones, making it a real-life product showroom.
While it’s early days, the range is already on display, with Gerard Alpine, Corona, Milano, Rockport and Tuffcoat profiles all featuring among the first stages of completed units.
The colour palette is also refreshingly diverse, with light and dark tones, subtle and bold greens and reds, and earthy greys and browns giving Speldhurst the look of a township versus a generic subdivision.

Thinking ‘roof first’ in design

Wayne says the Gerard range reflects the importance of the roof in defining a home’s overall style and character:

          “It’s true that a lot of developers plan houses from the ground, up, and this means the roof can be the last consideration. I’m different. I design from the roof, down, and I think the roof plays an important role in the look of a home. I’ve used a lot of different roof products in the past – concrete, long run - but it became apparent early-on that pressed steel tile would be the way to go.”

Gerard Certified Roofer provides additional value

Another key player is Gerard Certified Roofer Allroof Solutions. The Wellington-based outfit is owned by Chris Burgess, who has a long-standing professional relationship with Wayne.

Chris describes Speldhurst as the ultimate joint venture:

          “Well it’s a huge project which is obviously pleasing. But we’re also working with the upper end of the Gerard range, the premium products – there’s Alpine, there’s Rockport, there’s Milano, there’s textured and satin finishes. Gerard have really let me take the lead on the project but have also provided support, and Wayne’s a great customer.”

Community centre the ‘hub’

If there’s any irony to this story, it is how much life residents will living out of their homes - thanks mainly to a place they call ‘The George’.
Wayne proudly labels it the ‘hub’ of the Speldhurst development, and it’s easy to see why. With a towering clock feature and lateral east-west design it’s both geographic centre and the focal point.
On the inside, there’s a large entertainment and lounging area, a café, a library with hundreds of volumes, PCs for web browsing, a full size billiards table, and a swimming pool – all under one Gerard Corona roof.
Soon it will be joined by a new bowling green and a hair salon, and for everything else, Levin’s only a moment away.

Restoring local pride

Speldhurst marks the regeneration of a site that was formerly home to a hospital known as ‘the Kimberley Centre’.
As a functioning hospital, ‘the Kimberley’ provided essential services for patients and their families, and numerous benefits for the wider community – but it’s 2006 closure had since resulted in 85 derelict buildings, and embarrassment for locals.
Determined for something great to take its place, Wayne’s also celebrating the site's history through the repurposing of old timbers and materials in various places - including the main foyer of The George – and the resurrection of the old hospital chapel.

A community investment

Wayne wants Speldhurst to be a force for community good, and having run the numbers he’s confident about the wider economic benefit of this, and other construction projects.
          “Through my experience and current role I’ve got visibility of which types of investments benefit a community in terms of economic return. Some projects yield $4 or $5 for every dollar spent, which is good, but with building and construction development it’s more like $10. We’ve got local apprentices who previously had to go to Palmerston North or Wellington to get work, and moving forward our residents will rely on local businesses for products and services.”

For a developer with a genuine community outlook, could there be a better legacy?

See Gerard's full range of products and accessories here:

Visit the Gerard Roofs DesignTech website here:

Homestar 10 prototype a Gerard "super home"
When leading architectural designer Bob Burnett set out to show New Zealanders what world class sustainable housing looks like, he chose to do it with Gerard pressed steel roofing.
Read full story
A reputation built on Quality
Our reputation as New Zealand’s worry-proof roof is something we’ve earned over decades.
Read full story
Architectural designer picks Gerard for show home
A leading Auckland architectural designer and business owner could have chosen any type of roof for her firm's new premises, but with her desired look and Auckland's climate in mind, she explains it had to be Gerard.
Read full story
The benefits of a textured finish
While you'll receive Gerard performance and durability whichever finish you choose, there are multiple reasons why our textured finish is considered the "premium" option.
Read full story
Homestar inspiring a healthier housing future
Depending on who you are and where you live, the term "housing crisis" can represent very different things. For a number of New Zealand households, the real crisis is related to the most basic of human needs – our health and wellbeing.
Read full story
Choosing a new roof? Why you won't regret pressed steel
Because not all roofs provide you with the benefits and performance of Gerard pressed steel system, let’s explore ten reasons why a pressed steel roof is right for you.
Read full story
Performance and looks: the complete roof transformation
When you're living in a 73 year old Dunedin apartment building and the old terracotta roof is leaking, it's not ideal!
Read full story
Gerard stands tall in 'treehouse' specification
When Canterbury designer Sally Turnbull specified the roof for a unique accommodation prototype in Hanmer Springs, she opted for Gerard Corona. With its lightweight strength and a history of performance in the harshest of climates, Gerard has again earned its place in a project that's generating plenty of buzz within architectural circles.
Read full story
The critical role of a roof in fire safety
Fire safety is a critical component in achieving Building Code compliance, with the Code’s entire “C” section dedicated to the prevention of fire and reduction of risk through both design and materials.
Read full story
Project coordinator role all about customer value
Whenever a Gerard roof is installed in the Auckland region, there's a decent chance that Project Coordinator Richard Field is running the job, ensuring it goes smoothly.
Read full story
Creating an Aged Care legacy in the Waikato
A high-end Aged Care facility recently opened in Hamilton and, featuring Gerard Corona in its gable-centric design, is a demonstration of Gerard’s suitability for the sector.
Read full story
Retired farmers choose Gerard
Retired farmers John and Beverly Lundy built their rural retreat with four children and ten grandchildren in mind. The original design of their extended-family-friendly Waikato home called for asphalt shingles but Gerard became the roof of choice in this windy spot in the Waikato.
Read full story
The tornado-proof roof
On Tuesday 3rd May 2011, the Auckland suburb of Albany experienced 'an extreme weather event'. A large tornado touched down at 3.15pm and slammed through a shopping mall before moving south leaving a 5km trail of destruction.
Read full story
Chimney Sweep Inspires Cottage Makeover
Dave and Ruth had all the reasons in the world to replace their old concrete tile roof. The roof was bowing noticeably from the weight, they had cracks in the ceiling and serious leaks by the bucketful. But it was a comment from their chimney sweep that finally tipped the scales.
Read full story
Gerard Big Hit on Grand Designs TV
A spectacular roofline on a Balinese-inspired pole home generated huge interest after it featured on Australia's top-rating Grand Designs TV show. Seen by an estimated 1.8 million viewers, the hour-long episode followed the construction of a pavilion style "treehouse" with a Gerard Corona roof at Trinity Beach near Cairns in North Queensland.
Read full story

Subscribe to Gerard updates

Just fill in your details below and we’ll add you to our mailing list for relevant and useful information and updates. We promise not to pass on your details to anyone else and you can unsubscribe any time you like.

Gerard Certified Roofers Only

Gerard Certified Roofers can access their individual secure transaction portal via the button below.

This is an entirely different site only accessible with a preassigned GCR code and login.

If you are not a Gerard Certified Roofer and are interested in becoming one please contact Gerard Roofs on 0800 104 868 to find out more.