Our core team have worked together continuously now years. We've completed a vast range of projects including; staged renovations, home extensions, new builds (bespoke), minor dwellings, water damage and faulty workmanship remediation; retirement village, apartment, office, foyer and factory upgrades (whilst operational), body corp work, fit outs, escalator replacements, elevator shaft work, school hall construction; Plus our ongoing work with Loft Homes and Garages www.lofthomesandgarages.co.nz who specialise in improving space's for life.

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Ralph Hill

"Create clarity, earn trust, consider every detail, work safe, work smart, build quality outcome's to be proud of, and have fun. This is why we do what we do"

It was Managing Director Ralph Hill’s passion to design and construct his own homes that inevitably led to ownership of Build Smart Group and Loft Homes and Garages. Ralph has a broad range of business ownership and project management experience spanning 35 years. In Ralph's early career, creating long term relationships with many of New Zealand’s largest retail groups instilled a strong sense of value around taking ownership of clients projects. Client satisfaction is at the core of Build Smart Group's culture and Ralph remains readily available and involved with all projects. 

Hands-on Managing Director 


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Neil Henderson

"The grass really is greener in New Zealand"

Operations Manager Neil Henderson immigrated from South Africa in 2008 to join the team at Build Smart Group.  In 1989 he completed Architectural Studies in Cape Town and whilst working for a prominent firm of Architects, his on-site involvements sparked a major interest in project management.

Neil started his own design and build business in 2004. Gaining experience in all facets, his scope expanded to include industrial and commercial projects. This culminated with the project management construction of a multi-million dollar hotel on South Africa’s East Coast before making the decision to emigrate to New Zealand.

Operations and Project Management 



Murray Walker

"Anything is possible, bring me a challenge, and lets make it happen!"

Sales manager Murray Walker has been in the building industry all his life. Starting in his father’s joinery shop he completed a Plumbing and Drain-laying apprenticeship but spotted a business opportunity. He successfully built one of Auckland’s first design and build kitchen companies for over 10 years before selling to take on his next challenge pioneering the NZ wardrobe industry..

During this time he honed his Sales skills and won several international awards then after another decade of hard work successfully sold the business. His old school mate Ralph offered him the opportunity to join Build Smart Group and Loft Homes and Garages. Murray jumped at the opportunity and is relishing the role bringing all his valuable experience to bear.

Sales Manager 



Richard Payne

"I do such a great job, they locked me up and threw away the key!" 

Our chief Licensed Building Practitioner and Site Manager Richard (Ricci) Payne has 45 years experience across the Australasian building industry.  Ricci did his apprenticeship with Fletcher Construction, gaining valuable knowledge covering both residential and commercial projects. After qualifying as a Master Builder he specialised in building quality homes. One of his most demanding projects was the 3 year private build on the Gibbs Farm in the Kaipara, transforming an old farmhouse into a state of the art mansion.            

Ricci has been with Build Smart Group over 6 years and overseen more than 100 projects. His role is to make things happen efficiently at site from establishment through completion including council code compliance's (when applicable). Ricci's experience is invaluable when those inevitable problems arise requiring immediate attention and practical solutions.

Chief LBP (Licensed Building Practitioner) and Site Manager 



Tara McGowan

"...so just confirming that will definitely happen by 3pm today..,  yes?..., brilliant thanks!"

Meet the bubbly friendly voice behind the phone when you contact us. Tara thrives on order and has the office operating in great form ensuring everyone (suppliers, contractors, employees, clients and even the IRD) want to cross their t's and dot their i's. Tara is a member of the National Association of Woman in Construction (NAWIC) and has been involved in many areas of the building industry from an administration / financial aspect and recently completed her Diploma in Interior Design.                   Tara brings a wealth of experience in office management and inspires us everyday with her consistently friendly nature and high skill levels.

Office Manager