Problem-solving, creativity, and a chance to make a difference


By Steve Leitch, Biggins Fibrous Plaster

Back in the day, I wasn’t too bad at softball, even pitching for the New Zealand Black Sox Softball team. During off-seasons, I'd travel to the USA playing for teams over there. Since softball was more of a nighttime gig over there, I needed something to keep me busy during the days. So, I stumbled into plastering, even though I didn't know the first thing about it. But I fell in love with it, and here I am, still at it 30 odd years later.

My wife Carlene and I saw a chance to expand our plastering game into fibrous plaster manufacturing, so we bought Biggins Fibrous Plaster, a business that was founded in 1943 by Fred Biggins. And get this: Carlene's dad was Freds' first apprentice! What a small world, right? Carlene even became the first woman in New Zealand to get certified in Fibrous Plastering Manufacturing and Mould Making. Together we trained our son Jackson who is now also qualified in the trade, adding another generation to our family business.

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What’s been your most challenging job?

One of the craziest jobs we tackled was restoring the historical mouldings in Massey University's Refectory Building. All we had to go off were photos from way back in 1906, talk about a challenge!

We’ve worked on some amazing jobs, both in the residential and commercial sectors. We’re proud to have undertaken the total refurbishment of the interior of the Old Supreme Court and Government House.

What’s on your radar now?

Right now, we're working on the Wellington Town Hall. We're working hard to restore all the historical decorative mouldings and designs, using both old-school skills and new tech.

Fibrous plastering is a mix of old and new, from restoring heritage spots to making modern spaces pop. If you've got a knack for problem-solving and a bit of creativity, you'd fit right in. And let me tell you, seeing the smiles on our clients' faces makes all the hard work worth it.