Shaped by Experience: Why Donovan Group is Ready for the Next Chapter

In a recent interview Director Kyle Donovan said that resilience and persistence are two characteristics of the more than 50-year old family business.


He explained how the business has worked to solve and overcome challenges at every step of its 55-year journey, seeking outcomes that are better, every step of the way.

“Resilience means there is no problem you can’t overcome. When you are faced with a challenge, work around it,” he said.

This ethos has seen Donovan Group apply its experience, year on year, to product and technical innovation.

In 2021 Donovan Group recruited Matt Woodley to lead the business into a new chapter: one where the benefits of its building systems, products and software are realised increasingly around the globe.

As big a step as this may be, it’s a business that is highly experienced at moving forwards and making leaps. And it’s always done on the basis of building on past experience.

“A traditional steel manufacturing company will simply make products to sell to other people,” says Matt Woodley. “Donovan Group’s origins are in steel manufacturing and engineering, but it has moved forward and innovated with industry leading design and engineering software, and by developing its franchised and licensed channels to market. This has enabled some huge developments in terms of how buildings are designed and built, with a dramatic reduction in carbon consumption, that could not otherwise have happened.”

He says that the development of Donovan Group’s tech platforms - software packages that enable buildings to be designed, engineered, and delivered with unparalleled ease and efficiency have enhanced the offering even further.

“Thanks to these tools, the combination of vertical integration into the channel and technology innovation, has enabled significant growth of KiwiSpan and Coresteel which are two of the most successful franchise construction groups in the country, and hugely carbon-efficient ways of building” says Matt.

Having that proven experience, Donovan Group is very well positioned for export growth through licensing of its construction technology to strategic partners in international markets.

Donovan Group’s growth in the domestic New Zealand market is fast – greater than 20% in the last year alone even in a climate of pandemic disruption – in itself creating challenges -  but the company has the foundation on which to move up a gear.

And it has decades of experience to back it up.

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