About Gaze

“We continue to have great staff. The culture comes first and the team follow with the opportunities. We have some great people that have dedicated their lives and passion for something they enjoy, and we simply can’t do it without the team.”


Like many quintessential Kiwi success stories, Gaze Commercial had its humble beginnings in the basement of a Papakura home.


David Gaze’s first job was replacing the castors on 6 chairs for Papakura Council. Whilst carrying out this hands-on work he discovered a niche market, and progressed into helping organisations utilise their office spaces correctly. And as they say - the rest is history!


Altered name to Gaze Interiors in order to be identified as a Commercial Interior Planning company, unfortunately some people thought we were actually Interior Colour Consultants, however we did manage to land our first BIG job for McVeagh Fleming.

Gaze House

The company grew quickly and it was time to move on from David’s garage into something a little more professional, which was an old penthouse apartment in Newmarket. Another name change occurred during this expansion, the name we know today, Gaze Commercial. One of our first projects was helping a small real estate company shift from Papatoetoe into the central city. Let’s just say David and his team really helped put Bayleys ‘on the map’


The mid-80s was when things really took off for the company. Around 50 staff members commandeered the top two storeys of what is now known as 277 Shopping Centre, they were one of the first businesses to install a fax machine, and they also had the honour of working with some rather high flying organisations like Chase Corporation, Equicorp, Landmark and more.   


Things were humming along nicely, and so it was decided to list Gaze Commercial on the New Zealand Stock Exchange. Unfortunately not long after came the stock market crash, meaning the business had to privatise, sell property it owned, and pay back all the shareholders - which they managed to achieve. The team shifted into a small house in Ellerslie, and set about surviving the tough property market.


A severe storm in Niue saw the company provide a kitset motel to the tiny South Pacific nation, as well as undertaking a refurbishment for a hotel. This opened the market to the rest of the South Pacific - including Papua New Guinea, Samoa and American Samoa - as Gaze Commercial sold building and construction materials, and even exported graders and bulldozers. At the time it was anything to help keep the cash flow moving.

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Saw further expansion into the overseas marketplace, including Vietnam which had recently had its American imposed embargo lifted. Here the team refurbished old French Villas, ready for the arrival of expats, and they also assisted companies re-opening their doors to Vietnam, such as Coca Cola, Johnson & Johnson and the American Consulate’s new premises.


Gaze were involved as a sub-contractor to a large Korean Developer, building apartments in Ho Chi Minh. Unfortunately a massive financial crisis saw the development halt before it was completed and the business was out of pocket of millions of dollars. It was time to head home to New Zealand.


A team of 50 continued to work out of the little house in Ellerslie, concentrating on Auckland and Wellington and carrying out many exciting architectural interior design projects


David headed off overseas with his family and ended up refurbishing post-war commercial hospitality projects in Croatia and getting involved with a large tourism development in Malta, using New Zealand and European expertise.
As part of the organisations continued ‘Corporate Social Responsibility', Gaze established a Memorandum of Agreement with the ‘International Trust Fund for Demining & Mine Victims Assistance’ (ITF). The concept was to purchase ‘land mined’ land in Croatia and Sarajevo, de-mine and sell it. The profits from the concept were then used to purchase more land and repeat the cycle - before all support from corporates evaporated with the Global Financial Crisis.


David and his family returned to New Zealand in 2010


After the devastating Christchurch earthquakes, a third office was opened in the city to help complete earthquake repairs and shift companies into their new premises. It was also the year Gaze Property Partnerships came to fruition. Since then investments have ranged from an 8-storey office tower, to apartments and major industrial developments.

This area continues to grow as investments become available and David concentrates in developing this property area. Alongside this, the core business of Commercial Interiors, Cost and Project Management develop under three key teams: Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.


Gaze Commercial moves into High Street in what used to house the infamous Rakino’s


From 6 chairs to 35 years! Not many companies make it to over 35 years in business, many of them don’t even make it past one year, and to that success, David credits his team and the work they do.  
“We continue to have great staff. The culture comes first and the team follow with the opportunities. We have some great people that have dedicated their lives and passion for something they enjoy, and we simply can’t do it without the team.”
That year we also moved 25,000 cubic meters of top soil to make way for the new Sleepyhead factory in Mangere.


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