Chris Warren

Finalist - EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 New Zealand

NZS Group

Related Topics Entrepreneurship

Chris Warren has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, ever since being exposed to his school’s Young Enterprise Scheme as a child. He continued to cultivate this through starting and selling multiple business ventures throughout university before going on to work at a private equity firm.

In 2012, he realised an opportunity to combine his ‘big picture’ commercial experience from private equity with the ‘people and energy focus’ of a small business with the purchase of a small scaffolding company -and NZS Group was born. Fast forward 10 years, and the company employs 450 staff, has 11 branches nationwide and supports the construction and maintenance of New Zealand’s infrastructure through supplying services to the country’s major civil commercial and industrial organisations.

Initially Chris’s purpose was to do what no one had done before – to build a business of scale in the construction industry, with strength and stability- but this quickly evolved.

Entering the scaffolding industry, Chris was shocked by a culture where poor safety, wellbeing and compliance were considered normal, and immediately set-out to do things differently. From the start, NZS Group promoted honesty, transparency and integrity; resulting in its people being the key reason for its success.

“It wasn’t easy, but people grew, others joined, and our vision to change the game and bring professionalism to the industry has had a massive impact on so many and their families.”

NZS Group has become an industry leader, and a role model, leading the way on how things can be done vs how they were done.

The company has demonstrated growth in every area of the business, whether through M&A, new ventures, organic growth or greenfield start-ups. In just 10 years the company has gone from being the new kid on the block to having the largest reach - and this is just the beginning.