Though James Fletcher commenced work as a house builder, the firm soon expanded its operations to include municipal construction as well as industrial and commercial activities, supported by a growing range of building material manufacturers and supply firms.
In the 1930s, Fletcher Construction entered the construction of state housing, and in the immediate post-war period, Fletcher Construction became synonymous with some of the largest public works and industrial projects undertaken in New Zealand, such as the construction of the Tasman Pulp and Paper plant at Kawerau.
Though originally a stand alone company, as its parent company Fletcher Holdings diversified, Fletcher construction became part of the construction and property sector of the expanding public company, and in 1981, following the merger of Fletcher Challenge, was a stand-alone division.
The Construction Group and Property Group was itself split into a highly divisionalised structure. New Zealand Construction was managed across four regions, and the Overseas division which concentrated on the Pacific Islands Papua New Guinea, and South East Asia, was run from the Auckland office.
Australia was also run as a separate division, having increased in scale considerably following the acquisition of Watts Holdings Ltd., in 1980, one of the largest construction companies in Australia.
Civil Engineering was a further division, responsible for heavy industrial, heavy mechanical and infrastructure projects including roading, tunnelling, hydro-electric schemes including the expansion of the Marsden Point Oil Refinery
Finally, the property group was divisionalised across Group Properties (maintaining the 260 properties owned by the Group); the Property Management Division, (which managed property portfolios for outside investors), and the Shopping Centres Division (which functioned both as a manager and developer of shopping centres, such as St Lukes, Lambton Square, Pakuranga, Shore City, and Henderson Square).
Managed separately, but aligned with the activities of the construction division, was the Building Materials division and the Steel division. The Steel division included Fletcher Steel, N.Z. Wire Industries, Fletcher Brownbuilt (roll-formed steel) and Morrison Industries. Building materials included Fletcher Merchants (Placemakers building supply stores) as well as Fletcher Residential (house builders) and Fletcher Concrete and Fletcher Duroid.
In 1996, the various activities of the Construction and Property Sector were floated as the letter stock, Fletcher Challenge Building. In 2000, it was reformed as Fletcher Building, incorporating both Fletcher Construction, as well as building materials manufacturers and distributors which were previously part of the Fletcher Challenge conglomerate, such as Fletcher Aluminium, Pacific Steel, Firth, Golden Bay Cement, and Winstone Wallboards. Together, they represent a significant resource to market supply chain a business model first pursued by Sir James Fletcher, eighty years earlier.
Delivering precast concrete floor slabs.
The Museum of NZ - Te papa.
Steel production at Pacific Steel in Auckland.
Gib Board logo.