Our Story

Alexander was founded by Ralph Alexander, who started the company in 1947 using an army gratuity he received on his return from World War II. Ralph had served as an infantryman in the Western Desert and had twice been made a Prisoner of War (he escaped both times).

Alexander - image 700x450 olden days team
Alexander - olden days team

Upon his return home, he used that same grit and determination to start his own construction business. Initially, just one car and a custom-made, cut-down trailer transported the building materials to site, with Ralph running the carpentry and joinery shop from the family home in Georges Drive, Napier. A structure built from recycled ships’ beams served as the workshop.

In 1949 Ralph was joined by his younger brother Cedric. Now a family business, RG & C Alexander Ltd was formed.

Initially, they worked on building sites together, completing quotes at night. They took on jobs that other builders shunned and figured out innovative solutions to achieve success.

As the city of Napier rapidly expanded, so did the brothers’ work prospects. New housing developments were needed and by 1963, demand, driven by the housing shortage and a lucrative contract for the Government Group Housing Scheme, saw RG & C Alexander further expand their operations.

The brothers also took on community projects. These included the construction of sewerage and stormwater pumping stations for the Napier City Council. Education and commercial ventures became integral to their portfolio, alongside work on several high-profile industrial buildings (including the Weldwell Electrode Factory). More diverse commercial work followed, notably the Muddy Creek Diversion, which was a landmark project aimed at preventing flooding in the Ngaruroro River area.

Many projects later and after almost four decades at the helm, Ralph retired as General Manager of RG & C Alexander in 1984. The new company of Alexander Construction (HB) Ltd was formed under the astute management of Ralph’s son, Chris Alexander.

Tragedy struck in 1993 when Chris died unexpectedly. His reputation and that of his family was such that the Napier City Council held a minute’s silence in his memory. It marked a turning point in the company, and for the first time, its day-to-day management was transferred to someone outside the family.

In 2002 Mark Hamilton was offered the opportunity to become director and major shareholder of the company, and after 57 years, the Alexander family elected to scale back their involvement in the business.

Mark continues to take the company forward, building on the family legacy left after more than seven decades as a stalwart of the industry. His commitment is to deliver each project with quality, integrity and care. The same qualities he seeks in his valued and talented team.

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