Kiwi-Kraft's Heritage -
          as told by Rodney Harris, Founder and Director

 The Kiwi-Kraft story grew from my love for the great outdoors and particularly hunting, diving and fishing. Let's face it we are spoiled here in Southland, New Zealand with our spectacular landscape - the soaring mountains and pristine lakes, and the unforgiving and rugged coastline.

Boats have always played a huge part in my life but I never thought it would be more than a hobby. I restored and built them in my spare time, including a steel jet boat. I used them, refined them and sold them. Each time creating a boat that was a little better than the last.

In the late 1980s I saw something that really caught my eye, an aluminium pontoon boat. I could see that this style of boat had the potential to revolutionise boating worldwide.

It was so versatile. For guys like me who loved the challenge of diving and fishing in the Southern Ocean, hunting on the shores of the fresh water lakes of Fiordland National Park, or fishing their quiet depths - these boats were first rate.

But they weren't perfect. In fact in many ways they were quite basic. This was really exciting because I could see how they could be improved and that is what I set out to do.

I dreamed of designing and building a range of world-class boats to meet the needs of the recreational market as well as for commercial and rescue use. Safety, performance and styling would be paramount in my new improved design.

And so it all began in a garage at the back of my home.
The first boat was completed on July 31st 1988 and my daughter, Felicity came up with the Kiwi-Kraft name. Having completed that first boat I went to a local marine store to buy a motor. I left not just with a motor but with a buyer for that first boat -
I was in business!

From there we have grown steadily but my commitment has never faltered. I have chosen to shape the business with an absolute focus on quality and innovation. Kiwi Kraft will never be a "mass production" company, each boat is built to the highest quality standards and every member of our team is totally committed to this goal.

Feel free to give me a call at any time. While boats are now a fulltime business for me, they are still a hobby in many ways.

Rodney Harris


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