Westfield Riccarton Mall: Retail therapy

The full interior repaint of Christchurch’s Westfield Riccarton Mall is a massive task, particularly when everything needs to be completed before the Christmas rush kicks in. However with a sound plan and a solid team the work is getting done about as fast as the big bearded man in the red suit delivers his presents.

A huge amount of Resene paint will be used in the mall to cover a massive 16,000 square metres of surface, with a substantial amount of steel work also. Undertaking such a transformation requires the highest standards of professionalism.

According to project manager Ben Waite the team culture and capability was a big factor in the securing the work.

“It was a big job that required a company with the right credentials,” says Ben. “We were able to demonstrate our safety and quality control procedures, we had the project methodology in place and it also helped that we could guarantee there’d be no sub-contractors working at the mall.”

Leading the team were Richard Emmer and Lucas Mendoca. They were supported by up to 10 other members on-site according to the daily requirements. Everything had to be completed after hours, the crew working from 6pm until 6am daily in order to meet the project deadline.



It wasn’t just the timeframes that were tight. Working in close-fitting tight environments over the top of shops was challenging, as was accessing spaces in the centre of the mall. So too was the setting up and pulling down each day of the equipment needed to reach each area.

“It’s why the hours were put in before the crew set foot on site, a full week of planning helping to make sure we could get it done right,” says Ben. “It shows in the results. On a job of over 4000 hours there have only been two small incidents – a bollard got clipped and a door got bumped.”

Ben appreciates the value of a high-performing team culture, and is also proud of how the National Decorators employees have stepped up.

“The mall’s management even decided to cut back their on-site security,” he says. “They said our team was so professional they didn’t need guards on patrol.”

With such an efficient rollout of the work the project was running approximately 25% ahead of schedule at the time of writing. That’s a result that will surely get National Decorators on the ‘nice list’ this Christmas.

The big picture
198 stores
54,000m² of floor space
6 scissor lifts
4 boom lifts
280 buckets of paint
8-12 team members
12-hour overnight workday
8-week timeframe

Ben Waite

Ben Waite

Ben has had vast experience in the painting and industrial coatings industry. Having left school to work in the family business has meant that his experience has been learnt from the ground up. Training of teams today is a large focus for Ben, and something he believes sets National Decorators team apart from the rest. Ben has worked in the waterproofing/ industrial flooring sector for many years which gave vast knowledge to the technical coatings industry.Having been head foreman on jobs of over 5000 man hours, he currently manages over 5000 man hours every month from an operations manager’s role.
Ben has managed the Health and Safety division of the company for 5 years now along with our consultants, and is delighted at our result of 96% on the AppCon contractor database. Along with this National Decorators also successfully passed ACC secondary assessment audit.
Ben enjoys working closely with clients to understand their needs and timeframes to deliver a great result on time and in a professional manner. He loves working with the National Decorators team to inspire the members to excel, live happy lives and in turn please the great clients we work with every day
Ben Waite

Latest posts by Ben Waite (see all)