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Carpet made from clients wool to feature in Rabobank Centre

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Rabobank New Zealand’s new head office in Hamilton — The Rabobank Centre — is set to open soon and will feature carpet made from wool sourced from three of the bank’s agribusiness clients.

The new Rabobank Centre has been under construction since early last year and, once completed, will be the new home for around 80 Rabobank staff from its head office and Waikato regional teams. The development of the new building follows the bank’s decision in late 2019 to relocate its head office from Wellington to Hamilton to position it closer to food and fibre production and the bank’s farming client base.

Rabobank New Zealand CEO Todd Charteris said the head office move was part of the bank’s commitment to its clients and the wider agricultural sector and this commitment was also a key consideration when it came to fitting out its new office space.

“The new Rabobank Centre provided us with an opportunity to support our clients and showcase their wares – and to do this in a sustainable way,” he said.

“We wanted some of the very best. And we wanted to support the New Zealand wool industry. So we sourced wool from three clients around the country to produce carpet for the new office.

The carpet being hoisted into the new Rabobank Centre in Hamilton earlier this year

The carpet being hoisted into the new Rabobank Centre in Hamilton earlier this year

“There’s quite a story behind it – all starting at wool sheds near Taihape, Clinton and Rangitoto in the King Country. And while I was a bit rusty, I helped kick off the project by dusting off the tools and lending a hand with the shearing.”

Mr Charteris said the wool was then taken to Timaru where it was blended before being transferred to Christchurch to be dyed and spun by CP Wools.

“The final product was then transported to Hamilton, Gore and Blenheim where the carpet has now been installed in the new Rabobank Centre in Hamilton and our new regional offices in Gore and Blenheim,” he said.

Mr Charteris said the clients who supplied the wool — the Chrystalls, the Sutherlands and the Olivers — were invited to observe the spinning and dying process and were kept involved throughout the project.

“This allowed them to follow their wool’s journey and also provided them with an opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with others along the wool supply chain,” he said.

“We captured all the key points along the way and recently finalised a video telling the story which our staff had the chance to watch for the first time at a special screening earlier this month.”

Mr Charteris said the bank had received fantastic feedback from the clients and other businesses involved in the project.

“The clients really bought into the project and all commented on how satisfying it was to follow their wool through the supply chain and to know where the final carpet product would end up,” he said.

“It’s been a hugely rewarding process and we’re incredibly proud to have something that’s been produced by our clients featuring prominently in our new offices in Gore, Blenheim and Hamilton.”

Rabobank Carpet Project video – You can view the carpet project video which includes interviews with the all participants in the carpet project below. 

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