Business South Dec / Jan 2022

24 | Southland: Morrifield Business booming four decades in Russell Fredric Morrifield’s green houses are easy to assemble and even the greenhouse film is cut to size. REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT Invercargill tunnel house manufacturer Morrifield is experiencing its highest sales in its forty year history. Co-owner Leanne Morris says the covid pandemic along with the resulting lockdowns and food supply issues has sparked an awareness of a greater need for self-sustainability. “That seems to be the driving force behind our sales, but the amount of sales was historical for us.” Demand last spring went ballistic, with sales doubling and this year is even busier again. The family-owned company has had to employ more staff and streamline some of its processes to cope with orders. Morrifield was established forty years ago by Gordon Morris and is now owned and run by his son Allister and Leanne who is his wife. While Gordon has theoretically retired he can still be found in the workshop most days. Morrifield tunnel houses’ quality and durability is a credit to their robust design which has changed little today against the original. Leanne estimates more than 12,000 units have been sold. “We’ve built a really good product and that’s obviously what’s kept us going. I think it’s a testament to the quality of the product that we are still here.” The tunnel houses have been able to withstand some of the harshest conditions in New Zealand, having been sent to customers from Kaitaia to Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands, as well as overseas to Australia and some Pacific Islands. “I guess even in some of those warmer climates there’s still some very wet times of the year so having a tunnel house will protect crops.” The tunnel houses use anodised aluminium framing which does not corrode, is easy to clean and keeps its new appearance for many years. Their covering is available in two options: One is commercial grade greenhouse film, Polygrow which has a four year warranty against ultra-violet breakdown, but the coverings will typically last seven to 10 years. The film is custom made to each size of tunnel house in Morrifield’s factory and each unit is produced as an easy-to-assemble kit-set which can be freighted almost anywhere. The second option is 6mm thick polycarbonate twin wall sheeting which has a 15 year warranty The rigidity of these units means less framing is required, while the twin wall has a double glazing effect. Customers have commented on the ease of assembly of Morrifield’s green houses; even the greenhouse film is cut to size. The most popular sizes are the four and five metre long models which are 2350mm wide. Some of the smaller sizes have been very popular among people with limited space who want to maximise their growing options, including those who live in independent units at retirement villages. An advantage of their manufacture is larger sizes require minimal extra materials, particularly the film covered models; as a result doubling the size from two metres to four metres adds only about $250 to the total price, depending on the options chosen. The Morrifield team are excited to be a finalist in the Southland Business Excellence Awards Invercargill City Council Construction, Trade, Manufacturing & Distribution Award category. Our Dunedin based company is large enough to provide all your packaging supplies, yet small enough to care. 03 455 5206 South Canterbury | Otago Central Otago | Southland Pleased to be supporting Morrifield Developments Flue Kits and Components. Custom Sheetmetal Work in Coloursteel, Copper, Stainless Steel and Aluminium. Proud to have supported Morrifield over the past 40 years 110 Bond Street, Invercargill 9810 Email: Phone: 03 218 1201