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The Beauty of Bespoke: Bates Joinery

The Bate Joinery team has introduced virtual showroom tours and online design consultations to assist clients with their building and remodelling projects from afar.


Kitchen designed by Emma Morris at ETERNOdesign


During the lockdown, owner Mark Allworthy says some members of the team were able to work through stages of the planning process remotely from their own individual bubbles, such as pricing up plans and designing kitchens.

However, the family-run company has now returned to full production under Level 3 conditions.

Bates Joinery specialises in all kinds of bespoke joinery, including kitchens, wardrobes, vanities, stairs and balustrades, timber windows and doors, wall units and commercial projects.

Using both modern machinery and traditional tools of the trade, they continue a skill that has successfully been handed down through the generations.

“Bates Joinery has been around for more than 60 years and has experienced several recessions, which we have managed to navigate,” Mark says.

He acknowledges the support they received from Registered Master Joiners, clients and colleagues during the lockdown, particularly that of suppliers who kept them informed and updated on health and safety information.

To view a portfolio of work completed by the Bates Joinery team, visit their website and, for the full experience, ask about taking a tour of their virtual showroom.

For a free design consultation, email or call 03 388 8111.


High-end design inspiration: Bates Joinery

“You may have the universe if I may have Italy,” said Verdi and having Milan, that city of style and culture to host EuroCucina, the largest kitchen trade fair in Europe, is non-negotiable.



Mark and Jaden Allworthy, Owner and Showroom Manager of Bates Joinery, attended EuroCucina where high-end kitchens, design and technology are showcased to Europe. They returned inspired by the colossal display of latest best practice and design trends. They met designers, renowned manufacturers, and other professionals in the industry to discuss everything about the modern kitchen.

“It’s brilliant to go and learn about the state-of-the-art. From EuroCucina we got the trend forecast for New Zealand for the next few years – kitchen design is going into darker colours and soft matte blacks,” Mark says.

The trip inspired the design of Bates’ new showroom back in Christchurch. Hosted on the trip by Blum and Hafele, Mark and Jaden have introduced the latest sliding and folding hardware technology to the showroom.

The showroom has proved popular with clients who are finding decision-making easy with the range of materials displayed there, such as StyleLite acrylic supplied by Mulford Plastics, handles from Elite Hardware, High Pressure Laminate (HPL) and Melamine from New Zealand Panels Group, engineered stone benchtops from Artisan Stone, splashback in FLORIM, supplied by Archant and fabricated by Artisan Stone, and even Laminex High Pressure Laminate (HPL) and MELTECA by Laminex Group used for Jaden’s desk.




Lasting the years: Bates Joinery

With a proud history that spans more than 65 years, family and quality workmanship has been at the centre of Bates Joinery throughout the decades.



In a way, three generations have been at the helm during this time and, with seamless handovers, the business has shifted down the line from one family to another, bringing with them loyal staff and customers.

The story began when Reid Bates (known as Reg), founded Bates Joinery and eventually handed it over to his son Greg. In 1979, current owner, Mark Allworthy, was taken on as an apprentice making doors, sashes and frames, and has been with the company ever since. After training, he worked alongside Greg learning the finer skills of the joinery business, and worked his way up to become factory manager, and then owner-operator in 2008.

“Lots of clients have been with us for many years, and the staff have always remained loyal,” Mark says. “Some were working in the old Bates Joinery and, through the handover, it’s carried on as normal.”

Mark’s son Jaden Allworthy is also involved in the business, working as the in-house designer and looks after the showroom (currently being upgraded), and Greg’s brother, Mitch Bates, operates Bates Aluminium from the same site.

The Bates team specialises in all kinds of bespoke joinery, including kitchens, wardrobes, vanities, stairs and balustrades, timber windows and doors, wall units, and commercial projects.

Using both modern machinery and traditional tools of the trade, they continue a skill that has successfully been handed down through the generations.

For a free design consultation, email



Aiming High

Nestled high on a steep hillside section, a home designed to connect the openness of Sumner beach with the forested slope of Scarborough Hill was recognised at the local NZIA Awards this month, winning both the Canterbury Architecture Award and Resene Colour Award.



Designed by Borrmeister Architects, the brief for the ‘Red Rock House’ on Whitewash Head Road was for a relaxed, playful home, capturing the sun and views to the beach and uphill park, whilst providing shelter from the prevailing winds – as well as incorporating easy driveway access and parking.

Director Wulf Borrmeister says to tackle the difficult site, the house was designed around a strict 1.2m grid, resulting in a simple, rectangular foot print that stretched over three levels. “It was a challenging project, but we are really pleased with the result and the outcome was a team effort between all the parties involved.”

Stand-out features include the stone-faced basement walls, appearing to grow out of the rock face, while anchoring the home firmly on the ground. The upper floors were designed to be sun-filled and open, consisting mainly of glass facades behind sliding cedar screens, providing sun control, natural cross ventilation, cooling and privacy. The home is protected by a lightweight, sail-like roof ‘floating’ above the space on two tree-like timber and steel support structures.

On the top level is an open plan kitchen, dining and lounge area, and a snug study. Three bedrooms, bathrooms, a laundry and sauna are on the middle level, with a double garage and storage in the basement. The stunning cantilever staircase was a challenge, says Mark Allworthy of Bates Joinery, “but the entire home’s design was amazing and it was a pleasure working with Avenue Homes, who put a lot of thought into every detail and accept nothing less than perfect”.

Large decks connect the house with a swimming pool, outdoor shower, veggie garden, ‘grandstand’ seating area and the uphill park. The exterior materials include plaster, corrugated Coloursteel and stone, sourced from the site’s excavated rock; and complemented by a simple internal material palette of timber floors, light and dark walls, with playful wallpaper.

The family home incorporates a range of environmentally conscious features and emphasises the bespoke architecture Borrmeister aims for. “We treat every home as unique and we’re really happy to be recognised for this award.”


Bates Joinery
Ph. 03 388 8111



10 Mayfly Lane, Clearwater

Clearwater’s clever construction: we talk to Phil Benton Builders about building a dream home at one of Christchurch’s most expensive addresses

The second priciest street in Christchurch is Mayfly Lane at Clearwater, where the lake frontages make you feel a hundred miles from anywhere. Phil Benton Builders has just completed number ten. The angular street frontage is dramatic. The vast roof is sharp, while the not often seen Bluestone cladding mesmerises with its patterns.

10 Mayfly Lane, Clearwater
10 Mayfly Lane, Clearwater


“The weight of the stone was significant and it was a first for us to use Bluestone as an exterior cladding,” Dave Fraser of Phil Benton Builders says.
The construction method was untypical. “It is a residential house, yet we used commercial building techniques to create it,” Dave says.
“We erected all the structural steel first, put the roof on, then installed the membrane roofing before working on the framing beneath.”
“It is a unique house,” says Mark Allworthy from Bates Joinery, which completed the interior joinery. “The products and finishes are quite different to what is commonly used right now. The heart rimu veneer was widely used in the 80s until American White Oak took over. A challenge on this build was the rimu veneer coming only in sheet lengths of 2.4m but we had ceiling heights of 3.6m, so there was a lot of grain matching to do to get the finish perfect.”
The entrance way is a favourite feature. “It is quite spectacular with the vertical fins in the den, though the room separator door for the media room is also very cool. We do a lot of work for Phil Benton Builders, they are a great team.”
Designed by Heather Blewett of Context Architects, the brief was to create a contemporary yet grand home with flexible living options. “Whilst the clients loved the site at Clearwater, they wanted something that looked different,” Heather says.
The clients were not keen on the golf resort’s signature ‘white gabled’ house and, with Clearwater’s strict design rules and the need to be sympathetic to existing homes, it proved architecturally challenging. But Heather is very pleased with the finished product.

“Phil Benton Builders have taken great care crafting the home, and the overall quality of the build is extremely high – they went the extra mile to deliver solutions that worked.”
“We had site meetings with Context every two weeks and they were always available to provide extra details or support as required,” Dave Fraser says.
“There is such a mix of woodwork in this house and Context did an incredible job being able to pull it all together the way they have.”

Project Partners

  1. Context Architects
    Ph: 03 3550 1550
  2. Phil Benton Builders
    Ph: 03 374 6203
  3. Bates Joinery
    Ph: 03 388 8111
  4. Pegasus Bay Electrical
    Ph: 03 310 7823
  5. Heatsmart
    Ph: 03 313 4908