Challenge Steel delivering design complexity cost-effectivel

Press Release – Challenge Steel

In the highly competitive world of fabricated structural steel, some local producers and advocates now actively promote reducing the labour component by rationalising building design to enable them to reduce their price and deliver simplicity, says …Challenge Steel delivering design complexity cost-effectively

In the highly competitive world of fabricated structural steel, some local producers and advocates now actively promote reducing the labour component by rationalising building design to enable them to reduce their price and deliver simplicity, says Challenge Steel chief executive Suresh Nagaiya.

“However, Challenge Steel achieves its competitiveness by dealing with one of China’s largest and highly renowned steel producers. Therefore, we can deliver both design complexity or simplicity cost-effectively for the likes of signature buildings.

“The fact that Challenge Steel is now involved in some major rebuilds in Christchurch post its devastating earthquakes shows the level of assurance, absolute quality, and sheer cost-effectiveness we’re able to deliver,” says Mr Nagaiya.

“Thankfully in New Zealand we’re seeing more and more award-winning design in significant public and private buildings. What’s more, steel is now often a very visible component of a building’s celebrated architecture and aesthetics.”

Mr Nagaiya also notes that renowned engineer Dr Peter Johnstone, who’s been in the media a lot following recent earthquakes, advocates that steel not concrete should increasingly be the lead design component in large New Zealand buildings.

Challenge Steel has quickly risen to become one of New Zealand’s largest importers of fabricated structural steel. The CEO says its business continues to grow as public entities and private developments up and down the country demand even more confidence and integrity around quality assurance.

“Challenge Steel is fast getting recognised for establishing a whole new benchmark when it comes to quality assurance and comprehensive product testing, making the likes of developers, procurement and project managers very receptive to our arrival into the local marketplace.

“People are increasingly cognisant of any potential issues and simply can’t afford to procure products that could erode public or consumer confidence in their structures. They naturally want the highest of assurance and we can categorically deliver.”

In recent months Suresh Nagaiya along with Challenge Steel founder and chairman Bert Govan have made trips to China with clients, contractors and prominent engineers showing them the exhaustive processes in action and providing confidence in the product and systems in place.

“We take clients and construction industry experts over to China and they are blown away. They soon see the quality of product being turned out, the robust testing and certification process, and the fact that each steel product is stamped with a unique code to ensure complete traceability. They also see Southern QA’s people on the ground at the fabrication factory. They come back to New Zealand with all the confidence they needed,” he says.

Challenge Steel had its genesis in the Christchurch earthquakes. Its supplier is the Shangdong Iron & Steel Group (Shan Steel) – a wholly state-owned steel conglomerate and one of China’s largest steel makers.

Mr Nagaiya says the motivation of Challenge Steel was to challenge and change New Zealand’s traditional procurement model. They wanted to introduce a lower price threshold into the local steel market and to positively impact on the high construction costs that were negatively impacting on the likes of housing affordability.

“We developed a world-class model over three years that delivers best practice at every step, and we’ve partnered with an array of expert individuals and world-class organisations. As well as manufacturer tests, our products are independently checked both in China and New Zealand, and then potentially by our own city councils. It’s very rigorous.”

Another factor inspiring confidence are Challenge Steel’s key leaders. Last year Tony Sewell and Geoff Cranko joined the board as its two new independent directors.

Mr Sewell is also the current chairman of Business New Zealand, and the former long-time chief executive of Ngai Tahu Property Limited. Geoff Cranko is also the Group Managing Partner of Strategy Design & Advertising and a former CEO of SGS.

Chief executive Suresh Nagaiya is a University of Auckland civil engineering graduate and IPENZ member. As a part-owner of central Auckland project management company, N-Compass, he also brings considerable senior project management experience.

“Challenge Steel is living proof you can deliver both competition and quality into the local steel market. It’s a proposition that’s really resonating and we’re now helping to lift local confidence in imported fabricated structural steel,” says Mr Nagaiya.


Challenge Steel is New Zealand’s leading provider of quality and New Zealand standard approved prefabricated steel. With a complete design, fabrication and installation service, Challenge Steel utilises sophisticated and comprehensive quality control processes to deliver on time industrial, cost effective steel solutions.

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