130 years ago, in the1880s Jim McMillan started building houses in Dunedin, meanwhile in 1905 George Lockwood started building houses in Auckland. In 1950 the two families joined forces and now, over 130 years after Jim started building, McMillan & Lockwood are a nationally recognised construction group with offices in Auckland, Tauranga, Palmerston North and Christchurch.
It was in 1903 that Mr. J. McMillan moved to the North Island to undertake the construction of the Wellington Terminal Tramcar Barn, that the company made its headquarters in the North Island.
First as J. McMillan and then as McMillan Bros. (being Jim and Lloyd his sons) they quickly established a worthy reputation with the completion of contracts in most centres in the North Island ranging as far north as Rehitahi in Northland to construct a Freezing Works. Other contracts undertaken during this phase of the company’s development included L.D. Nathan’s Building in Auckland, the Taumarunui Hospital, Horowhenua and Waipara Colleges, and the C.M. Ross Company Limited Departmental Store in Palmerston North but the most impressive and demanding project was the erection of the vital £1,000,000 Royal New Zealand Air Force Base at Ohakea in 1937.
Lloyd McMillan retired in 1942, this led to an amalgamation of building interests formed to undertake the reconstruction of the Longburn Freezing Works and other projects.
On the completion of these contracts in 1950 J.L. McMillan and Company Limited was formed with J.L. McMillan and R.S. Lockwood as directors. This chapter of the company’s history included the erection of the Sanitarium Health Food Factory and the Himitangi Radio Station.
Jim McMillan retired in 1960, Robert Lockwood continued on as director, eventually changing the company name to McMillan & Lockwood Limited in 1967.
By the late 1970’s McMillan & Lockwood had grown to include branches in Wanganui, Auckland, Gisborne, Hamilton, Wellington, Palmerston North (head office) and a joint venture in Papua New Guinea with Brian Perry Ltd called Lockwood Perry (PNG) Pty Ltd. At this point McMillan & Lockwood had well over 400 staff around the country. Today McMillan & Lockwood Group have in excess of $100 million of construction projects on their books and have the resources and bonding facility to deliver much more.