How Fosters have built a 50-year legacy


Founded in 1948 and incorporated in 1973, Foster Construction Limited (Fosters) celebrated 50 years in April 2023.

‘More than just a construction company’

Started in the 1950’s by a father and son, Les and Graham Foster, Fosters has become an iconic, award-winning, multi-million-dollar company, employing over 200 people across their Waikato and Bay of Plenty teams.

We believe our ongoing success comes down to a leadership decision for Fosters to be ‘more than just a construction company.’

“It’s the people who make Fosters great” says Fosters CEO Nigel Sun. “And that’s a statement I genuinely believe in. When you look at our history, it’s about people, communities, and going above and beyond.

“In 2023, we celebrate our strength as a team, working hard to deliver on what we all believe is a meaningful vision: great communities through strong foundations.

“To do this, we live and breathe our fundamental values of leadership, relationship, passion, and integrity.

“This means that we willingly take a leadership position to make things happen, we recognise that relationships are fundamental to delivering on our purpose, we’re passionate about the construction industry and we can be relied on to do the right thing.

“These values have provided a pathway for how we operate and for the kind of people we attract to work here. ‘The Fosters Way’ is what sets us apart.”

Offering services in construction, property development, engineering and property maintenance, Fosters not only deliver quality buildings, we can add value to property for years to come.

Part of Hamilton’s history

The Trade News observed in 1995: ‘Foster Construction had its beginnings in Morrinsville in the 1950s, moved to Hamilton in the 1960s and has been writing its signature on Hamilton and parts of the Waikato ever since.’

From schools to hospitals, warehouses, office blocks, lecture theatres, performing arts centres, St Mary’s Cathedral on Grey Street, to the Claudelands Event Centre – Fosters have left their mark. Current iconic developments include Union Square and the Waikato Regional Theatre in the Hamilton CBD.

Where community comes first

After construction, Fosters is best known for community building. We look after our business partners and purposely engage local contractors wherever possible.

Key Fosters sponsorships include the Waikato Chamber of Commerce Business Awards, Chiefs Rugby, and Northern Districts Cricket. Through the Fosters Custodian Trust, the Foster500 has donated more than $200,000 to the local community over the last 7 years. This money is channelled through Fosters staff into sponsorships or donations of their choice.

‘Placemaking’ is another Fosters legacy. A buzz word in the 1990’s, placemaking was about transforming public space to strengthen the experience and connections made between people and place, creating lifestyle and business opportunities. Both Hamilton Gardens and Downtown Plaza were examples of this. Today, our develop team continues this theme, with recent projects including Lakewood in Cambridge, Tamahere Village and The Village, Omokoroa in the Bay of Plenty.

Committed to sustainability

Sustainable development, which the Hamilton City Council coined in its 2001 annual report as “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs” became core to Fosters operations early on.

We’re proud to have been members of the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) since its inception in 2005. And since 2010, we have been the only construction company in New Zealand to hold both Toitu carbon zero and enviromark diamond certifications.

Leadership and succession

Strong leaders founded this business, carried it through several recessions, grew the company into what it is today and are now shaping the leaders of tomorrow.

Fosters offer a clear career pathway, with future leaders selected and trained through a customised 3-tier leadership programme, developed between ourselves and Wintec.

Our new tagline ‘building with purpose’ reflects how we operate and what’s important to us. Marking 50 years is just as important to management as planning the next 50 years is.

“Fosters have indeed become ‘more than just a construction company’” concludes Nigel. “We have a legacy to be proud of and we are set on being part of the future. I believe we have the right people to take us forward and the vision to succeed.”

Given the current economic environment, an official celebration of Fosters 50th milestone has been postponed.

“We intend to celebrate this significant milestone in style” says Nigel. “And we will do that - when the time is right.”

Scroll to Top