“We’re quite innovative in our product approach,” says Waterware Technical Manager, Mathew Slaughter. “We keep a close eye on the market and how their priorities are changing, and we adapt to meet those needs.”
Three decades ago, Waterware set out to transform the plumbing and hot water delivery sector and, after exploring innovations being implemented overseas, returned with New Zealand's first Domestic Hot Water Tempering Valve (TV) as a solution across all types of hot water cylinders. “Waterware is synonymous with reaching out to the world, developing and maintaining long-term relationships with manufactures and market leaders, and bringing innovative solutions to the NZ heating and cooling industry,” Mathew says.
Once known best as a specialist provider of radiant heating and hot water systems, Waterware has, in more recent years, transitioned into a holistic solutions provider. Their team now provides technical and design knowledge to deliver hydraulic radiant heating and cooling technology, high-performance plumbing fittings, and on-trend bathroom-ware solutions that are functional, intuitive and beautiful. This solutions-focused philosophy guides the business as it evolves with the needs and priorities of a changing New Zealand building industry.
Three months ago, Shane West joined the Waterware team as National Business Development Manager for a new Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) division to help them on their journey. “Waterware has joined long-time supply partner Caleffi in the creation of my role to explore and expand their range into mechanical heating and ventilation systems,” Shane says. “We’re still in an exploratory stage, understanding where the different parts of the Caleffi range fall within the existing mechanical industry. One of the first priorities has been to launch the Mitsubishi Hybrid-VRF range, a reasonably new technology, unique 2-Pipe Heat Recovery VRF System that replaces refrigerant gas with water between the Hybrid Branch Circuit Controller and the indoor units.”
For over three decades, Italian manufacturer Caleffi has been at the forefront of promoting sustainable change. Together, Waterware and Caleffi are now working to get out ahead of new lead-free compliance requirements that are due to be rolled out across New Zealand by 2025. “We are gearing up for lead-free compliance in alignment with Building Code Clause G12 for Water Supplies in New Zealand,” Mathew says. “As an experienced European supplier, Caleffi is able to offer superior quality products to help us achieve this. Italy is already ahead of New Zealand in terms of healthier, low-lead solutions; our established partnership with Caleffi enables us to leverage off what they are already meeting in Australia and the US.” “That transition into lower-lead products has already begun for us, with combo and valve set across the plumbing industry,” Shane adds.
Waterware and Caleffi are re-launching their five valve categories including tempering valves, pressure-limiting valves, relief valves, 4-in-1 valves and combo kits for hot water cylinders. “We’re rolling out our all-in-one, high quality Caleffi valve set for protection and stainless steel ProTank water cylinders,” Shane says. “They are a technically sound, compact solution for domestic and commercial hot water production and storage for the home.” “Lower-lead regulations have been under discussion for quite a while now,” Mathew says, “but the New Zealand Government has finally pushed go on them.” “These regulations are specifically targeted at improving the quality of potable drinking water,” Shane says. “With access to Caleffi’s extensive product offering, we are well-positioned to lead the New Zealand market on this shift with the quality, reliability and Italian flare the NZ market is used to.”
Decarbonisation is also a significant priority for Waterware as the business looks to its future, Mathew says. “That’s a big part of what the technical division does: finding better, more efficient solutions. We’re currently working in commercial spaces including retirement villages and schools to convert gas and diesel boilers to more environmentally conscious electric and hydrogen options. Additionally, we are involved with the Government-funded EECA [Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority] scheme as approved suppliers to assist with application funding grants for energy-efficient solutions that best support the wellbeing of current and future generations of New Zealanders.”
Constant product and system development are helping to support greater efficiencies, Mathew says. “We have developed an air treatment unit which is a bit like a dehumidifier that also purifies the air. This has allowed us to integrate heating and cooling with air treatment, so where you might have previously needed two or three components, we can now adapt that into a single system.” “Waterware were first in market with the Tempering Valve, today we are first in market with a de-carbonized high temp hot water heat pump,” Shane adds. “R290 is a type of natural refrigerant gas with a very low GWP of 3. It is a pure hydrocarbon that is in a gaseous state at ambient temperature, delivering high temperature for heating and cooling air-to-water product and air-conditioning solutions.”
“I think the most important message is that Waterware is not just a heating company,” Shane says. “We’re a full solutions provider using top-quality brands of European origin, but through the structure and values of a family business. We’re New Zealand-owned with strong, global manufacturing leaders behind us.” Mathew agrees. “We’re sometimes seen as just distributors or providers of specific products, but we can offer so much more.”
Waterware’s skilled, New Zealand team ensures that client projects are supported from specification through to end-use, Mathew says. “We have fantastic after-sales support. Our whole team comes from trades and they bring knowledge of all facets of the industry. It’s all well and good to sell a great product, but you also need to back it up with great support.”
To learn more and to connect with Shane and Mathew visit https://www.waterware.co.nz/ and keep an eye out for Waterware’s nationwide road show in November to launch their new hydrogen boiler in collaboration with German manufacturer Vailant.