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E Hayes and Sons Ltd has a long and proud history in New Zealand.

The name Hayes is synonymous with farming and engineering with many of the Hayes original inventions found on farms throughout New Zealand to this present day.


Ernest Hayes originally started business in the township of Oturehua - formerly named Rough Ridge - in Central Otago* in the late 1800’s developing numerous new products using his pioneering engineering skills. One of his most significant inventions was the development of the Hayes permanent fence strainer in 1905 - a product still manufactured today and used on nearly every farm in New Zealand.


Irving Hayes, one of the sons of Ernest Hayes, opened the Invercargill branch of E Hayes and Sons in Leven Street in 1932 located in premises leased from the Railways Department. The original rent was 28/6 ($2.85) per week.


The grandson of Irving Hayes is the current Managing Director Neville Hayes who started with the company in 1972, following in the footsteps of his father Norman Hayes who was with the company for over 60 years. Like his father, Neville began work “on the bike” and initially drove the delivery van. He is the fourth generation of the family to be involved in the business. Neville’s son Jarn and daughter Clelia continue this proud history being the fifth generation of the family to work in the family business.


The initial part of the present Dee Street, Invercargill premises was built in 1956 and with the acquisition of the adjoining building the shop now fills an entire city block from front to rear. The tool wall is in excess of 100 metres long with an enormous array of tools.


The company currently employs 50 people, many having a long association with the company. E Hayes and Sons also has a strong affiliation with Hammer Hardware and the TradeZone Industrial Group that allows it to service both the specialist industrial market and the home user markets.


E Hayes and Sons is committed to what could now be considered old fashioned values of good quality as well as exceptional service and advice. All E Hayes and Sons staff look forward to being of service to the people and industries of Southland for many years to come.


Oturehua Factory circa 1910. Hayes Engineering Ltd was established in the Central Otago township of Oturehua in 1900.Oturehua Factory Windmill circa 1909. This windmill, built in 1909-10, formed the powerhouse for the original E Hayes Engineering firm. Built on an 18-metre tower the sails were 6.5 metres in diameter. The power was taken to the machines in the plant by an ingenious system of overhead shafts, belts and pulleys. Pictured on the windmill are Gilbert & Irving Hayes.
Oturehua Factory circa 1919. E Hayes and Sons first motor vehicle, a 1910 Buick which is still owned by the company today. The car was purchased second hand in 1914 for use at its Windmill Works to transport products from the factory to the railway station, about two miles away. Irving Hayes is pictured in the drivers seat.The original Invercargill premises of E Hayes and Sons in Leven Street Invercargill circa 1932.
E Hayes and Sons store Dee Street Invercargill 1956.E Hayes and Sons store Dee Street Invercargill 1957
E Hayes and Sons store Dee Street Invercargill 1974.E Hayes and Sons store Dee Street Invercargill 1974.
E Hayes and Sons store Dee Street Invercargill 1977.E Hayes and Sons Morris delivery van which is still owned by the company today.
Neville Hayes (left) and Norman Hayes in Dee Street store 1995.

Click image to enlarge



* The original Hayes Engineering Works and Homestead at Oturehua, Central Otago are a heritage listed property and open to the public as a visitor attraction. The property gives visitors a unique opportunity to experience a fully operational, well-preserved 1890's Victorian workshop and restored 1920s homestead where Ernest Hayes invented, developed and marketed iconic New Zealand farming products such as wire strainers, cattle stops and pulley blocks - many of which are still widely used today.


Find out more at:

The E Hayes Motorworks Collection
Christchurch Website Development