24 Oct 2023

After two years of intensive research and preparation, planting has finally begun to restore Taminelli Creek, a beautiful Kahikatea swamp forest near Hokitika that needed some weeding, planting and love. The forest has suffered from logging and grazing and is needing significant work to reunite the fragmented ecosystem and restore its natural vitality.

In 2021, NZ Panels Group, under the leadership of Sustainability Manager Zyran Scharf, embarked on a major project to restore the creek area in partnership with the Department of Conservation.  With only 2% of Kahikatea forests and 10% of wetlands in New Zealand remaining, the investment in the restoration project reflects the company's commitment to mitigating the ecological impact of historical logging, taking proactive steps to safeguard New Zealand's environment for future generations.

In just two days this month, the team planted 1,300 Kahikatea trees and 600 mixed species, including Cabbage tree, Manuka, and Coprosma.  Donated, reusable plastic sleeves are being used to protect the trees, a practice that will be continued.

The project covers a total area of 1,347 hectares, with the planting area encompassing approximately five hectares divided into six main sections. Over the next two years, the project's scope will expand, with plans to plant around 2,000 trees per area, primarily Kahikatea, and continue this effort over the coming years.

Back in 2021 when the project began, the first step was to partner with the Canterbury School of Forestry and enlist a final-year dissertation student. Zy and the student spent a month traversing the entire forest, often wading through knee-deep water, to document every plant and animal species. This resulted in a 40-page plan providing the foundation for the project's restoration strategy.

Once a list of suitable plant species was established, primarily Kahikatea with a few other native species, the next challenge was to source them from the local area. This process, known as eco-sourcing, is critical as locally sourced species tend to be better adapted to the environment and have higher survival rates.

The project team discovered a reliable local nursery, Tekuku, which collected seeds from the site and began the slow growth process, assisting with planting. Another nursery that had also eco-sourced seeds from the same area and nurtured the seedlings for two years was found. This ensured that the project could commence once the seedlings had reached a sufficient size.

During the initial phase, it was essential to restore fencing around the site to prevent neighbouring cattle from entering the forest, to ensure natural regeneration and protecting the newly planted trees. As the grassy weeds grew, it became clear that the cows were inadvertently helping to control them. This led to the use of a digger to flip the soil, eliminating the weeds and providing a clear, albeit muddy, canvas for planting.

Although it's early days for this ambitious project, Zy is optimistic that the area will one day reasonate to native birdsong and be fully restored to its native glory.

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15 Sep 2023

Prime Stone set to all be low silica by early 2024

We're delighted to advise that seven of our top selling stone designs have now arrived in the low-silica formulation and samples are available for those. The remaining designs that are staying on our range will be re-sampled early in the New Year, at the same time as we launch 10 exciting new designs.

As soon as new designs are launched, our entire Prime Stone range will be low-silica, using a formulation containing recycled glass.

In addition, from 1 January, we will toughen up further on our supply and only sell Prime Stone to fabricators who have attained gold or silver status as part of the RCS Accreditation programme.  Currently, fabricators only need to be registered.

Our sales and specification teams will be updating your samples in the course of their regular visits but you can also order them online from our website. Note that there is a slight variation in base colour from our previous designs to the low-silica version.

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14 Jun 2023

Dezignatek is delighted to announce the introduction of six new on-trend door profiles to their extensive range. Five are available as thermoformable vinyl doors or as paint-ready, with a sixth option available as a paint-ready only.

In a continuation of the trend towards thin frame doors, the new Brussels profile has a narrow 6mm edge providing a sleek and sophisticated look that will easily work with any kitchen or bathroom scheme. The previously introduced Berlin profile with a 20mm frame has proved hugely popular and demand has been growing for this thinner option.

Both Munich and Rhone feature small-scale batten style profiles – the Rhone with 25mm wide battens and the Munich with 12mm creating a fluted-style appearance. Both look terrific when finished in impactful dark colours but also work equally well in pastels and woodgrains.

The remaining two thermoformable profiles are a more modern take on previous designs with a crisper 3mm radius edge. Sicily is an update on the Capri profile while Stockholm features a narrow groove set 13mm inside the outer edge of the door, again a more modern interpretation of previous designs.

The paint-ready only option, Hawea 25, features a sharp angled picture-frame edge and like all paint-ready doors is produced by Dezignatek using NZ-made high-density fibreboard and sanded through a high-tech finishing line to provide an ultra-smooth surface for lacquer.

The new thermoform door profiles, combined with a palette of 42 vinyl colours gives an immense range of combinations that can work with traditional style villas using shaker-style profiles or a sleek and ultra-modern kitchen where the flat profile Milan door is all that’s required.

What is common to all thermoformed doors is a seamless edge as the thermoform is vacuum sealed and pressed around the front and edges of the door which means no edgetape is required. The vinyl is a highly robust surface that won’t dent and scratch like lacquer and is super easy to clean, just needing a wipe down with a damp cloth to remove any surface grime.

Dezignatek has Eco Choice Aotearoa accreditation (formerly Environmental Choice NZ) on all its solid thermoform colour doors and offers a 10 year warranty on all its thermoform doors.

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20 Apr 2023
Fabricators put on notice that supply will be restricted to those following RCS guidelines.

NZ Panels Group will replace its entire engineered stone range, marketed under the Prime Stone brand, with a low silica alternative by early next year.

Respiratory silicosis  has become a growing issue for workers in the stone industry and NZ Panels Group was a founding member of the NZ Engineered Stone Advisory Group, supported by ACC and Worksafe which created safe practice guidelines for stone fabricators.

NZ Panels Group Chief Executive, Lou Cadman, said the company was going a step further and would not supply fabricators who did not adhere to the RCS guidelines.

“We are giving notice that from 1 July this year, if any fabricators are not registered and participating in the RCS Accreditation programme, then they will not be able to buy from us. And if they have not received either silver or gold level accreditation by 31 December 2023 then we will no longer supply them.

“If fabricators adhere to those RCS guidelines – which means wet-cutting of stone with the appropriate PPE and dust extraction systems in place - then it should mean they are operating within the safe exposure guidelines set by Worksafe,” he said.

“End consumers should have no cause for concern as engineered stone is inert once it is cut and installed – provided there is no cutting done on site -which it never should be.”

“The major ingredient in our new range is recycled glass, he said.  “That forms more than 50% of the benchtop slab, with the silica content under 30% for all our key ranges which account for most of our sales.  A small handful of designs will be under 40% for the extra-large slabs offered on our jumbo range.

“Our low silica range will then be comparable to other natural stone products such as granite which can have silica levels as high as 40%. 

Lou Cadman said the company had always had a strong and proactive safety culture and wanted to be supporting fabricators to operate as safely as possible. 

“It’s absolutely the right thing to be doing.  We expect all fabricators to adhere to the NZESAG guidelines and participate as registered RCS members working towards gold status.”

The new low-silica product would be introduced into the Prime Stone range from the last quarter of 2023 as top-selling existing designs transitioned over to the new recycled glass formulation, and new designs were added.


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13 Mar 2023

Prime Acrylic decorative panels will now be known as Ultraglaze acrylic panels.  With both brands owned by NZ Panels Group and using the same high quality acrylic from Senosan in Austria, it made sense to combine them under one name.  

All Prime Acrylic colours are available in the Ultraglaze range, along with two additional ones - a matt metallic called Nickel and a Soft Grey gloss acrylic.

New and more cost-effective panel options also come with this change.  Along with the premium double-sided panels Prime Acrylic offered, Ultraglaze has a premium face/standard back option for gloss colours.  An even more budget-focused offer is Panelglaze - a standard face with matched melamine back. Panelglaze is available on a select range of five colours.  1mm laser or standard edging is available for all colours.

The removal of Prime Acrylic as a brand in the market mainly impacts designers and architects who have Prime Acrylic samples and keychains.  To avoid wastage, Prime Acrylic samples will be retained in the short term but the Ultraglaze website has the Prime Acrylic colour listed underneath to avoid any confusion.

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13 Mar 2023

Due to flooding through the Home Ideas Centre in Parnell last month, our showrooms are closed until further notice. This affects Prime Panels, Bestwood and Dezignatek.  Note that we no longer have showroom facilities at our East Tamaki site.

We feel for the  Home Ideas Centre showroom team who have had to deal with 300-400mm of water and silt throughout the whole area and our fellow exhibitors who are all facing varying levels of damage. 

However, to keep things in perspective, no-one was harmed and it is all repairable in time. 

We are working hard to get things back up and running as soon as possible. However, if you are needing samples for Prime PanelsBestwood and Dezignatek, we would ask that you order these online from the appropriate website - just go direct to the colours page for any product you wish to order.  For non-standard sampling, please contact your usual specification or sales manager. You can also order samples direct online for Wilsonart HPL and for Durasein solid surface acrylic.


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23 Nov 2022

We're excited to launch our new range of pre-primed interior decorative wall panels. Adorno Wall Panels offer a choice of eight contemporary profiles that cover the popular batten designs through to curves and flutes.

These versatile and affordable panels are ideal for full height walls, part-walls or feature panels for bedheads, underbench areas, or anywhere your imagination takes you.

Easy to install, the hardest part will be choosing which of the eight designs to use and which colour paint to finish them in.

The four batten profiles include three with fixed width battens in either 25mm, 60mm or 100mm and a Random Batten design.  The architectural profiles include the Arc 20 and Arc 40, the concave Wave 40 and the Ridge which features a fine 20mm fluted profile.

• Available in 2700x1200mm or 2400x1200mm
• 12mm in thickness
• Environmental Choice NZ accreditation
• E0 for formaldehyde
• NZ made
• Moisture-resistant HDF
• Pre-primed with a zero VOC coating
• Seven year warranty

For joinery customers, Adorno Wall Panels are available via local merchants Impey's in the North Island and Anthony Shearer in the South Island or can be ordered from Carters nationwide.

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22 Nov 2022

Seven stunning new colours have been introduced to the Prime Melamine range, using a cohesive palette that blends soft pastels with a clean-grained oak, a smoky Eucalyptus and an oxidised metallic effect in grey tonings.

The four solid colours feature close matches to two popular Resene colours – Quarter Lemongrass and Triple Duck Egg Blue, along with a soft Grey Pearl and a mossy green called Atmoss.

Devon Oak has already received rave reviews for its clean-grained structure and mid-tones that make it a versatile woodgrain to pair with both dark and light colours.  Our deeply textured Timberland plate is the recommended finish and is what samples are produced in.

The soft tones within Smoked Eucalyptus make it a true chameleon, that appears to take on the hues of any solid colour that is paired with it.   From pinks, to dark or pastel blues, any shade of green and the crispness of black or white, it works with them all.  It’s also shown off to best effect using our Timberland finish.

Lunar, is an interesting mix of shades that can be viewed as having either an oxidised metal or distressed concrete effect.  It pairs beautifully with all our new solid colours, plus dark greens and blues.  With a more industrial vibe it provides a new option for commercial projects and a more interesting alternative for internal cabinetry as it goes well with the dark anthracite hardware.

The updated Prime Melamine range now offers 62 colours, with a choice of five finish plates.  Affordable, family-friendly and highly durable, and with a 20 year reputation for quality, Prime Melamine is an easy choice to make for interior joinery, furniture and more.

When pressed on our fire-rated Black MDF FR Prime Melamine achieves a Group 1-S making it a perfect option for decorative wall linings in commercial buildings.  

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11 Apr 2022

Dezignatek has opened its first ever showroom in the Home Ideas Centre in Parnell, Auckland.

Designed primarily to help architects and designers work with their clients, the showroom features top selling door profiles, the entire thermoform vinyl colour range and large format doors and drawers to show what's possible.

The concept design was carefully crafted by Melanie Sa'u from Yellowfox with joinery assistance from Custom Kitchens and Stirling Kitchens.

The showroom is broken into three areas, each displaying a different use of door profiles and colours. The feature wall includes 12 of Dezignatek's latest or most popular door profiles, 3 different drawer packs and the thermoform vinyl colour range.

The second area comprises an island unit and digital screen, displaying inspiring imagery of how Dezignatek doors and drawers have been used by NZ designers and joiners in a wide range of kitchen and bathroom projects.

The island unit is finished in Kombu Green thermoform with drawer fronts in the recently launched Berlin profile. A boxed end is also featured on this island unit. Prime Panels supplied the engineered stone benchtop in Finelli - Polished from their Elements Collection, with fabrication by Architectural Stone.

The third element is a full height cabinetry unit which features full-length Lyon doors with statement resin handles from the Arc Dept.  The open shelving unit includes the popular Prague profile in Ranfurly Oak as inserts combined with Pistachio in a matt finish.   Limestone cabinetry using the Milan Square profile with a scallop handle complete the look for the under-bench drawers.

The showroom is open seven days a week with plenty of free parking and coffee!  It's adjacent to the NZ Panels Group main showroom at the front of the Home Ideas Centre.  

The Auckland-based Dezignatek reps and NZPG Specification Team will be working out of the showroom by appointment with designers. Contact them here. 

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22 Feb 2022

Small changes are helping to make a big impact on waste as Dezignatek and its parent company NZ Panels Group work towards a sustainability target of becoming carbon-negative.

Dezignatek is reducing waste in its production area by making door samples using spare vinyl space on its thermoform presses when it makes client orders.  They've also swapped their plastic wrapping for one made from sugar cane.

While the door sample may now vary from the standard Satin White, depending what is on the press at the time,  designers and joiners will receive the exact door profile they need and can use a colour chip to help match with other decor surfaces or interior finishes. Any waste vinyl left over from pressing is sent off to be recycled into gumboots, hoses mudflaps and plumbing pipes.

Colour samples are available in chip form and can be ordered via the website at no charge to anyone.  Given the size and cost of door samples, these are only made available to designers and joiners.  Thermoformed A5 colour blocks are also available on top selling or newer colours.

Another project on our sustainability list has been to swap out the plastic wrap used across the site for a more environmentally friendly option.  This type of wrap is needed to protect door panels from the elements but Dezignatek is now using Purewrap made from sugar cane which is carbon positive  - removing 2.80 tonnes of CO2 per ton.  By comparison, plastic emits 1.66 tonnes of CO2.  Handily, it can also be recycled with other soft plastics.

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