At Challenge Steel we have spent over three years developing a business model founded on great relationships. Now, we import and install fabricated structural steel that delivers absolute quality without the escalating construction costs.

We are here to challenge the status quo. Pioneers in an evolving steel industry, we are committed to providing New Zealanders with a superior process for the production and installation of fabricated structural steel to ensure absolute quality at a great price.


Owned and managed by a group of passionate professionals, Challenge Steel seeks to change the way our industry understands cost-effective quality.

When Bert and Annie Govan flew to China post Christchurch earthquakes, they were trying to identify emergency housing alternatives.

What they returned with was an enduring relationship with the Shandong Iron & Steel group – a large Government-owned conglomerate incorporating steel mills, fabrication and emergency housing plants together with large-scale construction activities.

With directors and managers who are actively involved in each project, Challenge Steel now imports and installs fabricated structural steel in New Zealand.

Delivering a high quality of work that meets or exceeds stringent New Zealand standards is of paramount importance to us. Our company culture is built upon smart, independent processes that ensure all systems and materials comply with international and New Zealand standards.

We work alongside a team of experts and are proud to offer a full range of quality services. Our combined experience and skill has allowed us to introduce a lower pricing threshold to the New Zealand steel market, without ever compromising on quality.


Best People, Best Practice

We have developed a world class delivery model that ensures best practice at every step. With expert knowledge and innovative thinking, we are raising the quality bar while simultaneously lowering costs.

New Zealand’s steel fabrication industry is at a cross-roads. Rapidly escalating construction costs have had a depressive impact on market growth. We believe it’s time to move away from out-dated views founded on cost-plus mentalities.

We’ve challenged the New Zealand market by building a mode of business centred around cost-effective solutions. We draw on the many advantages of overseas manufacture, and support them with experienced local engineering, quality assurance and installation services.

Our company culture is built around a desire to create a seamless process, driven at every step by industry experts from New Zealand who are familiar with our exacting standards and processes.

If our cities are to continue to grow, new delivery models like ours are essential. With steel being such a major component in building design and costing, our procurement plan sets a new benchmark for what can be achieved at lower cost levels.

Key People


Our competitive advantage is threefold: lower costs, world class quality, and the ability to adapt and grow within a changing market.

When you work with Challenge Steel the first thing you take away is confidence in our ability to meet your needs. We’ve been clients, engineers and project managers ourselves. As a team we’ve bought and worked with fabricated steel, so we have a deep understanding of your needs and how to deliver over and above on those requirements.

No doubt, cost efficiencies will be top of mind with any project in your portfolio. Cost effective steel procurement can make the difference between a project getting off the ground or not. At the end of the day, our savings mean more profit for your business and greater outcomes within your budget.

As we like to say with regards to our clients’ projects, ‘the more complex the better’. Our cost effective model coupled with our commitment to world class quality means you can take your project further. More complicated architectural designs can be achieved without the escalating costs typically associated with such ambitions.

Our forward-thinking approach will keep you and your business at the forefront of a rapidly changing construction industry.

Real savings on steel fabrication can transform your marginal project into a greenlighted job.

Case Studies

Alexandra Park

Challenge Steel is working with Canam Construction and Ganellen Construction on the supply and fabrication of structural steel for the Auckland Trotting Club Inc., which is a harness racing club that has called Alexandra Park its home for 125 years and has over 750 members.

Read More →

Quality & Compliance

We are proud to set new standards when it comes to quality and safety.

At Challenge Steel, we believe in great thinking. Our key partners are all influential and innovative leaders from the design, construction and quality assurance industries. Providing best practice is our priority. The high calibre and competency of our delivery team is a clear testament to the standard of work we produce; work which is always in compliance with New Zealand standards.

Challenge Steel is privately owned, and our directors are actively involved in each project we undertake. Every step of our process involves review, approval and supervision to ensure seamless, quality outcomes. All steel will be fabricated under a quality system audited and approved by Southern QA Ltd, as well as being overseen onsite in China by one of their team members.

In addition, Southern QA will take samples of the required amount of steel at the fabrication yard. This steel will then be independently tested, and certification of composition and performance characteristics will be provided. Southern QA will also send some of the samples to New Zealand for an additional layer of independent testing.

Testing regime

  • The testing of the steel is firstly carried out at the Laiwu Steel Mill’s internationally accredited laboratory and they produce the Material Test Certificate (MTC).
  • Samples are then taken by Southern QA (NZ representatives based in the factory). They send them to the SGS laboratory in Qingdao and Material & Testing Laboratories Ltd (MTL) in Penrose Auckland.
  • SGS Qingdao carries out a duplicate test on each and every MTC from the Laiwu Mill.
  • MTL Penrose tests at least 10% of the samples to verify the SGS testing.
>110%. Layers of independent testing to guarantee material quality

Key Partners

Shandong Iron & Steel Group (Shan Steel)

Our key partner, Shandong Iron & Steel Group (Shan Steel), produces over twenty three million tonnes of steel per annum and employs over 120,000 staff.

Shan Steel is a major company owned by the Shandong provincial Government. Shan Steel is experienced in supplying steel to overseas markets including Australia, India, Africa and now via Challenge Steel, New Zealand. Shan Steel supplies our steel specifically from their Laiwu mill, fabricates the steel members and ships to New Zealand.

We have chosen to partner with Shan Steel because of their significant size and breadth of expertise. Being a Government-owned entity, the quality standards are robust and supply is ensured, bringing certainty to our ability to manufacture and supply the products our customers require.

While considered an ‘industrial giant’, Shan Steel also takes its social and environmental role very seriously. Efficient use of resources, environmental respect and social harmony are at the forefront of the company’s values and vision. Shan Steel takes the lead in attaining ISO 9001 Quality Management System certification, ISO 14001 Environment Management System certification and OHSAS 18001 Occupational Safety and Health Management systems certification in the metallurgy and machinery industries.

The Laiwu Mill also has Lloyd’s Register certification. Challenge Steel and Southern QA have trained and certified over 40 Shan Steel welders to AS/NZS standards.

Shandong Iron & Steel Group Incorporating:

Laigang Construction — Laigang Construction

Xinlai —

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Only a brave person can win in a competition. We should work hard and focus more on system service and system cost. As long as there is confidence, hard work, victory will come certainly.
— Mr Guilian Shen, Chairman & General Manager

Industrial Site Services Co Ltd

A family owned and operated business, Industrial Site Services operates a New Zealand wide comprehensive rigging, steel installation and scaffolding business that has won awards for innovation as well as praise from clients and the New Zealand safety regulation authority. The company prides itself on being able to take on some of the largest and most complex projects in the country and delivering them expertly, safely and on time. They have extensive experience in the installation of structural steel in large commercial and industrial buildings.

Working with our clients to provide a ‘Safety First – Service Always’ experience
— Bruce Forsyth

New Zealand Consulting Engineers Ltd (NZCEL)

Led by Dr. Peter Johnstone, NZCEL provides us with key engineering design and expert quality assurance services. This includes coordination of shop drawings, building consent amendments and any steel size substitutions, together with the implementation of quality assurance systems and certification processes. Peter Johnstone has vast experience in structural design and has been involved in many high-rise and iconic New Zealand buildings.

Structural steel is a very sensible and versatile construction system for large commercial and industrial buildings. It is fast to build and performs well under seismic loading. It is great to see steel is now becoming affordable in New Zealand.
— Dr. Peter Johnstone

Professor Emeritus George Ferguson

BSC, BE(Hons)NZ, PhD, CEng, CPEng, CSci, FIMMM, FIEAust, FIPENZ.

From the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department of the University of Auckland, Professor Ferguson is an expert metallurgist with an extensive CV. It is through Professor Ferguson’s work that Challenge Steel has established that materials manufactured by Laiwu Mill are compliant with AS/NZ 3404.1. Professor George’s work compliments the ongoing work by Dr Peter Johnstone on compliance and he is available to Challenge Steel for advice.

Southern QA Ltd

Southern QA is one of New Zealand’s most experienced and well regarded inspection companies, particularly in the area of structural steel. Southern QA offers an independent third party inspection service with capability to perform radiographic and ultrasonic inspections in addition to the comprehensive supervision and inspection required by AS/NZS 1554 and NZS 3404. Southern QA has visited and audited Laigang Steel’s fabrication facilities in China and prepared a QA procedures manual to be followed for all New Zealand projects.

Critically, they provide ongoing and independent quality assurance and testing of the steel and fabrication in China. They have one of their highly qualified New Zealand staff full time in the fabrication plant for Challenge Steel. We believe this level of quality assurance to be unprecedented in the industry.

The industry best-practice QA we have implemented on Challenge Steel projects has been driven by their commitment to the delivery of quality steelwork fully compliant with the New Zealand standards for steel structures.
— Rob Penney, Southern QA Ltd


Our rigorous, end-to-end process means peace of mind for you. Every stage has been carefully designed to ensure consistent quality and a seamless service from shore to shore.

Following the appointment of Challenge Steel, we go on to develop three dimensional computer modelling using Tekla software. This software allows us to plan every detail of your steel requirements so that fabrication is accurate, efficient and cost effective.

From here, steel is sourced from Laiwu Mill and fabricated at a selected Shan Steel fabrication plant and inspected to a quality plan approved by Southern QA to ensure adherence to New Zealand standards. Each steel item is stamped with its unique code which forms part of our material traceability process and packed into containers for safe shipping across the Pacific.

Installation is a matter of placing all the carefully labelled pieces together as fast as safely practical. The final stage is always certification, giving you peace of mind that any future construction, maintenance, safety or legal requirements will be covered.

Working With Us

People and relationships are at the heart of everything we do. We’re confident that we are working with some of the best minds in the business. Our company culture is built on a solid foundation of knowledge, experience and vision. Our industry is evolving, and our team is committed to keeping New Zealanders at the forefront of that change.