New Zealand family-owned business since the 1880s
As early as the 1860’s limestone has been quarried at various sites around North Otago to build some of New Zealand’s most prominent architecturally designed buildings.
In 1906 the first stone was quarried from the current site on the Parkside farm. Some of the first stone produced from Parkside was used to build Ōamaru’s iconic Opera House.
These days, all the other quarries are gone, but Parkside remains quarrying this high grade creamy limestone, that has enhanced exteriors and interiors with an impressive range of styles for over 100 years.
Extracting the limestone
Originally, a large steam driven chainsaw mounted on rails was used to cut the stone from the quarry floor. This saw was later converted to diesel and more recently was power driven.
This method has now made way for 3 metre (total diameter) circular blades with tungsten tips. These saws operate hydraulically on Parkside’s excavators.
In 2019, the family invested in some of the newest technology available. A massive CNC saw, the largest of its kind in New Zealand and one of only two in Australasia, now provides customers with unlimited design options. Parkside are now able to cut, carve, shape almost any design at all.
Low emission production
Once cutting is complete, the large 2 tonne slabs of Ōamaru Stone are broken out of the quarry floor, loaded onto trucks and carted to the factory approximately 400 metres away.
These blocks are then individually loaded onto trolleys, which are used to feed the three breakdown circular saws.
The 1.80 metre (diameter) tungsten tipped saws cut the stone to the required size, before the stone is stacked and strapped onto pallets ready for transport to site.
Further fabricating is sometimes done by hand, or by CNC machine.
Zero product waste
All offcuts from the production of building stones are transported 500m to the Parkside lime works where the rubble is crushed to dust and used as a soil conditioner.
Ōamaru Stone is quite possibly the only building product with this organic benefit to our lands.