Rising from the ashes

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National air-conditioning firm’s closure spawns two start-ups.

A national company’s exit from Queenstown has spurred three sacked workers into starting up their own companies.

Air-conditioning and refrigeration firm Climatech closed its doors in Glenda Drive last Friday – making four engineers and one apprentice redundant.

An Australian-based Cli­m­­­­­­­­­­­­­a­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­tech spokesman says the firm “reviewed and refined the way we do business in this economic climate” and cut its overhead costs.

The Dunedin branch has also closed, he confirms.

The spokesman’s denying Climatech is pulling out.

“I’d say it’s too strong a statement to say we’re get­ting out of Queenstown. We’re just changing our structure about the way we maintain our presence there.”

But there was no sign of life at the Glenda Dr offices this week and phone calls to the local branch are diverted to Christchurch.

“What we’re doing is streamlining our service in that market,” the spokesman says.

“Two people will be subcontracted to our business.”

Those two are ex-employees Simon Taylor and Paul Bartlett, who this week start Air­conditioning, Refriger­ation and Electrical Services Ltd.

They’ll take over Climatech’s customers as well as looking after their own clients in a home-based operation.

Taylor says all five Climatech workers were given four weeks notice before being made redun­dant – the layoffs were a surprise.

“You’re working for a large national company so you don’t particularly expect to be made redundant.”
But Taylor sees the new venture as a “good opportunity”.

“It’s not exactly the best economic climate to start a business in but we are pretty confident.”

Yet Taylor and Bartlett’s ex-boss has also set up in competition against them.

Former Climatech Queenstown man­­­­ager Jamie Deeman has separately started up Cold Control Solutions.

He’ll target the domestic and small commercial sectors, as well as take on some of Climatech’s former clients.

“There was plenty of work out there for a smaller company, which is the basis on which I’ve set one up.”

The Climatech spokesman says the two other sacked workers have been employed by other local companies.