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I completed Trade school in 2008 where I developed a passion for building, through a work experience program I secured an apprenticeship with a local builder staying with him for 2 years until he decided to retire. I was at a crossroad in my early 20s, so I packed a bag and boarded a plane. I spent time exploring Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and South America. I then lived in and travelled Australia where I picked up where I had left off with my apprenticeship and had some incredible experiences learning the building trade.

ProBuild Whakatane building contractor


Profesional Builder

I lived in Alice Springs and worked in remote aboriginal villages such as Balgo Hills, 800km from the main road, 400km of which were outback gravel roads. We did a 3-week swings where we renovated run down dwellings and built a trade training centre for the local town in sweltering heat and harsh conditions. This experience was a massive eye opener into how different communities operate, it taught me the importance of integrity how to correctly plan and how to utilise a budget to specifically meet different client’s needs.


Licensed builder Whakatane

After spending time in the Northern Territory, I then moved to Melbourne where the building trade was completely different. I was now working on high end new Builds and doing commercial fit outs. We also worked on restoring historic buildings from the 1900s.

We once cut a large villa into 4 parts, ground to roof to separate with firewalls then converted it into separate living blocks. I ended up working for a tight knit Croatian family who were successful in the building/development business. They took me under their wing supplying me with accommodation, a vehicle and treated me as one of their own. It was here I saw the ins and outs of running a business and the importance of a strong team culture, I knew that was how I wanted to work.


Local whakatane builder

After 10 years abroad I decided it was time to return home to start the next chapter of my life. Although my wife and I had met in Melbourne we were lucky enough to both be kiwis and the wholesome New Zealand lifestyle was something we both agreed we wanted our kids to experience, so we settled back in Whakatane and haven’t looked back. We got the wheels in motion to make ProBuild become a reality; I had worked hard to get to this point and was finally able to start delivering quality building services to the Eastern Bay of plenty and bring what I had learnt back to my hometown.


New home build

Now 4 years down the track ProBuild Whakatane provides high quality products to meet our client’s needs. To do this I believe that relationships and communication are key. We have developed a trusted network with local plumbers, electricians and other subcontractors and over the years I have nurtured a collaborative team culture. We hold the skills to provide an efficient and effective build process and job well done every time.

Our Company Values


We strive for excellence in all that we do.  


Our main priority is for our customers to come away from their project satisfied. 


We have a strong, tightknit team culture which is the glue that holds us together.


 We do our best to make sure we communicate well so that you have an amazing and unforgettable experience.


We are passionate about the building trade! we have spent years working to better our knowledge and skills.


We are people focused and will treat your home as if it were our own. 

Image by Tobias Stonjeck


Hi, I’m Phil Smith. I grew up in Whakatane, a sunny, coastal town in the Eastern Bay of Plenty. We were always ‘out there doing it’ on and around the water and busy in the outdoors. Surfcasting, boating, swimming and hunting, were favourite past times then and still are now.

Licensed Builder Probuild Whakatane
Renovation and addition specialist

Build Your Dream Project with our Trusted Team

Probuild Whakatane is 100% committed to delivering your dream home within budget and timeframe, in a stress-free manner. Whether your project is a renovation, addition or new home customer satisfaction is our main aim. To show you how serious we are, we offer you our own personal Signature Guarantee as well as the HALO 10-year guarantee for your complete piece of mind.


Call Us: 0210 522 817

We are members of NZ Certified builders association.

“We don't just let in any old builder!"

Building or renovating is a big deal. Every build takes time, money and passion so being able to put full trust in your builder makes all the difference. Building with an approved member of NZCB ensures you’re in good hands. We’re the only builder association in New Zealand with strict entry criteria where the minimum entry requirement for all members is a recognised industry trade qualification.” NZ Certified Builders -

We can also offer you the Halo Guarantee.

“When you choose an approved NZCB builder you’ll qualify to apply for Halo – our comprehensive 10-Year Residential Guarantee. This unique cover is a safety net for your building project that’s only available when you work with a highly qualified NZCB approved builder.” Halo –

Halo 10 Year Guarantee
New Zealand Certified Builder Association

About ProBuild

ProBuild Whakatane is a locally owned company with 15 years experience in the building industry. As well as providing you with quality workmanship, great communication, accurate pricing with a professional service. We form close relationships with our clients and believe communication is key. We ensure your ideas are valued and that your expectations are being meet and exceeded throughout the process.


We are licensed builders, members of the NZ Certified builder’s association and can offer you the Halo 10 year guarantee. ProBuild can manage your next project with our team of highly qualified subcontractor's liaising with council to ensure all necessary consents are obtained. We specialize in major residential renovations & new builds. Whether it be an architecturally designed new home build, multi-level deck, bathroom renovation or an addition to give you more living space give us a call to discuss your next project today.

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