Our company has firm roots down under. 


James Hardie started the company in Melbourne in the late 1880's and it wasn't until 1936 that they decided to find a suitable manufacturing plant in Auckland. The New Zealand office officially established in Penrose in 1937. 

The company's first major contract was for the exterior walls of the New Zealand Centennial Exhibition in Wellington in 1940. From the 1940s to 1981, the New Zealand plant went through several upgrades and additions in its manufacturing facilities. 

In the mid-1980s, James Hardie pioneered the development of fibre cement technology, and began designing and manufacturing a wide range of fibre cement building products that made use of the benefits that came from the product's durability, versatility and strength.
Today, James Hardie is a global leader in fibre cement products, manufacturing and technology. Aside from New Zealand, it has manufacturing operations in Australia, the United States and the Philippines. The company employs over 2,500 people who generate more than A$1.5 billion revenue a year.

About Fibre Cement


Our hardworking products are engineered to stand up beautifully, whatever the elements. Our advanced fibre cement products are resistant to fire, moisture damage and rot, making them ideal for New Zealand’s varied weather conditions.

What products does James Hardie make out of fibre cement?
James Hardie fibre cement boards are used in renovations, commercial buildings and in the construction of new homes for:

  • External cladding 
  • Internal lining, floors and walls 
  • Wet area lining - bathroom 
  • Eaves, verandahs and carports 
  • Fire and acoustic walls 
  • Bracing solutions

What is it?

Fibre cement is a simple abbreviation for Fibre Reinforced Cement. Fibre cement building materials were developed by James Hardie in the early 1980s.

What’s it made of?

Our products are manufactured using safe and sustainable building products – no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) like formaldehyde – and are a mixture of:

  • Cellulose fibre, from plantation-grown Radiata Pine trees 
  • Portland Cement 
  • Sand 
  • Water 

Small amounts of other additives are used to help the process, or provide products with particular characteristics.

Research and Development


Research and innovation are at the core of James Hardie’s vision. The Group’s research focuses both on breakthrough innovations and continuous improvement of our products, processes and services in a spirit of helping our customer to build better homes for the future.

We have three research centers in the US and Australia:
Fontana CA, Napervill IL, Sydney NSW


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