History of Sunshine Solar

Established in 2003, Sunshine Solar is now a family operated business with four full-time staff and over thirty contractors and distributors around the country. All use qualified tradesmen and have been trained and working in the solar industry for several years. We are not only experienced in the installation of solar hot water systems for the residential market, our team have been involved in larger projects such as schools, motels, commercial buildings, as well as retrofitting to character homes and heritage buildings needing extensive and careful plumbing, building and electrical preparation. We have completed work for many large complex million dollar plus homes on both flat and hill sites, consulting closely with leading architects and designers, as well as dream homes on lifestyle blocks, farms and exclusive country lodges and retreats. For over the past 8 years we have operated continuous research and testing programmes with CPIT year round in various NZ conditions. We are currently a part of the solar pilot study for Contact Energy. Results have shown that our evacuated tubes supply up to 85% of your annual hot water heating costs.

Our team


John Wilson

Manager / Technical support

John has been passionate about Energy Efficiency for a long time and back in February 2005 decided to make a business out of his passion. Apart from overseeing Sunshine Solar Business Operations John is using his Engineering background in the development of new product lines to keep Sunshine Solar at the leading edge of technology available and not yet available. With close alliances with ARA (previously CPIT) and the University of Canterbury he is currently working on improving system interactions with battery and storage technologies, developing water purification systems for developing nations and looking at jumps in technology in solar thermal. John can often be found lecturing on home energy efficiency in locations as vast as schools to architects and designers.


Ben Cloake

Sales Manager

Ben has a background in a number of building products with one thing in common. Producing better more comfortable and efficient houses. Ben is an expert on Solar, Insulation, ventilation, heating and even landscaping. Ben prides himself on finding the right fit of products to match with customer needs. By being able to more holistically look at individual circumstance Ben will tailor an energy efficient solution to a budget.


Esther Ward

Customer Support & Marketing

Esther has been working for Sunshine Solar since 2011. Her role has changed as the company has grown so can pretty much do anything, her claim to fame is beating the boss in installing 150 tubes on one of the commercial jobs . She organises our marketing and graphics, as well as general customer support. Esther also works with the Central Heating side from designing the pipe layout to bossing all the boys around on site on where each pipe loop should go to installing and labelling the loops.


Kath Mackay

Admininstration & Accounts

Kath looks after most of our admin and accounts. She’ll be the one doing your building consent and booking in your install. She will also be calling to check up on payments. Kath used to be neighbours with the boss so probably knows a bit too much about what happens in the Wilson household outside of hours. When not at work Kath plays taxi to two very sporty kids and is very keen on Netball both playing and watching


Samuel Ward

Certified plumber
Canterbury installer / Nationwide training and technical support

Samuel is our head plumber. He’s been certified for several years now and works hard at training our apprentice plumbers. Samuel has been installing solar water heating since he started as the boy back before the turn of the century, he has installed and repaired many types of solar water heating systems, as the products have developed over the last decade. Outside of work, Samuel runs Boys Brigade, has model trains (the sit on ones) and loves his home brew. Samuel has 4 kids so in his spare time sleeps. Samuel has the privilege of having having his younger sister (Esther) organising his time on work days which explains why he does not need a diary.

Paul McCulla

Heating Engineer

Paul moved over from Northern Ireland well before it was fashionable for the Irish to move to New Zealand (ie 5 years before the earthquake). He has been installing Central Heating systems for most of his career (previously was an engineer for boeing). Paul still owns a Central Heating heating company and radiator shop on the side of the world. Paul specialises in building robust Residential and Commercial heating systems with specialised controls the maximise efficiency and comfort. Outside of work Paul like to build and race his Peugeot especially in the National hill climb competitions.

Ryan McCarthy

Installer – plumber

Ryan is the youngest member of the Christchurch team. He has been full time with Sunshine Solar since early 2015. Since then Ryan has been installing almost a solar a day and can often be seen perched on a roof with crescents in hand. Ryan has installed more solars on slate roofs than probably anyone in the country which is not an easy feat. Outside of work Ryan is another Boys Brigade leader and can often be seen trying to break or get stuck his 4WD on some rough terrain. (That’s why God invented the winch)

Paul Grant

Marlborough Sales Consultant

Paul is based in Blenheim (Picton actually) and looks after the Marlborough area with particular interest around the Marlborough Council Solar Saver scheme. (Pay solar off out of your savings through your rates). Co-incidently Paul is also a plumber and gasfitter so extremely handy to have during assessments. As Paul is Scottish he still believes he is part of the EU

Janet Cloake

Customer support

Janet is Ben’s mum, we thought this would be a great way of keeping Ben in control. She organises Bens appointments and has a job that includes chatting to people on facebook. Janet and husband Russell have just moved into their own off-grid home so are a living breathing example of what can be done solarwise on for a few pennys.