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The Numat story

More than 25 years after being founded by father and son team, Peter and Mike Judd, NumatRec continues to be here to protect our children as they grow. Helping them thrive as individuals, and becoming part of fond memories; games won, friendships made, and days enjoyed with family.

NumatREC’s beginnings were down-to-earth. The business’s first home was a 20-foot container adjacent to the Judds’ auction rooms in Oamaru. There they began creating mats for playcentres and kindergartens from locally-sourced rubber chips using a secret family recipe.

At the time, the concept of playground safety was in its infancy. Hard surfaces were still the norm; under swings, slides and even adventure playgrounds.

Mike and Tony Judd mixing rubber in the 20-foot container adjacent to their auction rooms.

Future General Manager Jacob Judd inspecting a batch of rubber granule mix

For the NumatREC team, it was hands-on from the start. Mats were manufactured in the morning and sold in the afternoon; the team often peeling off their gloves to take phone orders. The dedication paid off. An early, and iconic, installation was the “safe landing” for the nursery rhyme-themed Humpty Dumpty wall at the nearby Oamaru Public Gardens. Larger projects with local councils soon followed.

Built on innovation and hard work, it was a natural step for NumatREC to embrace new ideas and technologies from around the globe. Safety was still at the company’s heart. But they saw the potential for surfaces that would creatively use texture, colour, and shape to inspire play, and encourage fulfilled and healthy living for people of all ages and abilities. From playgrounds filled with children’s laughter to sports centres packed with cheering crowds.

It’s, maybe, summed-up best in NumatREC’s work on the Margaret Mahy Family Playground in Christchurch (the Southern Hemisphere’s largest).

This ambitious project famously transformed an earthquake-devastated landscape into a sprawling wonderland which captures all the enrichment, fun and joy any child (and their family) could wish for.

And it’s just the start of the next NumatREC story.

Margaret Mahy Family Playground in Christchurch, New Zealand