Lance Russell

Lance and Barbara

About Us

Lance and Barbara

Lance & Barbara - Kowhai Roofing founders


About Us

Asbestos Busters since 1977 has been in no small way involved in asbestos textured ceilings. From small beginnings they started and established the “ Kowhai” brand with the main services revolving around roof restoration, floor coatings, and textured ceilings. Eventually they expanded to manufacture all their own products to a nationwide Kowhai group to all the main centres from Whangarei to Invercargill.

By the late 70s and 80s, Lance & Barbara were responsible for hundreds of sprayed ceilings going up in homes across Auckland (the biggest job was over 400 rooms in the Sheraton Hotel) which had become so popular. Eventually they went out of fashion and they dropped out of textures altogether. A few years later they saw the opportunity to now start removing textures, and not only just removed them, but skimmed and painted the ceilings to provide a complete service. This business grew and soon dominated the Auckland market by good service, skilled workmen and realistic pricing. This reached its peak in 2008, building to 14 crews at one stage, and almost 900 houses done in that year. Better still by that stage just over 50% were referrals or had heard of us which was for one off jobs phenomenal. It could not last and there has been a massive drop of houses still with texture, but they are still out there.

Kowhai was sold and more recently Asbestos Busters was formed with emphasis of eradicating asbestos from homes and businesses across Auckland, Waikato and Coromandel. Because of the decreased demand for textured ceilings the asbestos removals now include cement cladding walls (fibrolite), soffits, fences, roofs (Decramastic and Super Six), lino, pick ups and of course textured ceilings.

Lance is now 85, with his health not as it was and Barbara i now doing two days voluntary work, having earned a well-deserved recent retirement to working.


Recent Developments

First Barbara is now retired after spending years involved in the Kowhai growth and now she is involved in voluntary work in the local community and she enjoys golf. Lance is now in his 80s, but still enjoys working. To ease the workload he has set up a marketing company where he still goes out to meet people and enjoys advising people as to the best solutions to remove asbestos.



Lance will do all the A class textures ceiling quotes everywhere and A and B in Waikato and the Coromandel including South and East Auckland.
Steve Elliot will do North from Whangarei, Northshore and West Auckland. He will be a supervisor doing work as well.
Andy Taherzadeh and Simon Thatcher will do the majority of B class quotes in the main areas of Auckland (lino and B class fibrolite.

Joe Leaso (75 years old) will do pick ups and small B class jobs under 10 m2.

All three have had A and B licences as well as supervisor licences.  They are fully experienced removalists which puts them in a position to ascertain the best way to carry a job out. Andy and Simon have between them skimmed and painted many ceilings and are the only ones that Lance will use as he knows he can rely on them to achieve a skimmed and painted quality finish.

Lance Russell




The Sales Team


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Your safety is Paramount

Your safety at all times has to be kept in consideration. For instance, to wet the texture thoroughly with water first when removing texture almost certainly reduces the risk of asbestos getting into the atmosphere making this job so much safer for our operators.

However you need to stay out of the rooms where the texture is being removed until the job is completely finished. There has been an air check taken to show that any fibres present are at a safe level.

Undisturbed cladding presents no risk at all but if for example you had a piece of cladding in your garage and you cut the board with a skill saw then the area would become contaminated.

The non friable jobs are all checked by an assessor who comes to all sites once finished and inspects the job and gives it a clearance and is also now safe for re-entry.



We got this job as a referral and we rated all aspects as excellent from job quality, cleanliness and efficiency. We would certainly recommend. - Minn Kitt

Thank you, Andy!! Very pleased with the workmanship, left the house nice & clean. Would recommend them to others (and I have four other owners in
the complex). - Barbara Brooks

Amazing job by Andy who worked all day without a break for lunch. Excellent result on ceilings, cleaned up after himself. Could not find a more dedicated worker if you tried. - Des Mitchell

All appointments on time - clear communication. Andy was exceptional - super efficient and at each stage the place left immaculate. I could not be happier with the quality of work done. Thanks Andy and Lance. - John Otto

Come back from holidays and the contractor, Andy, was just finishing the clean-up. We did come home a little earlier than arranged. He was polite, friendly and "wow" what an amazing job he did of our ceilings. So, so, pleased! Our home is in the 21st century! "Love your work!" "Perfect" Andy you are amazing. - Rose Rossall

Thanks to Victor and Andy. Left our place clean and tidy. It was a big job but they managed it time-wise. Grateful to Victor for feeding the cat! Great job, Thanks! - Ann Marie Noble

Thanks very much for the suburb job. The ceilings look really good and the place was left perfectly. I would recommend you to everyone. But I think you should slow down and have some time off. Seven days every week is too much. - Maree Gillies

Very pleased with Andy, great worker and very nice guy. -Eleanor Hiv Awesome job done. Neighbours were very happy with the communications and the KTeam worked well to keep them informed in all aspects of the job. - Nick Lee

When Lance came to the unit to give a quote to remove the asbestos textured ceilings, I immediately felt reassured by his expertise and experience in doing this type of work. I also felt very grateful that the ceilings could also be finished with Plastering. I met Simon just as the job was almost complete. I was impressed by his dedication to a high standard of work. I would highly recommend this company. Thank you ... guys. The ceilings were fantastic! - Elizabeth Blackie

Great to have come home and have all the texture removed from our ceilings. Looks lighter and brighter and the house feels better! All good. Thanks Simon for a job well done. - Helen

Great job Simon -thank you very much! - Michelle Tran

Very friendly staff. Thanks Simon. - Lorraine Thompson

Thank you so much Kevin -for being so positive about the nature of the work and the outcome! Simon: So pleasant to deal with & kept me up to date on progress. I wish I'd taken photos of the "before", but I knew it was a massive difference when I walked in before it was even finished. Two neighbours have the same plaster finish, and they were impressed too. - Deidre Marbeck

Awesome work Joe. Very easy to deal with. Would highly recommend your service to others! Cheers! - Jenny Daly

Excellent service. Joe is a very likeable professional. It was a pleasure having joe in our home doing our ceiling. The team have been excellent to deal with. Lance was very quick with responses. 10/10 Very happy customers.­ - Robyn & Graeme Butterworth

Very happy with the way the house was left; neat, tidy and clean. - Colleen Metcalf

Excellent service by your contractor Joe. Pleasant, efficient and tidy. Would happily recommend and have done. - Allison Lynne

Joe was excellent - of the old school tradesmen -polite, courteous, hard working. Ours was not the nicest of jobs but no complaints. Very impressed on the clean-up. Joe came back the next day in daylight to do a final tidy up. - Catherine Hayes

"Thank you to Lance and Andy. Their service was prompt and professional and they completed the job as requested on time. Lance was very flexible and when we needed another job done he fitted us in so as not to hold up the work site. I would highly recommend them not only for their efficient service but also for their very reasonable rates." - Leonie Tapper 


Monthly Draw Winners

Congratulations to Leonie Tapper from Morrinsville for winning our draw for this month

"Thank you to Lance and Andy. Their service was prompt and professional and they completed the job as requested on time. Lance was very flexible and when we needed another job done he fitted us in so as not to hold up the work site. I would highly recommend them not only for their efficient service but also for their very reasonable rates." - Leonie Tapper 

Congratulations to Martin & Celina

"We have really appreciated Lance and his team, managed by Simon. Not just were they more competitively priced than other firms, but they were also a pleasure to work with. No problem seemed to faze them.  We were impressed with their helpful attitude and expertise throughout. Winning their 'Lucky Draw' is only the icing on the cake: a wonderful bonus and surprise! We highly recommend Asbestos Busters for any type of asbestos removal." - Martin & Celina

Congratulations to Rose & John Love

"We needed quite a number of areas of asbestos to be removed from our residential property, it was feeling a bit daunting. We had cladding, soffits, wall lining, ceilings, fence panels and old vinyl that all needed testing and possible removal. We received six quotes with a wide range of recommendations and prices, but Lance from Asbestos Busters was a breath of fresh air, with his knowledge and expertise. Lance's experience saved us time and hassle, giving us guidance as to the steps required for testing, removal, ongoing monitoring and the result of a property clear and safe from asbestos. We can't recommend Asbestos Busters enough, they were the fastest to provide a quote, an excellent price, outstanding in management of the process, and communication and all of their team was great to deal with. As we lived close by, we even stopped the inspector during one of his air testing visits to ask him how it was going, and he gave a glowing report as well. If you need asbestos removed, I'd absolutely ask Asbestos Busters to quote. -thank you Asbestos Busters." - Rose & John Love

Congratulations to Andrew & Michelle

"Many thanks to Lance and Andy and his team for the fantastic job of removing the textured asbestos ceiling at our property. The difference is staggering and we were delighted with the final result which included painting the ceiling. It was like a new home. The tidiness and workmanship were incredible and we would not hesitate to recommend the services of Lance and Asbestos Busters. Thanks again for the friendly reliable and outstanding workmanship " - Andrew & Michelle

Prompt Follow
Up of Enquries

Prompt follow up of all enquiries covering North to Whangarei, Auckland, Coromandel and Waikato. Asbestos Busters pledge all enquiries will be answered immediately if by phone and passed on to the sales team to contact you a.s.a.p. Emails will be followed up quickly also. On contact the sales person will find out your requirements and organize a suitable time to prepare your quotation. On arrival he will assess what is required and come up with the best solution and economical way to deal with it. Once this is done he will be able to price the job for you and will keep personnel safety in mind, but at the same time try and inconvenience you as little as possible.  


We service residential and commercial properties in Northland, Auckland, Waikato & the Coromandel.