1989 – Founding

Cadimage Solutions Limited (as it was originally known) was established by Murray and Sue Pearson on 16th October 1989. The company was incorporated prior to their return to NZ – with their 4-year-old daughter Jo – after an extended OE that saw them leave New Zealand for the UK in 1979.

Murray is a NZCD qualified draughtsman who worked for a number of architectural practices in the UK and got involved in the early days of what is now known most commonly as Building Information Modelling, or BIM.

Murray has many stories to tell of the different computers and systems in these very early days of CAD. One of the first systems was RUCAPs and he later was a tester for Jonathan Ingram as he developed the Sonata Building Design Software. They only had one workstation so Jonathan would spend all day coding, and then in the evening Murray would set about “testing” (read: breaking) the new code.

On return to New Zealand Murray continued his use of Sonata to great 3D visuals for a number of New Zealand industries and projects including, DB Breweries, Mobil Oil and the Wellington Wastewater Treatment Plant.

While by today’s standards the renderings produced show their age, they were cutting edge at the time and allowed companies to visualise their project in advance and use the images to help tell stories regarding different location options, or different construction strategies.

In parallel with these projects Murray was also trying to sell Sonata to New Zealand Architects. However, with a price tag around $100,000 for the Software and the Silicon Graphics Workstation it was a tough sell.

Cadimage is very much the traditional NZ start-up with Sue and Murray owning $50 shares each and saving every penny as they established the business. They originally had a small office in Three Lamps/Ponsonby and then moved to a purpose-built home office on the North Shore. Sue helped with a lot of the admin and it wasn’t unusual for Sue to jump in a car in Friday night rush-hour to deliver a new image to a client – again saving money by not using a courier!

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