Ministry of Ground
Dan Mackay is a modern rule-breaker. He challenges the status quo when it comes to residential and commercial landscape design.
Harking from Timaru, this Kiwi bloke spent his early working years in the Royal NZ Navy. In 2000the structure of military life could no longer hold Dan’s attention. Departing,heembarked on an adventure throughout Europe, working as a landscape labourer to earn a buck.
Deciding that digging holes was too hard, Dan headed back home to NZ and enrolled in a Landscape Design and Construction course, which he graduated from in 2004.The next nine years saw him earning his stripes designing for a range of businesses, before he and his wife started their own business, Ministry of Ground, in 2012.
A collision of art and practicality, best describes Dan’s design aesthetic. He believes spaces should be functional and fun – core values which he seamlessly integrates into his designs. Whether it’s a skate ramp and daybed in a backyard, or a firepit surrounded by custom pavers – you can be sure it will be unique.
Dan and the Ministry of Ground crew supported contestants in seasons 3 and 4 of The Block NZ, with Dan also imparting his knowledge as a Judge in 2015. And in 2018 Dan was the lead landscape designer on TVNZ HOMEmade, where each week the team surprised New Zealand homeowners with a home and garden makeover.
In 2018 Dan also became an ambassador of the Garden to Table movement. Educating and feeding kids is important to him – especially when he has a brood of 5 hungry mouths to feed at home himself!
After 15 years, Dan still digs holes – but only the fun ones!