Many of Ernest Hayes inventions are still in use today, notably the wire-strainer that farmers came to depend upon to keep their fences strong and straight.
From their rural Oturehua farm, Ernest and his wife, Hannah, worked together: Ernest forging ahead with inventing and manufacturing devices to make life on the land easier, and Hannah biking throughout the district seeking orders for their wares.
Today, the rustic mud brick buildings and their contents are remarkably well preserved. The engineering workshop houses a labyrinth of overhead shafts, belts and pulleys driving various lathes, drills and saws. This collection, and the associated farm buildings and the 1920s homestead, adds immensely to the story of the Hayes’ busy life. Hayes Engineering Works is a popular stop on the Otago Central Rail Trail.