Inventor of 'weird' painting tool the Rolla-wipa on importance of buying New Zealand-made products

"Buy local, support local" is New Zealand businessman Brett Stanley's simple message for Kiwis as businesses find their feet in a new, post-lockdown normal.

Stanley is the inventor of the Rolla-wipa, a "unique, simple, weird tool" that allows paint rollers to be cleaned quickly and efficiently, saving roughly 200ml of paint per an average 270mm roller sleeve. 

New Zealand companies have been challenged to find their 'weird' as part of a new campaign by Buy New Zealand Made, with Stanley's idea proving successful. The locally-made product has already made waves in the market, with 75,000 sold so far. 

The curved tool removes excess paint from the roller, meaning professional painters or at-home DIYers can save both paint and time spent cleaning up. It also means more paint is going back into the tin to be reused rather than down the drain.

The number of Rolla-wipa's sold will have saved roughly 15,000 litres of paint already, Stanley says. 

"Am I gonna be rich out of it? I'm not sure. But I do have a lot of pleasure in seeing a Rolla-Wipa being used by someone for the first time. It's worth it, I'm happy," Stanley told The AM Show on Wednesday.

The local businessman had an important message for New Zealanders.

"I guess you could say some of the imports [available in NZ] are not to the same quality and if you do buy New Zealand-made, generally they're made for New Zealand conditions," he said.

"My Rolla-Wipa - it's not just me. There's a plastic manufacturer, there's the tool maker, there's the printing guy, there's the carton guy - we've also had the Master Painters give it a tick of approval - and we sell it through Resene and Mitre 10. That's a whole lot of people, just because you bought one Rolla-Wipa, that will benefit. Buy local, support local."

Watch the video above.