Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Ian Grainger - Hawke's Bay Aviation 1906 - 1960

Hawke's Bay Aviation History 1906 to 1960 Tuesday 11 September, 5:30pm Hastings War Memorial Library, Warren Street, HastingsIan Granger is our guest speaker talking on "Hawke's Bay Aviation History 1906 to 1960" Ian has had an interest in aviation history for many years and gives a very intersting incite into the early years.In recent times Ian has been involved with aero displays held in Napier for the Art Deco Weekends which draws many visitorsto Hawke's Bay. He is a long standing member of the aviation historical society of New Zealand as he is member number 62.This is an event not to be missed with photos and visuals along with a very stimulating talk.Enrty is by gold coin donation.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Brian James : The rise and fall of the historic Stock agent

Stock and station agencies were first set up in the mid-19th century. They provide a broad range of services for farmers – general merchandising, livestock sales, wool auctions, grain and seed breeding, seed cleaning and exports, seasonal finance, insurance, real estate brokerage, machinery sales, advisory services and more. They also promote the products and services of other firms, such as insurance companies, meat processors and foreign businesses.
Stock and station agencies are unique to Australia and New Zealand – similar businesses elsewhere carry out fewer functions
Originally, agents were paid commissions related to sales, so higher prices for livestock, wool and real estate meant they earned more. Supplies like fencing materials, chemicals, stock feed and clothing were sold with retail price margins, and interest was charged on loans. More recently, agencies have introduced fixed fees for some services.
One stock agent claimed that a successful agent ‘must be a Nationalist, a staunch Labour man, a Social Credit disciple, a Catholic, a Protestant, a technician, a politician, a mathematician, an all-round mechanic, and, on occasion, a Communist. He must be an expert driver, talker, traveller, bridge player, golfer, bowler, diplomat, a football maniac, an authority on astrology, dogs, cats, sheep, cattle, horses, all types of leases, water rights and noxious weeds. The person with all these qualifications is truly entitled to the initials C.S.S.A. after his name – Country Stock and Station Agent.’1

The first stock and station agency was founded by Alexander Elder, a Scot, who established a branch of his family’s merchant and shipping business in Adelaide, Australia, in 1839. Elder later returned to Scotland, but his brother Thomas stayed in Australia and formed a partnership called Elder, Smith & Co. with Robert Barr Smith in 1863. Elders was later active in New Zealand, as was Dalgety, which was founded in Melbourne in 1846 as a wool merchant, pastoral supplier and shipping agent and expanded to New Zealand in 1858.
Nathaniel Levin, the son of a London Jewish merchant, arrived in Wellington in 1841, aged 22. He almost immediately founded a general merchandising business for the early settlers, selling food, clothing and household necessities, and then expanded to sell goods and provide services to farmers.
When Charles Clifford and Frederick Weld drove sheep around the coast from Wellington to Wairarapa in 1844 to begin large-scale pastoral farming, they were already customers of Levin’s. In that year he did business as far north as New Plymouth and as far south as Akaroa.

George Gould emigrated from England to Canterbury in 1850, when large numbers of Canterbury Association-assisted settlers landed in Lyttelton. He set up in business supplying food, clothing and timber, and was soon a financier and exporter of wool for the province’s large sheep stations. Gould became a large landowner, and his sons Joseph and George followed in the business. In 1919 the company merged with two other partnerships to form Pyne Gould Guinness, which was based in Canterbury.

Wrightson began life in 1861 in Dunedin as Wright Robertson & Co., a partnership between John Wright and Robert Robertson. Advertisements from its first decade of business said the firm ‘was prepared to arrange for the sale or purchase of station property; to receive consignments of sheep and cattle for sale; and to make liberal advances when required’.
Robertson left the business in 1868 and was replaced by auctioneer John Stephenson. The company traded as Wright Stephenson for many years, selling supplies and horses to farmers and miners. It was later called Wrightson.
Williams & Kettle No.2 Wool Store 56 West Quay was opened in 1882 by Stock & Station Agents Williams & Kettle. Frederick Williams commenced trading in 1880 and was joined by Nathaniel Kettle in 1885.

In August 1885 I took Mr. Nathaniel Kettle into partnership and until March 1891 the business was known as F.W. Williams & Kettle. We then floated it into a public company under the title of Williams & Kettle Ltd. Mr Kettle and I being Managing Directors, & I was Chairman of the Company until 1918 when owing to a breakdown in health and under Doctors advice I retired from active work as Managing Director & Chairman though I still retain a seat on the Board, Mr Kettle becoming sole Managing Director and Chairman.

In 1883 they joined the late Mr G. E. Richardson and the late Capt John Campbell & Messrs Murray Roberts & Co in building the S.S. "Weka" and purchasing the S.S. "Fairy" and one or two small sailing lighters owned by Messrs Richardson & Campbell, and we traded under the title of Richardson & Co. Later after the purchase of S.S. "Kahu", "Fanny" & other vessels this business was converted into a Limited Company and the fleet further increased. Fred took n active part & interest in the management of this Shipping Company.

Fred was elected a member of the Committee of the Hawke's Bay Permanent Building & Investment Society on February 16th 1882 and became Chairman on May 13th 1889 which position he held for over 28 years until October 1917 when he resigned owing to his breakdown in health, though I still retain a seat on the committee

Williams & Kettles from a pastoral and agricultural background set up as pastoral agents in Hawke’s Bay in 1885
Farmers’ cooperatives, owned by farmers and directed by elected boards, performed the same functions as the commercial stock and station agencies.
The Canterbury Farmers’ Co-operative Association, founded in Timaru in 1880, was the first in New Zealand. Others soon followed. In 1924, nine major regional cooperatives covering much of the country formed the Federation of Co-operatives.
By 1980 amalgamations had reduced this group to seven: Allied Farmers’ Co-operative (Auckland and Waikato); Farmers’ Co-operative Organisation Society (Taranaki); Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Co-operative Association; New Zealand Farmers’ Co-operative Association (Canterbury); Canterbury Farmers’ Co-operative Association (South Canterbury); Reid Farmers Ltd (Dunedin); and Southland Farmers’ Co-operative Association
Cooperatives opened simultaneously from the mid 1880’s and Hawke’s Bay Famers Cooperative Association formed in 1891 and was soon a powerhead in the bay. Williams & Kettle soon adopted the co-operative approach.
By end of nineteenth century wool consignment, lending and livestock sales became virtual joint services and provided short term finance until the completion of the sale.
Before the days of motorised transport, most stock were sold privately, rather than at auctions. The telephone dominated the lives of stock agents – their days began at 5 a.m. and continued far into the night. One agent recalled that his wife used to cut up his meat and all but feed him his evening meals while he was busy on the phone
By the start of the 20th century farmers were served by at least 40 regional and national agencies, ranging from one-man bands to companies employing hundreds. The national companies were Wright Stephenson, New Zealand Loan & Mercantile Agency, National Mortgage & Agency Co. of New Zealand (NMA) and Dalgety & Co.
The big agencies faced vigorous competition from smaller regional firms and farmer-owned cooperatives. Companies joined together to build saleyards and wool stores.
After the wool boom of the early 1950s, livestock and wool prices fell. Stock and station agencies’ commissions fell too, and dairy company-owned stores provided competition. The bigger stock and station companies began taking over the smaller ones, to extend their regional coverage and for economies of scale. Businessman Sir Ronald Trotter observed that when he began in the industry in the late 1950s there were 45 companies competing. When he retired as chairman of Wrightson in 1998 there were only five – Wrightson, Pyne Gould Guinness, Williams & Kettle, Allied Farmers and Elders New Zealand.
Seven years after Trotter’s comments, the first three merged as PGG Wrightson. This brought together six big families of companies which began to coalesce in the 1960s. Dalgetys had merged with NZ Loan & Mercantile in 1962, and NMA with Wright Stephenson in 1972. The Crown Group made several consolidations in the 1970s, and merged with Dalgety New Zealand in 1983. Dalgety Crown was bought by Wrightson NMA in 1986.
In 1993 Williams and kettle moved buildings from Woolstore 1 The building was retained and operated as a Stock & Station and Wool business by Williams & Kettle until 1995.

Wrightson was floated as a public company in 1993, partly taken over by Rural Portfolio Investments in 2004, and acquired Williams & Kettle in 2005. That same year it merged with Pyne Gould Guinness and became PGG Wrightson, which is a listed company traded on the New Zealand stock exchange.
PGG Wrightson (and its predecessors Wright Stephenson and Wrightson) has always been active in Australia, particularly selling pasture seeds. It also sells seeds and develops dairy farms in Uruguay, and had an annual turnover of more than $1 billion in the early 2000s.
Elders Australia was active in New Zealand in the 1980s, buying smaller agencies and attempting to prevent the 1986 merger of Wrightson and Dalgety. However, when its parent company ran into difficulties, Elders retreated across the Tasman. It left behind the finance business and some livestock agents, which formed a private company. In the early 2000s, Elders New Zealand is a privately-owned company which is rebuilding a national network of livestock, wool and real estate agents, along with some merchandise outlets and financial products. It has a joint venture with broker Primary Wool, and buys in products and services from Elders in Australia.
The Allied Farmers group covers most of the North Island with merchandise, livestock, wool, real estate and financial services.

In 2005, Pyne Gould Guinness merged with Wrightson to form PGG Wrightson
In 2008 Allied Farmers, based in Taranaki and the central North Island, was the only remaining farmers’ cooperative, dealing in merchandise, livestock, wool, real estate and financial services. Incorporated in Taranaki in 1913 as a farmers’ cooperative, it later merged with King Country Farmers, Manawatu Livestock and Waikato Farmers. Allied Farmers provides merchandise, livestock, wool, real estate and financial services over most of the North Island, and has an annual turnover of more than $400 million.
There are also many private livestock agents who operate throughout New Zealand.
In the early 2000s, farmers use many other suppliers. There are cooperative supply stores like RD1, Farmlands and CRT (Combined Rural Traders). Stock and station agencies no longer sell or represent farm machinery, and some fertiliser and chemical companies sell direct to farmers.
Rural finance is now vigorously contested by all major trading banks and some specialised rural lenders. Agencies have only a small portion of total rural lending – around $30 billion, mainly seasonal finance for livestock and crops.
Stock and station agencies played a vital role in rural communities through most of the 20th century. Many small rural towns had one or more agency stores selling an array of goods. For example, in the early 1970s in the South Canterbury town of Fairlie, there were stores belonging to Wrightson, Dalgety, Pyne Gould Guinness and Canterbury Farmers Co-operative Association, selling animal health supplies, animal feed, fencing material, fertiliser, machinery and tools, clothing and groceries.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Brian James - "The Rise & Fall of the Historic Stock & Station Industry

Brian James - "The Rise & Fall of the Historic Stock & Station Industry.
In the 150th year of the New Zealand Stock and Station Association, Brian James will recall the immense influence that Wright Stephenson and National Mortgage Companies held across rural New Zealand.