Hall of Fame 2020 welcomes its first female inductee

In News27 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 1, 2021

Following a couple of postponements, due to Covid-19, the 2020 Mobil Delvac 1 NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame gala dinner was finally held in mid-November at Bill Richardson Transport World in Invercargill. Six members of the national transport industry were welcomed into the Hall of Fame, including the first female inductee.

About 350 people from around the country attended the event, fewer than usual and understandable given the circumstances. “The transport industry has long been a male-dominated field, but the contribution made by many women has been absolutely vital in growing and strengthening the New Zealand transport industry as a whole. We encourage all women involved in the industry to celebrate their successes, and encourage others within the industry to do so as well,” said Jocelyn O‘Donnell, who launched the event in 2012 with husband and fellow director of HW Richardson Group, Scott. “All deserve acclaim and thanks for their care and enthusiasm for our industry. The Kiwi road transport industry would not be what it is today, were it not for the efforts of the men and women who dedicate their lives to strengthening our industry for the future.”

Photo: The 2020 crowd gathered to honour the inductees.

All proceeds from the Mobil 1 Delvac NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame, including a charity auction, are donated to the ProActive Drive Youth Driver Education Trust. The programme aims to make driving safer for young New Zealanders and is provided at no cost to teenagers who already hold a driver‘s licence. It offers courses aimed at improving their driving skills, to ensure they are equipped in the event something unexpected happens while they are on the road. With courses combining theory and practical elements, it is also available to corporate drivers.

Anita Dynes
Anita Dynes is credited as being crucial to the development of Tapanui-based Dynes Transport. Throughout her five decades in the transport industry, working alongside husband Jim, her substantive work ethic, tenacity, and family values were pivotal in the company becoming an iconic industry fixture, with interests in the dairy, forestry, and wine industries in addition to transport. Born in Balclutha on 5 February 1948, Anita was brought up on a farm at Rongahere, South Otago. She married in 1969 and moved to Tapanui, where Jim and his twin brother, John, had bought a five-truck general carrying transport business from Jim Cooper a few months earlier. Adapting to transport life for this inductee meant being tied at home to landline and radio telephone. The 1970s was a hectic decade for Anita, with three children born and two more general transport businesses purchased. In 1976 Dynes won the contract to cart woodchips from five sawmills in Otago to Port Chalmers and later Bluff. In 1977 John moved north to run T D Haulage, a chip carting business they purchased. Two years later they split ownership; John with T D Haulage, Jim and Anita with Dynes Transport (Tapanui) Limited. The business grew extensively during the 1980s with additional log and timber cartage. The management of cashflow was essential and was a critical part of Anita‘s role. Diversification came about with the family farm at Conical Hill being purchased, adding to the workload with Jim working the farm during the day and carting woodchips at night. Family holidays were now farmstays for the weekends, to tackle lambing, tailing, and haymaking amidst daily transport activities. Anita‘s capabilities were put to the test when Jim was ill with cancer. Her daily activities included driving Jim the four-hour round trip to Dunedin for treatment every day, running the transport business, sorting the three kids, and helping with the lambing beat on a now increased additional neighbour‘s farm. In 1991 NZ Rail applied for resource consent to reopen the line from Waipahi to Conical Hill Sawmill.

Photo: Anita Dynes makes history at the Road Transport Hall of Fame.

Anita opposed the application, spending months accumulating information for a petition and the hearing. Opening the line did not happen. During the mid-90s a new Tapanui depot was purchased, with a bigger yard, and the opportunity to move from the shoebox home office to the depot to accommodate additional staff. Over the next 15 years, multiple businesses were purchased and contracts won, including work with the Edendale dairy factory. This was enhanced by the successful ISO accreditation that Anita implemented within the business, with Dynes Transport being one of the first in the South Island to be accredited. This helped secure additional work for future years and is still current with their nationwide Fonterra contract today. Dynes Transport‘s solid foundations were set with the strong business partnership of Anita and Jim, their different strengths working collaboratively together to grow the business that it is today. Anita‘s strong work ethic, family values, and tenacity have been crucial to the success of Dynes Transport and have been embedded in her children, Debra, Peter and Shona, who have all worked in the business. Anita retired two years ago after working 50 years in the business. In 2017, Anita, Jim and Peter sold 50% of the Dynes group to the HWR Group, where both business and family values were in line for the future of the company. The Dynes Group has depots throughout New Zealand. Along with their passion in being solution architects for the dairy, forestry and wine industries, they are incredibly proud of the amazing people who have worked with the family for more than 50 years to make what is today, an iconic company within New Zealand.

Graham Sheldrake
Born in 1954 in the small seaside village of Great Yarmouth, in Norfolk, England, Graham Sheldrake immigrated with his family to New Zealand at the age of two. The family first settled in Patea, then shifted to Waitotara near Wanganui, and eventually ended up in Tokoroa where Graham attended school. After high school Graham joined his father as a diesel mechanic at NZ Forest Products Kinleith, qualifying in the trade. At the age of 20 Graham embarked on an OE with his sister and brotherin- law, taking a campervan around Europe for 18 months. Upon returning to New Zealand, Graham learned how to move furniture for Parks Furniture Removals in a 5-speed TK Bedford, and that‘s where he met his future wife, Jillian. After getting married in 1978 they headed back overseas to find his roots in England. Trucks were starting to become important in Graham‘s life and while overseas he made enquiries into log cartage back in Tokoroa. He applied for a contract with NZFP and was successful, purchasing his first truck, a Kenworth SAR with a Hiab crane to selfload logs. He called the truck Mork and the crane Mindy. In 1984 he replaced that truck and purchased a Kenworth W924, carrying off-highway logging. In 1986 he purchased a Scammell carting peeler logs from Kinleith to Henderson & Pollard, Mount Eden. In 1986 NZFP divested itself of its fleet of loggers and contracted out all of the cartage, which enabled Graham to expand his fleet.

Photo: Graham receives his right of entry into the Hall.

The formation of the Log Haulage Contractors Association came about as a result of Graham‘s encouragement for operators to band together to get lower fuel and insurance prices and have one voice when negotiating favourable discounts with various suppliers. Graham has been the driving force behind this organisation since its formation. In 1994 Graham joined the No 2 Region NZRTA, completing a term as president prior to becoming the owner-driver director on the RTF board from 1998 to 2005. He also represented the RTF for the Transport and Logistics Industry Training Organisation. From 2005 to 2009 Graham was vice president of the RTA Region 2, acting president in 2009, and the president until 2012. He has also been a member of the Log Truck Safety Council since its formation in 1997 and has represented the RTF board for numerous years on this council. It should be recognised that Graham could not have done all of this without the support of Jillian. A restructured NZFP became CHH Pulp & Paper and in 2000 Graham secured a contract for the cartage of paper from Kinleith to Levin, and paper products from various parts of the North Island to and from Kinleith. In 2004, Graham was invited to join Dynes Holdings Ltd, Rotorua Forest Haulage Ltd, and Honeycombe Log Transport, to form Timber Logistics Ltd to cart Red Stag Timber. Graham is a family man; he and Jillian have a daughter and son, Emma and Mathew, and also five grandchildren. At the beginning of 2020 Mathew took over the business. Graham has been a part of a number of successful industry organisations and has the reputation for tackling many of the difficult issues that the industry throws up from time to time. His organisational skills are second to none and the industry has used these skills to help make the industry better for everybody.

Jim Black
Born in Dunedin on New Year‘s Eve 1944, James (Jim) Benjamin Black grew up in Andersons Bay, Dunedin. In 1968 he purchased his first home and married Ann. The couple was blessed with two boys, Stuart and Arron, who both work within the family businesses. Jim attended Tainui Primary School before going to King Edward Technical College. Leaving school at 15, he started work as a warehouse boy at Sargood, Son & Ewan in Dunedin, but soon found wrapping parcels was not his game. This led to his move into the motor industry, where he joined Volkswagen Motors as an apprentice motor mechanic in 1961. After nine years he joined Kew Services in Hillside Road until it was sold, and then he moved to Holland and Bell. Then began the start of what Jim is renowned for, when he started in the tyre industry. Jim joined Firestone Tyre Services in Andersons Bay Road as a wheel alignment and underbody mechanic, working his way up to service manager and ending as Otago manager for 14 years.

Photo: Arron Black collects Jim‘s award.

At one stage, deciding he wanted to do something for himself, Jim operated a taxi in Dunedin for a couple of years, but the novelty soon wore off. In 1976, Jim joined Cooke Howlison Andersons Bay as a new car salesman under Bert Gibb, where he worked for five years. But Jim missed tyres and in 1982 he joined Bandag (part of the Freightways Group) as area manager Otago and Southland. He managed the Bandag Commercial Truck Tyre Retread Factory in Harrow Street, and the sales area. He then decided he should own the place, so he bought the business from Bandag in 1992 and General Tyres Ltd was born in September 1992. His son Stuart now manages the business. In 1996 Jim joined with Alan and Ian Neumann from Ashburton and purchased the Bandag Retread Factory in Christchurch, where they continue to retread tyres for the transport industry. They co-own eight of the Tyre General Stores in the South Island. In 1999 Jim Purchased a Mag & Turbo franchise in Dunedin, which is managed by Arron. As of 2020, Jim remains managing director of Mag & Turbo Dunedin and is active in the running of the business, still going into work every day.

Jack Newman
Born on 3 July 1902 in Brightwater, near Nelson, Jack Newman was instrumental in growing one of New Zealand‘s largest road transport businesses, Newman Bros. Ltd. Jack joined the family firm in 1922 as a coach driver. This gave him tremendous respect for ‘the bloke up front‘ and throughout his career he made a point of knowing and caring about his staff. His father, Tom, and uncle, Harry, started Newman Bros. in July 1879 driving their first Royal Mail Coach between Foxhill and Murchison. The first motor vehicle was purchased in 1911; the start of a nationwide fleet of buses, campervans, rental cars, and trucks, and a major tourism business. Jack became a director in 1927 and managing director by 1930. The family motto ‘only the best will do‘ took Jack to the United States to source Cadillacs. They were extended to seat 10 to 12 passengers, changed from left-hand drive to right, and travelled up to 1.6 million kilometres each. They cemented the firm‘s reputation for quality and reliability. Only the best meant Internationals, British Leylands, Mercedes-Benzes and Volvos came next. By the firm‘s centenary in 1979, Newman‘s was the largest tour operator in New Zealand, with offices in Tokyo, Sydney and Los Angeles. Jack founded Transport (Nelson) Ltd (TNL) in April 1938 with 12 shareholders. He was chairman until his retirement in 1980 and was then honorary founder president. It started with about 50 trucks scattered between the West Coast, Golden Bay, Nelson, and Blenheim, and included Newman‘s Nelson to Takaka freight operation. By 1952 it became Transport (Nelson) Holdings Group, a public company.

Photo: Sir Jack‘s grandson Nigel Newman-Hollis (left) and great granddaughter Sarah Newman-Hollis recieved his award from Scott O‘Donnell.

Newman‘s merged into TNL Group in 1972. By 1977 the group had a staff of about 1500 and close to 1500 vehicles. It was one of the biggest transportation and trucking companies in New Zealand. Jack held directorships of many other companies, served on different councils, business associations and charities. He was known for his entrepreneurial spirit, enthusiasm, generosity, instinctive concern for the feelings and welfare of others, and ability to get others involved. Jack married Myrtle Thomas on 27 September 1926. They had four daughters, Anne, April, Josephine (Jo), and Jillian. A keen sportsman, Jack represented Nelson at cricket, golf, rugby and bowls. He played international cricket for New Zealand in the early 1930s and was a member, selector and former president of the cricket council and founding member of the Cricket Foundation. Jack was knighted in 1977 for services to the travel industry, commerce and the community. Upon receiving his knighthood he was quoted: “This sort of thing is not achieved alone. I have had tremendous assistance from many people over the years in the things in which I have been involved. I have just headed these things, that‘s all.” Jack retired to Nelson in 1980, and died on 23 September 1996.

Warwick Wilshier
Warwick Wilshier was born and brought up in Otorohanga by a family immersed in the timber industry. But Warwick was more interested in the delivery trucks. This led him to a mechanical apprenticeship at Statecraft Waipa Mill and then to an opportunity to purchase an existing unit carting into the Waipa Mill – a highly sought-after contract in those days. Warwick became an owneroperator in 1982, stepping into fleet ownership in 1984, and multiple fleet ownership from 1989, operating in both the North and South Islands. A partnership with Gary Williams led to a fleet delivering logs to Kinleith at Kawerau and McAlpines in Rotorua. Cyclone Bola slowed work in the Bay of Plenty, so Warwick shifted to Canterbury to take on an opportunity with McCarthy and Wilshier Transport – MWT – as it was known. Paragon Haulage was next, putting selfloader trucks into Kaingaroa with the experience gained in operating selfloaders in Canterbury. Then came Rural Haulage in Wyndham as forests came on stream. Paragon sold out of Rural in 1998 and Warwick shifted home to Rotorua to help with the growth in Northland and the East Coast.

Photo: Warwick Wilshier accepts his award.

The opportunity to invest in Pacific Haulage arose, Warwick becoming director of finance. Warwick has been the chairman of the Log Transport Safety Council for 20 years. He has spent hundreds of hours at his cost in Wellington and throughout the country, fighting to improve the terrible reputation the log trucks had for accidents. He has made an outstanding contribution to transport safety including things like Static Roll Threshold, Share the Road, sleep apnoea testing, and Fit for the Road. He received recognition from the Institute of Road Transport Engineers of New Zealand (IRTENZ) with the presentation of the Outstanding Industry Achievement Award for service to log truck safety. Warwick has the innate ability to focus on the point and achieve common ground with respect and integrity. He has a clear view of industry direction and is called upon daily for assistance from drivers, forest managers, fellow carriers, NZ Transport Agency, and the Road Transport Forum. The assistance saught is given freely and honestly in a warm and generous manner. Warwick has truly been a leader in his field.

Trevor Woolston
Trevor Woolston was born into trucking, his extended family having a lifelong involvement in the New Zealand trucking scene. By 18 he was being paid to drive. However, as a young man Trevor went into the insurance industry and there met Sue, the woman who was to become his wife. In 1975 Trevor started working for Mitchell Transport based in Ohaupo. When the hay season finished he got a job with General Foods, delivering frozen foods to retail outlets. In 1977 Trevor purchased the family milk run. In 1982 an opportunity arose to purchase a 1974 Mack R Model from Dibble Brothers in Te Awamutu. Trevor, along with Barry Stamp, Alf Quaife, Derek Smith and Geoff Dibble, formed the co-op Dibble Independent Transport. At this time, Trevor was introduced to the Road Transport Association, becoming a member and serving on the regional committee.

Photo: Trevor Woolston‘s contribution to the industry was duly recognised.

Trevor enjoyed the Australian Truckin‘ Life magazine but became frustrated by the lack of New Zealand content until Sue suggested he start his own magazine. In March 1985, the first issue of New Zealand Trucking hit the shelves. In 1989, Trevor ran the first-ever national road transport exhibition at Mystery Creek, with more than 23,000 visitors from across the country. The shows ran every two years, moving to Hopuhopu in North Waikato in 1999. Also in 1989, Trevor started truck racing in New Zealand with the Caltex New Zealand Truck Grand Prix held at Pukekohe Raceway in April. More than 25,000 people jammed the venue, with thousands more watching on TV. Truck racing in New Zealand carried on under Trevor‘s management until 1994. In 1995, Independent Newspapers Ltd purchased New Zealand Trucking. Trevor was made the manager of the industry-based magazines division but left within a year to focus on transport shows and truck racing. Over the next few years, he added a truck show at Penrith, Australia, and a contracting expo at the Stevenson Drury Quarry. In 1999, Tony Freidlander, CEO of the Road Transport Forum, asked Trevor to take over running its monthly newsletter. Trevor pitched an idea of starting an official magazine of the RTF and New Zealand Truck & Driver was born.

Trevor and Sue have run Allied Publications since then, including Equipment Guide, Truck Body & Trailer and New Zealand Logger magazines. Trevor has always contributed to the RTF and the industry as a whole; his donations and sponsorships too many to list. In 2017, Trevor received the RTF‘s Supreme Contribution Award to the Industry for his dedication over the years. Trevor has four children: Elizabeth, Olivia, Todd, and Hayden. He played premier rugby until he was 40 and coached his sons‘ rugby teams, also serving as president of the Ngaruawahia Rugby Club. Trevor has a strong passion for fishing and has served as club president of the Bay of Islands Sports Fishing club, the oldest saltwater fishing club in New Zealand. He has also run the Southpac Trucker & Loggers Fishing competition out of their Paihia clubrooms for the past 15 years.