HBF Info Magazine 1981




“If you sell more than 20,000 bales of wool this year, I’ll shout you!” Athol Hutton, then managing director of HBF, promised the Waipukurau branch. And then he escaped to the South Island. But Waipukurau didn’t let new General Manager Jim Scotland forget the promise, and in May they did break the 20,000 bale wool barrier – “a splendid effort,” says management.

So on June 16, the whole Waipukurau crowd came to head office for drinks, meeting the staff, touring the new offices, then dinner at Vidal’s. Total company wool into store hit a highest-ever figure of 85,713 bales, as of June 30, 1981 – 4,000 bales better than last year.

Vol. 2, No. 1

HBF INFO is published quarterly for employees of THE HAWKE’S BAY FARMERS’ CO-OPERATIVE ASSOCIATION LTD., PO. Box 147, Hastings – Telephone 66-119.
Registered at Post Office Headquarters as a magazine.


Our farmer-clients used to have to go to two locations within HBF to satisfy their produce requirements. For example, they’d buy fences, gates, posts and wire in the produce department – then have to go over to retail hardware to buy hinges.

Now, however, new farm service centres are being set up in other branches, which requires considerable rebuilding, reorganising, new display equipment, repainting and shifting around of merchandise.

“The need has always been felt for this move,” says Jock McKenzie, company mercantile manager. “In Waipukurau, we are modifying the present barnlike buildings to a more modern show floor area with a wider range of products, including many items previously available only in retail hardware.

“In Dannevirke we will consolidate farm input, home handyman and hardware, which will mean a move over the road from the present retail produce department to the main shop.”

Wairoa was the first to complete the move and open its new farm service centre. Produce manager Ewart Donnithorne says it is “a great success.”

Photo captions –

Waipukurau staff are initiated into the mysteries of the head office computer, by head EDP operator Colleen King, at the keyboard. From the left are: Pat Christian, Anne Wills, Ross Dahm, Raymer [Raema] Brun, Faye Turfrey, Charlene Marra, Michael Ward, Shona Crooks, Pauline Gordon, Joyce Ellmers.

Wairoa’s new farm service centre is appreciated by employees and customers. Peter Barrett (behind the counter), produce clerk, and Alister Gear (in background), produce agent, like being able to satisfy their customers without having to refer them to another part of the store.


does business at four different locations: HBF Common Shelton & Co. Ltd at 1 Peel Street, with HBF Common Shelton wholesale liquor and petrol station just behind it; HBF Adair Brothers Ltd. on the corner of Gladstone Road and Grey Street; and HBF Travel, formerly Stars Travel, just off the main shopping street.

Being cut into four parts makes administration a bit tricky. And it isn’t easy for employees who have been with Common Shelton and Adairs for many years to identify with the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Cooperative Association. HBF amalgamated with Common Shelton in 1961 and Adairs in 1979.

But things are gradually coming right, thanks to cooperation between the various outposts and a lot of effort on the part of everybody. And as retail manager Trevor Coombe puts it, “HBF offers more opportunity for the retail shopper than any other company in Poverty Bay, so we have excellent opportunities in the marketplace.”

Photo captions –

HBF Common Shelton & Co. Ltd., Gisborne.

HBF Common Shelton wholesale liquor store and petrol station, a combination unique in New Zealand.

HBF Adair Brothers Ltd.

HBF Travel – with travel manager Graham Elliott.

HBF men, on the job since 7 am, are as wet, cold and muddy as the sheep. Auctioneer Pat Coombes (right) tries to wheedle higher prices out of reluctant buyers, while stock agent Paul Toothill (waving arms) tries to marshal reluctant sheep. Centre (in hat) is Hamish McNeil, stock/ wool agent. Gisborne sold 21,698 more sheep than last year and 1,069 more ttle.

Betty Ferris, ledgers clerk, chats up executive officer, Ralph Pedersen.

At Common Shelton, Jim Taplin (left), home appliances manager, Guy Upchurch, assistant retail manager, and Bernie Roe, hardware manager, look happy about the year’s sales figures.

At Adairs, June Bound, head of wool department, checks stock with Prue Hailey, who has been with the company 25 years.

In the drive-through produce department, Bert Harding helps a customer load his car.

Ian McDermott is the new manager at the HBF wholesale liquor and petrol station. “We cater for the drinking driver,” he says.

Catherine Blomkamp, urban real estate agent, sells a million dollar estate, we hope. Gisborne real estate did particularly well this year, with urban sales increasing by $590,000 and rural land sales going over $4-million.


“Greater things are happening in travel right now,” says Roger Pilbrow, company travel manager. Although everybody in the country is complaining about high taxes, rising costs, no cash flow, they’re not staying home, so HBF Travel has had a good year. Hastings racked up the highest gross sales but Gisborne led the field in profitability.

Their success is attributed to “the enthusiasm of management and staff,” says Kevin Stuart, market development manager.

According to Gisborne travel manager Graham Elliott, “we work a lot of overtime. But we get a lot of pleasure out of satisfied customers coming back and telling us, ‘We had a great trip!’ We always follow up with a letter, and go after the repeat business.”

Details are now being worked out for an employee incentive scheme whereby staff can win domestic and overseas trips by supplying leads on new business to the travel department.

How’s This For Sheer Staying Power?

LUCY TUCKER (below) dropped in at HBF Hastings on the morning of April 1, 1929, and started her new job as retail store cashier after lunch. Following the 1931 earthquake, she says, “I was notified that my services were no longer required.” But after awhile she went to HBF head office and got herself a job as wages and salaries clerk. “I’ve always liked figures,” says Lucy.

Compulsorily retired at 60, “l didn’t want to retire, so I asked Hastings branch if they needed a clerk and they said yes.” But now, after 52 years off-and-on with HBF, Lucy has decided that she really is going to retire, when she reaches age 70 in August, and she does not expect to re-apply.

“l have no complaints,” says Lucy Tucker. “But I’ll miss the company of the people here.”

Employees Benefit From New HBF Insurance

Our new HBF Insurance division is offering a 10% discount to employees on three new policies – Homeplan Contents, Homeplan Buildings, and Healthplan; and 5% discount on Motorplan and Boatplan policies.

This is one result of HBF’s creation of a new insurance consortium which includes the company’s three chief agents: Royal Insurance Fire & General (NZ) Ltd., Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd., and Commercial Union Insurance Co. Ltd.

These companies have selected the best coverages from their own policies and combined them into new HBF Insurance plans. “It’s a unique situation” says Kevin Stuart, market development manager. “These policies must be the best in New Zealand, for both customers and staff.”

Colourful brochures are available free, giving full details.

The help of staff is urgently “requested by the insurance division: “Please give us leads!” asks Kevin Stuart. “Give us the names and addresses of anybody you know who is buying a house or getting married or having a baby or buying a boat – anything where insurance will be needed.”

Life insurance will continue to be handled by National Mutual Life Assurance of Australasia Ltd.

Photo captions –

Busily sending people around the world from Gisborne are (from the left) Dawson Hardacre, Christine Jenkins and David Borrie – each of them younger than their 23-year-old boss, Graham Elliott. “We’re selling the Youth market,” they say, “but we also take good care of the older people.”

Royal Insurance and HBF have worked together for a long time, as is obvious from this 1910 photo of HBF head office in Station Street, Napier, probably taken on King’s Birthday or Dominion Day.

HBF INFO   Editor: Kate Contos   Printed by Brebner Printing Co. Ltd., Napier.

Original digital file


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Business / Organisation

Hawke's Bay Farmers' Co-op Association Ltd

Format of the original


Date published

August 1981

Creator / Author

  • Kate Contos


Hawke's Bay Farmers' Co-op Association Ltd


  • Peter Barrett
  • Catherine Blomkamp
  • David Borrie
  • June Bound
  • Raema Brun
  • Pat Christian
  • Trevor Coombe
  • Pat Coombes
  • Shona Crooks
  • Ewart Donnithorne
  • Graham Elliott
  • Joyce Ellmers
  • Betty Ferris
  • Alister Gear
  • Pauline Gordon
  • Dawson Hardacre
  • Bert Harding
  • Athol Hutton
  • Christine Jenkins
  • Colleen King
  • Charlene Marra
  • Ian McDermott
  • Jock McKenzie
  • Hamish McNeil
  • Ralph Pedersen
  • Roger Pilbrow
  • Bernie Rose
  • Jim Scotland
  • Kevin Stuart
  • Jim Taplin
  • Paul Toothill
  • Lucy Tucker
  • Faye Turfrey
  • Guy Upchurch
  • Michael Ward
  • Anne Wills

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