Magazine Articles – Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Co-op


Vol. 1. No. 1
HBF INFO is published quarterly for employees of
P.O. Box 147, Hastings.
Telephone 66-119
Registered at Post Office Headquarters as a magazine

HOME AT LAST – almost! The familiar HBF building at the corner of Market and Queen Sts,  Hastings, will once again house head office staff by the end of this year. Currently crowded into a portion of one floor of the Wattie Industries Building, head office people are looking forward to having more room to think in, when they take over the entire top floor at Queen Street, formerly occupied by the tearooms.

Eventually the old HBF wool-bale logo on the building (shown in this photo) will be replaced by the new logo (shown above in blue). This also marks a change of name for various departments and wholly owned subsidiaries which will be changing over to trading as HBF: HBF Retail, HBF Travel, HBF Livestock, HBF Produce, HBF Real Estate.  However, life is never simple and there are complications to be ironed out before the name change is complete. Due to certain franchises and banking arrangements, some subsidiaries may have to retain their names in certain areas of their work. The reason for the name change is, as Managing Director Athol Hutton puts it, “So many different companies have been acquired that even some shareholders don’t remember that HBF owns them.”

HBF Travel Manager Rodger Pilbrow shows his staff at the Hastings office the new brochure describing the $5950 New Zealand Wine Export Promotion and Viticultural Study Mission to Germany and France in May and June.  From the left are Ursula Sinton, chief clerk, Lisa Arrell and Shelley-Ann Dougan, junior travel consultants.  The company is especially proud that the Wine Institute of New Zealand Inc., asked HBF to set up the tour.  It is the first major overseas venture of this kind for both the Institute and HBF.  It’s a new marketing strategy to involve our company in the lucrative business of special interest tours.

Our wool department enjoys a scenic location at Ahuriri on Napier’s inner harbour, away from city noise and dirt with plenty of parking space for car or boat.  “We operate almost autonomously’” says Wool Manager Clarrie Schdroski.  “We’ve got a family atmosphere and we’re very single-minded about our job.”  The three wool stores “handle more wool in less space than at any other company.”  Staff varies from 32 to 75 at the height of the season.

When a farmer wants his wool sorted to meet exact standards, it is removed from the bales and carefully separated for quality, style, length, yield, etc. – a job that takes years of training.  Shown here are four of the wool department’s professional classers:  (from the left)  Dinny Sheeran, foreman classer, Keith Rainham, Keith McDonald and Dave Atkins, foreman classer.

Martyn Ngawhare, presser, throws wool into a machine that re-presses it into bales.  About 20,000 bales are re-pressed each year.


JACK S. GADD (right), Manager of Bayfarmers Wholesale, Onekawa, is HBF’s longest-serving employee, having been with the company 45 years.  Jack joined HBF right out of school, beginning as an office junior in Hastings.  Here he is shown talking to Jim Liddell, Head Storeman, who has been with us 27 years.

The 21st Annual Dinner of the Long Service Club will be held at the Angus Inn, Hastings, on Monday, November 17.  The club includes all employees who have had 15 years continuous service as of November 30.  This year there will be three new members:  Dave Atkin, Foreman Classer, Wool Department;  Douglas Haig, Retail Manager, Dannevirke; and John Brasell, Area Accountant, Waipukurau.  Four 25-year employees will receive watches:  Quita Elliot, Produce Dept., Hastings;  John Gadsby, Real Estate, Hastings,  Barry Gay, Wairoa Retail; and Gordon Lochhead, Company Secretary.


At the Port of Napier, HBF staff take a break from the massive amount of paperwork required to load a Japanese ship with almost 10,000 cubic metres of timber – HBF’s first venture into this new and, we hope, lucrative field. From the left are Russell Black, marketing trainee; Ian Featherstone, former Hastings area manager lured out of retirement; Karen Brady, creditors department; John Collier, management accountant; and, looking stylish in boots, Kevin Stuart, manager of general export and marketing.  The job required accurate, precise work, because every log had a number and measurement and each log going on the ship had to tally with HBF records.

Dennis Packer (below) manager of financial services, and his assistant, Shanley Hines, seem to be laughing all the way to the bank.  Can it be that setting up a new finance company is fun? Shanley Hines joined HBF head office just a few months ago, shifting from Auckland, where she had worked with a finance company, to Napier, with her husband, a solicitor.

Kerin Barker (left) company retail manager, Wayne Kelsall (centre) newly appointed merchandising manager, and Bill McGrory, Napier retail store manager, meet at the Napier store to dream up new and devilish ways to confound the competition. Bill McGrory transferred in May from Common Shelton, Gisborne, where he had been retail manager. He replaced Adrian Rotherham, promoted to head soft goods buyer, who works out of the Bayfarmers Onekawa office, where Kerin Barker and Wayne Kelsall are also located.


It’s been a ferociously busy year for the office staff at Head Office in Hastings.  Besides carrying on their usual work – clerical, accounting and data processing services, plus reporting to management – the administration division has had plenty of what Sydney Deacon, company accountant, calls “big exercises.”

The most recent was a new issue of company shares.  Since HBF has almost 14,000 shareholders, that exercise had the office almost snowed under for awhile.  “For three weeks, everybody was stretched to the limit,” says Maurice Clarkson, head office accountant.

HBF’s new ventures into forestry, log exporting, horticulture, drainage and continental meats, setting up its own finance company, plus reorganisation of the retail department, required setting up accounting sytems [systems] for each enterprise.

In addition, new computerised management accounting and reporting systems were created to give management more detailed reports more quickly.  This involved major computer changeovers, which are still being perfected.

The annual report was expanded to an impressive four-colour glossy format more in keeping with a modern company updating its image to suit fast-changing times.

And in the middle of it all, the entire staff had to shift from the King Street building to the Queen Street building.  Whenever anybody makes a move in HBF, the administration division gets involved. “But that’s what we’re here for,” says Syd Deacon. “We’re a service unit to the whole company.”

The administration division comprises 19 staff in head office accounting and data processing, 59 in area offices, plus 6 meat supplies clerical.  Here are some of the 19 head office people who spend their days behind desks, up to their ears in numbers and paperwork.

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Articles from HBF Info magazine, unknown date

Business / Organisation

Hawke's Bay Farmers' Co-op Association Ltd

Format of the original

Magazine articles


Hawke's Bay Farmers' Co-op Association Ltd


  • Lisa Arrell
  • Dave Atkins
  • Kerin Barker
  • Russell Black
  • Karen Brady
  • John Brasell
  • Maurice Clarkson
  • John Collier
  • Sydney Deacon
  • Shelley-Ann Dougan
  • Quita Elliot
  • Ian Featherstone
  • Jack S Gadd
  • John Gadsby
  • Barry Gay
  • Douglas Haig
  • Shanley Hines
  • Wayne Kelsall
  • Jim Liddell
  • Gordon Lochhead
  • Keith McDonald
  • Bil McGrory
  • Martyn Ngawhare
  • Dennis Packer
  • Rodger Pilbrow
  • Keith Rainham
  • Adrian Rotherham
  • Clarrie Schdroski
  • Dinny Sheeran
  • Ursula Sinton
  • Kevin Stuart

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