Ian Calderwood Enters Business Hall Of Fame
August 21, 2007
Ian Calderwood Enters North Shore Business Hall Of Fame
Ian Calderwood, who helped to establish the building blocks that have turned the North Shore into an economic powerhouse, has been rewarded by becoming the newest member of the Enterprise North Shore Business Hall of Fame.
He is the only laureate to receive the honour in 2007, which will be confered at next week’s Gala Dinner for the Westpac Enterprise North Shore Business Excellence Awards.
Better known as “Caldy” to his friends and associates, Mr Calderwood joins just nine others who have received the honour since the Enterprise North Shore Business Hall of Fame was established in 2004.
A long-time North Shore resident, Mr Calderwood made his mark in property development, building a significant number of industrial and commercial properties on the North Shore over the past 34 years, including several in the Wairau industrial valley. He is executive chairman of the Jonmer Group.
A feature of many of his developments are the strata unit mini-business parks, where a body corporate is formed to maintain the landscaped areas around the commercial buildings, thus ensuring these projects retain their aesthetic appeal in the future. Today, the Jonmer Group has many developments outside of the North Shore and is at the forefront of the bulk retail boom, building large retail warehouse complexes in Wiri, Hamilton, Christchurch and Nelson.
It hasn’t always been plain sailing in business for Mr Calderwood. His first property company was hit by the sharemarket crash of 1987, resulting in bankruptcy – but he bounced back to start Jonmer and repaid his creditors.
Mr Calderwood and Jonmer have also been strong supporters of the community, including many charities and sponsors of a variety of local sports, from rugby and netball to sailing and numerous individual athletes. He is a founding trustee of the North Harbour Club charitable trust.
According to Enterprise North Shore Chairman Ian Watson, Mr Calderwood epitomises the typical Business Hall of Fame laureate, being a local who has made good locally and put something back into the community.
Mr Watson adds: “Talk to people around Ian and you soon recognise that he is a good person to work with, backed up by the fact he generates a lot of repeat business, and he has gained the respect of many in the community he has worked tirelessly for.
“Ian’s story also reminds other budding entrepreneurs that it is OK to fail but it’s important to learn from the experience, pick yourself up and become better for it.”
The man himself is understandably circumspect about his contribution to the North Shore and believes there are more worthy people who could be inducted into the Business Hall of Fame. However, he does own up to being fiercely passionate about the North Shore.
“It’s a close-knit community, a wonderful place to live and work and I have never really wanted to live anywhere else,” says Mr Calderwood.
Arriving on the Shore as a nine-year-old, he was educated at Belmont Primary school and Takapuna Grammar before heading into the workforce with Fisher & Paykel in their sales division. He was a contemporary of Gary Paykel and the two became friends when posted to the South Island – they still meet up regularly and go game fishing together every year.
On returning to Auckland, the entrepreneur in Mr Calderwood began to stir and he started dabbling in property deals on the North Shore.
When the property dealing started to interfere with his normal routine at Fisher & Paykel Mr Calderwood took the plunge to become a full-time property developer in 1973. His property business became one of the largest on the North Shore, until the sharemarket slump pulled the company down.
“I was devastated, but having started from nothing before, I knew we could do it all over again and that is exactly what we did,” adds Mr Calderwood.
With reduced availability of suitable development sites on the North Shore, Jonmer Group now has more of its business in areas outside the North Shore, but remains based north of the Harbour Bridge.
Mr Calderwood is a lover of most sports, especially rugby and the North Harbour team and among his many community activities he has also served as President of the Takapuna North Rotary Club.
The North Shore Business Hall of Fame was established by Enterprise North Shore in 2004 and its Board of Trustees select laureates each year from public nominations.
So far it has nine business people among its ranks, with the first group inducted in 2004 including Geoff and Jim Smale, of Smales Farm, Ralph Roberts of Roberts Electrical and Stephen Tindall, founder and Chairman of The Warehouse. In 2005 Peter Maire, founder of Navman, David Levene, OBE and founder of Levene's and Graeme Avery of Adis International were inducted. Last year the inductees were Peter Menzies formerly of Mainzeal and Diane Foreman of Emerald Food Group.