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Kapiti Horowhenua Business Hall of Fame

Kapiti Horowhenua Business Hall of Fame Inducts Two Well-known Business Leaders

Two highly successful and well-known local businessmen and community leaders have been inducted into the Kapiti Horowhenua Business Hall of Fame.

Rick Goodman and Ross Crowe were inducted into the Hall of Fame at this year’s Electra Kapiti Horowhenua Business Awards Gala Dinner on Friday 23 September 2016, bringing the number of business people admitted to the Hall to twenty.

Rick Goodman: Iconic Company Owner and Community Supporter
Born in Lower Hutt, Rick Goodman grew up on the family farm – first in Hawkes Bay and then Peka Peka - before attending St Patrick’s College, Silverstream.
On completing his studies, Rick and his brother Tony started their working lives as contract sharemilkers for their Dad.

Over time the contracting grew beyond sharemilking, and an investment in a bulldozer saw the Goodman brothers working on the construction of the state houses we see in Porirua today. The Goodman’s yard in Anne Street, Waikanae was opened in 1966.

The ’87 sharemarket crash provided the company with its darkest days. Work dried up and with no money they decided to call in a receiver. The company continued trading and with the help of the receiver and a bank appointed financial advisor, things slowly picked up again.

Over this period many lessons were learned including the fact that, even with the best intent, a 50/50 partnership can cause trouble. Another learning was, “stick to what you know best, and get help with the other stuff”.

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In 1994 Rick and wife Helen bought out brother Tony’s half of the company. Meanwhile the Goodman children were wanting to join Rick in the business. His advice was to get qualifications first as this would mean they always had something to fall back on.

Today, Goodman Contractors is one of the Kapiti/Horowhenua region’s iconic local businesses, employing more than 200 people and with over 200 machines across 12 local sub-contracting companies.

Rick’s three sons and daughter Marianne now have equal shares with Rick in the business which puts around $250,000 a week into the local economy through wages alone.

Goodman’s have always been actively involved in the community, sponsoring and supporting many causes and needs. Rick himself has been actively involved in rugby, cricket and Lions, and served on the Board of Paraparaumu College for 10 years, including as Chair.

The company’s strap line is “safely shifting dirt for dollars and fun”. And after more than 50 years in the industry, Rick says he still loves it.
Ross Crowe: Innovative Award Winning Builder
At just 27 years of age, Horowhenua born and bred builder Ross Crowe established Crowe Construction.

Working mostly in Wellington but proudly based in Levin, Ross quickly discovered a love for training and mentoring young builders. Even today, with 30 apprentices graduated, he still actively mentors former apprentices as they establish their own businesses.

Ross’ first development project was in Koputaroa. His first commercial contract was the Levin RSA snooker room extension.

But it was when his company built its first service station for BP that he entered a long term niche market; building or renovating service stations, schools and popular food service outlets throughout the lower North Island – projects that require a quick turn around and a robust, quality build.
In 1972 he met Wellington architect Roger Walker when he built the Sandcastle Motel in Peka Peka. Ross recommended against a specified corrugated asbestos roof – demonstrating an ability to identify building materials likely to cause later trouble. The pair remain collaborators, close friends, occasional travelling companions, and regular wine tasting buddies.

Over the years Ross has developed a fondness for different and difficult builds, especially the challenge of architecturally designed bespoke residences. He also undertakes earthquake-proofing in up to 10-story blocks, and relishes complex engineering challenges.

In 2014 the company won the New Zealand Master Builders Award for Te Takere, in Levin.

Ross is a builder not afraid of new challenges. He thinks outside the box and is not distracted by conventional methods of doing things.
He enjoys a laugh and is warm hearted and a regular supporter of community events and initiatives, such as the Lego Exhibition, the Athletic Rugby Club and the roof on the Hockey Turf pavilion.

Today he has eight core staff, including his youngest son, and up to 15 contractors. Ross and wife Jackie enjoy farming, fishing, diving, boating and travel while running his company full time.

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