The Asmuss Story

By Maria de Jong

For a century, HJ Asmuss & Co Limited has contributed to the development of the nation’s history. Back in 1920 Henry Asmuss came home from Australia armed with capital and hard-earned business acumen, ready to gamble everything on an idea. After his death, his son
William took over and picked the right team for the long game. Deal after deal, decade after decade, the firm has built on this legacy, ready to snap up opportunities and expand the ambitions of its founder.

A lot can happen in a hundred years. H J Asmuss has sourced pipes, fittings, valves and steel for state housing, hydro dams, geothermal stations, the great timber mills, ‘Think Big’ schemes, the Maui gas fields, fire protection, sewage treatment, water reticulation, gold mines . . . the list goes on, like a catalogue of national construction.

Company acquisitions have helped to build a nationwide network for this family-owned company. For 100 years the mission to provide excellent products and great service to customers has never wavered. The company is now a manufacturer of polyethylene pipes, and a distributor of high-tech steel and plastic products to the commercial sector. Shaped up and streamlined, the company is ready for new action. Asmuss helped build New Zealand’s past — now it can help make the future.

260 x 212 mm, 231 pages, colour, soft cover
Email: maria@lifestories.co.nz

The Three Ps

By Brendan Prendergast with Maria de Jong

In the transport and logistics sector, MOVE started out as a relatively small player. Over thirteen years, under the leadership of Brendan Prendergast, the company grew from 8 trucks and 18 staff to over 100 trucks and more than 400 people. Revenue grew more than 32-fold while profitability increased at a higher rate.

But those are just numbers. The real MOVE story lay in how a modest Christchurch-based business was transformed into a national trucking and logistics operator. How a team came together to drive the development of MOVE; how that team created a culture of innovation and commitment to a stellar level of customer service —  all achieved with a mix of hard work and straight-out fun. A team with enough fighting spirit to pull through a natural disaster.

This memoir covers Prendergast’s own rough start to life; emerging from a state house in Invercargill, a teenage parent and a battler. Classic underdog stuff, with one simple message to take away: Persevere. This book is the celebration of a hard-earned life attitude, and a tribute to all those who have helped along the way.

250mm x 215 mm, 315 pages, softcover
ISBN: 978-0-473-58850-2
Email: maria@lifestories.co.nz

Winds of Trade

By Maria de Jong

Established using the proceeds from the sale of a gold Chevrolet Impala car, Tropex Exports Ltd has developed from sole trader to global trader of construction materials, with an enviable reputation for quality, affordability and reliability in the Pacific region. The company has faced numerous hurdles over the years — its first substantial export to Papua New Guinea never made it as the ship caught fire.  The history of the company’s growth includes vibrant accounts of island-hopping sales reps being tossed about the cabin of a small plane during a storm, along with the chickens and goats! Alongside the Tropex story is the history of its sister company, Tara Exports Ltd. Tara started off in the packing shed of an orchard west of Auckland and is now one of the largest food exporters to the Pacific Islands.

This comprehensive company history charts the many changes that have occurred in 50 years of exporting: jet travel, shipping routes, technology, communication and the shifting spheres of political and economic influence in the Pacific region.  But most of all it is the story of the people who seized opportunities when they arose and worked hard to make Tropex the success story it is today.

210 x 148 mm, 231 pages, colour, soft cover
Cost: $45
Email: maria@lifestories.co.nz

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