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
Cost: $50
To order, email:

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
To order, email: