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5 mins with 2020 Hall of Fame Inductee - Hynds

Updated: Sep 8, 2021

With National Family Business Day on 17 September 2021, FBNZ is showcasing some of New Zealand’s exceptional family businesses, and who better to speak with than our Family Business Hall of Fame Inductee, Hynds.

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2020, The Hynds Family Business was originally established in 1973 by John & Leonie Hynds. The business has since grown into a leading specialist in the supply & manufacture of water and water-based waste products across Australia & New Zealand. The business comprises of six business units across New Zealand & Australia employing more than 900 people & supply a full range of infrastructure products to the civil & rural sectors.

With founding family values of integrity & care at their core, the family seeks to continue to strive for best practice & continued active family involvement.

We caught up with Katrina Winn to discuss their family business story and how they plan on celebrating National Family Business Day this year.

About Hynds

The Hynds business has been operating since 1973 when John and Leonie started manufacturing concrete retaining walls in the back yard of the South Auckland family home, employing one man to help. The ‘factory’ was the garage with the family home available as office and toilet for the workers. One of those employees who worked in the garage still works for Hynds today. John and Leonie’s two sons, Adrian and Aaron grew up in that environment as the business grew and developed simultaneously around them. As John discovered new opportunities and gaps in the market he introduced new concrete products into the range - including a patented Gridlock system.

When the clothesline couldn’t get moved any closer to the house, the Hynds purchased their first manufacturing site in East Tamaki which grew from a 1 acre to 16 acre site as the business quickly expanded the manufacturing range to meet the infrastructure markets need for water and wastewater pipeline product.

Implementing a ‘one-stop shop’ approach, the business started purchasing complementary products and delivering directly to the customer along with their own manufactured range. This idea expanded in the early 1990’s when Hynds opened their first merchant supply branch in Albany to improve customer service to the North Shore. Over the decades through acquisition, the nationwide network of branches and manufacturing plants has grown substantially and now employs over 900 people.

Hynds Group is now a leading manufacturer of infrastructure and pipeline materials for the Civil and rural infrastructure industries. This includes our Waters and Farr business with two plastic pipe factories making extruded PE/PP plastic pipes; a fabricated GRP fittings factory and PE/PP fabrication plant; Gillies Metaltech Ltd, the only ferrous metal foundry in NZ, casting water fittings and pumps; and the six Hynds Manufacturing Plants throughout the country manufacturing concrete infrastructure to the stormwater, rural, wastewater, civil and water markets.

Hynds Pipe Systems is the largest business in the group and operates 33 branches spread throughout New Zealand supported along with the other business by a Team at Head office in Auckland. Representing world-leading brands, Hynds’ Hygrade Water businesses in Auckland, Sydney and Brisbane source and supply specialist streetware, surface drainage and watermain products.

The Group of Companies now employs over 900 people within New Zealand and the East Coast of Australia. Sons Adrian and Aaron Hynds remain working full-time in the Hynds Group business in leading positions, and as directors. John and Leonie remain on the Hynds Group board and are intimately involved in the Groups business interests.

Hynds Group operations are a key part of the Hynds Family business portfolio. Along this is a property business (Stuart Property), an investment business (Larnoch Finance), Wetta Industries (specialist irrigation company), and our family charitable trust (Hynds Foundation). These all make up the family enterprise being Hynds Holdings Ltd. The Family Office manages all investments through Hynds Holdings and many family members contribute as trustees to Hynds Foundation.

What does it mean to your family business to be inducted into the Family Business Hall of Fame?

We are proud to be associated with a business that designs, manufactures and distributes a wide range of water-related products and major infrastructure projects throughout New Zealand and Australia.

Being inducted into the Family Business Hall of Fame allows our people, customers, and suppliers to know we are a successful family owned business – with a sustainable multi-generation plan. Family Business has ‘heart’. We constantly receive feedback from our people and business associates acknowledging they are proud to be associated with a successful family owned company.

What is one thing you know now that you wish you had known before you started in your family business?

That not all decisions are successful.

The past year and a half has been exceptionally tough for businesses around the world. What has motivated you to keep going during this global pandemic?

Our products and services are essential for our nation’s health and wellbeing providing the infrastructure required for efficient potable, stormwater and wastewater solutions.

We have continued to have a focus on product development and innovation to further improve our urban and rural environments. Our new ‘Hynds SmarterWater’ range of IoT enabled devices that are integrated within our key manufactured items, can now help asset owners and our local authorities to monitor stormwater or wastewater pipelines/ponds/outlets remotely, preventing flooding or unplanned discharge events.

What’s your legacy that you would like to leave behind?

To foster a team culture where our people are inspired to work together and grow through the provision of better solutions for our communities, helping our productive and environmental infrastructure challenges. Providing a workplace that challenges our people and develops future opportunities for growth.

How is your business celebrating National Family Business Day this year?

Unfortunately, COVID has meant our Managers Conference planned on the 17th has needed to be postponed. Our communication on the day as well as our in-house employee publication will highlight our involvement with FBNZ and our recent acknowledgment as a successful Family Business as well. We will profile the day on our social media pages, internal communications and branch automated monitors.

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