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Lessons for small town NZ

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09.08.2019

OPINION: There was a good news story in my region this week and it has a few lessons in its telling. A tale that began with national headlines two years ago. A small-town engineering firm with a proud 150-year history that fell on hard times, went into liquidation and laid off 100 workers.

They were loyal staff. Many who started their working lives as apprentices at the foundry, as it's known locally, and clocked 30 plus years of service.

It's also a tale of a plucky investor in his 70s who saw something of himself in those same workers and laid down funding to save what was left of the company, along with a challenge to two of its remaining, 27 staff.

The firm is Thames' A&G Price, the investor Auckland businessman Chris Reeve and the two men he challenged with saving it, long time company employee Peter Yates and his colleague Ian Findlay.

READ MORE:
* Apprentices needed to pass torch to at one of New Zealand's biggest foundries
* A&G Price 'a healthy business now' after being put into liquidation in 2017
* A&G Price foundry sold and to be restored
* A&G Price property in Thames listed for sale
* Foundry closure marks the end of historic chapter for Coromandel
* A hundred jobs lost as Thames A&G Price goes into liquidation

Originally from Kaikohe, Northland, Reeve had owned the land and buildings that house A&G Price since 1995, and when it went into liquidation in 2017, he bought the business, saying he saw himself in its employees.

He described himself as a working man from way back. A shearer, a farmer, a man who earnt every dollar he earned, so he saw the people of A&G Price as his people.........

© Stuff