Successful Porirua Businesses
This page profiles some of Porirua’s most successful businesses.
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Ten years ago Jean Caillabet (pictured above) came to New Zealand to learn English. Along the way he mastered the language and set up three award-winning Adrenalin Forest Parks in Christchurch, Porirua and Tauranga.
“Porirua’s within easy reach of Kapiti Coast, the Hutt Valley and Wellington. It’s right by the motorway and in actual fact it takes the same time to get here from the Wellington CBD (20 minutes) as it does from Cathedral Square in Christchurch to our Christchurch park."
Read the Adrenalin Forest Profile (503KBpdf)
Alphanz Technology Group
From a small IT business run from a garage on the Kapiti Coast to a thriving IT solutions company based in Porirua, AlphaNZ Technology Group has come a long way in 16 years.
The company has carved a niche in the hospitality, surveillance and small to medium sized business markets.
Read the Alphanz Technology Group Profile (106KB pdf)
When you do what BRANZ does, you need a lot of space – space you can find in Porirua. Dotted around its five acre site in Judgeford are some pretty sophisticated buildings.
Darian Hutson, Marketing and Communications Advisor from BRANZ standing next to the display of publications produced by BRANZ for the building industry.
Read the BRANZ Business Profile (495KB pdf).
Downer EDI Ltd
Downer EDI Limited’s new super site in Porirua has given the company the opportunity to relocate most of its Wellington based staff under one roof. Previously the company’s Wellington operations were housed in seven different locations.
Lyall Hedges, Downer’s Wellington Manager says the company wanted to get everyone working collaboratively. "We are such a heavily divisionalized business and that was only made worse by being located separately."
Read the Downer EDI Ltd Business Profile (531KB pdf)
Ericsson NZ Ltd
Ericsson NZ opened its only fibre optic duct manufacturing facility outside of Sweden in Porirua in 2013.
Plant Manager Tony Brown says the company wanted to have its New Zealand manufacturing base closer to the market and Sweden was about as far away as you could get.
Read the Ericcson NZ Business Profile (514KB pdf)
Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR)
The Institute of Environmental Science and Research is a branch of a government-owned Crown research institute that provides independent scientific advice to clients in central and local government, industry organisations and the private sector.
“In my corridor alone I have work mates that go and play football at lunchtime at the Police College or across the road, and there are a lot of walkers and runners, and people that jump on a bike to unwind,” says Rosy Moar scientist in the toxicology team.
Mitre 10 Mega
Bringing Mitre 10 Mega to Porirua’s Mega Centre makes sense in more ways than one, Says Mitre 10 Mega CEO for Petone, Upper Hutt and Porirua, Stephen Nelson.
“All of the market analysis we did showed that Porirua was a growth area in the Wellington region and that it would be in the best long term interests of our company to be represented there. We believe we have secured an exceptional site in Porirua and are looking forward to being a part of the aptly named ‘Mega Centre’ in the city,” says Stephen.
NorthSouth GIS, formerly known as Explorer Graphics, operates out of its own custom-built building: the Geographic Information Centre in Discovery Drive, Whitby. The company renamed itself to reflect its international brand in early 2012.
CEO and Executive Chairman David Pimblott (pictured above right) says the company holds a unique position in the local area – it is one of a few large IT companies in Porirua and is one of the largest companies in New Zealand specialising in geographic information systems (GIS).
When it comes to manufacturing wallpaper in the Southern hemisphere, it comes down to Porirua-based Pacific Wallcoverings. With 49 years under its belt in Porirua City, the company has grown and evolved, with wallpaper manufacturing and design always at its heart.
Andreas Paxie, General Manager for Pacific Wallcoverings (pictured above), says the company is the last custodian of the wallpaper industry in New Zealand and is also exporting product all around the world.
It’s really happenstance that sees Radiola Aerospace based in Porirua City says Managing Director Brent Albiston (pictured above). The company, which came into existence in 2003, has its roots in a group of companies that had been based in Porirua since 1975.
“Radiola Aerospace was formerly the defence and aerospace division of the Radiola Corporation. When the major part of that company was sold in 2003, staff in the defence and aerospace division decided to form Radiola Aerospace Limited, and to this day the company remains 100 per cent staff owned,” says Brent.
Capturing a niche elections film market in Australia and New Zealand has seen Porirua based Unreal Films go from strength to strength – all from what was once a basement in Camborne.
Tony Sutorius (pictured above), owner of Unreal Films Limited, is in the business of working out what goes on in people’s minds and how to change their behaviour.
When Bain Webster set up Webster Drilling 30 years ago, it would have been difficult to imagine the scale of the business as it is today, both nationally and internationally. Bain says one of the great things about working in Elsdon is being surrounded by all sorts of people doing interesting things. “A lot of the time you haven’t got a clue what’s going on and then you go behind the door and there are all sorts of amazing things happening."
Wellington Windows and Doors
Being located in Porirua is good for business in more ways than one according to Alex Laplanche (pictured above) of Wellington Windows and Doors.
Top of the list for Alex is the strategic location in the heart of the Wellington region. This is closely followed by access to a skilled and reliable workforce, an active Chamber of Commerce and a supportive council.
Whitireia New Zealand
As a $63 million business, Whitireia New Zealand is one of the largest employers and businesses based in Porirua City. It is widely recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading polytechnics.
Whitireia started from humble beginnings in 1986 under the name of Parumoana Community College. It started with just 143 full-time students, 20 full-time teaching staff, 58 part-time teachers, 14 management and support staff, and three full-time courses.
Fast forward 27 years and the picture looks somewhat different.
Whittaker’s is Porirua’s very own chocolate-making success and is currently in expansion mode – both physically and product wise.
“We have grown significantly since first coming here. The front office was built about 10 years ago and we completed building an extension to the factory about a year ago,” says Whittaker’s Chief Marketing Officer Philip Poole.
The company is currently undertaking a $2 million factory renovation to improve staff facilities and increase office space.
Links to more information