Business profile: Contractors Plant NZ

By: The Ed


Business profile: Contractors Plant NZ Peter and Christine Wilson Business profile: Contractors Plant NZ
Business profile: Contractors Plant NZ Business profile: Contractors Plant NZ
Business profile: Contractors Plant NZ Business profile: Contractors Plant NZ
Business profile: Contractors Plant NZ Business profile: Contractors Plant NZ
Business profile: Contractors Plant NZ Business profile: Contractors Plant NZ
Business profile: Contractors Plant NZ Business profile: Contractors Plant NZ
Business profile: Contractors Plant NZ Business profile: Contractors Plant NZ

Being located in Taupo is an ideal central location for Peter and Christine Wilson to have a business dealing in heavy equipment. The Ed reports.

For Peter Wilson, it’s been a long way from Nigeria to the United Kingdom and back to New Zealand, but that’s where the itch in his shoes led his machinery selling career. After all that heady action, the Wilson’s found their slice of paradise in the central North Island in the mid-’90s and set down roots.

So it was from this spot that Contractors Plant (New Zealand) was well and truly kicked off, and the place their new business partnered with another new business – namely the fledgling Deals on Wheels magazine.

"I think we were one of Deals on Wheels' first advertisers, and we’re consistently in every issue" says Peter.

"We don’t like sitting on gear for too long so offer equipment at as affordable prices as we can," he says.

Obviously the game plan has worked well for the Wilson’s as the now long-established business has weathered the ever changing New Zealand economic climate.

Being domiciled near the heart of timber country means that Contractors Plant NZ Ltd handles a wide variety of different equipment, but currently forestry machinery is taking centre stage.

Not that this would bother Peter too much, because a bit of low level questioning reveals a career that encompasses the full heavy equipment spectrum.

Rewinding back to the early 1970s sees a younger Peter Wilson, salesperson for Gough Cat, deciding to experience the world. Where would you head? Australia, USA, the UK perhaps? Not this young fella. He chose Nigeria. For some reason the thought of it makes the hair on the back of one’s neck want to stand up.

According to Peter though, in the days (well years actually) before Nigerians discovered Internet scams, the place was flush with its own cash from all the oil it was pumping from the ground, and the ideal place for a hungry young machinery rep to make his mark.

He goes on to say that Nigeria was the second biggest market for Caterpillar equipment during that time.

"They had so much spare money that someone would pull a map out, draw a line between two points and next thing there was a hundred kilometre four-lane highway that needed to be built."

Perhaps it wasn’t quite like that, but we do get a good picture of the heady times the country experienced.

His seven-year stay there was so successful that he was the top Caterpillar salesman for two years – that’s worldwide. No need to ask where his brand loyalties lie then?

Once his African stint was over, he spent some time in the UK, before returning home to New Zealand, eventually ending up in Taupo.

"I moved here a bit over 20 years ago, and I haven’t regretted the move once," he says.

A keen golfer, Peter pushes talk of the local courses into the background as we wander around his yard and discuss the various machinery that await new owners. Some equipment have lengthy histories and he has a wealth of knowledge on seemingly all aspects of the heavy equipment industry.

Peter has a deep respect for forestry contractors and says that when making business decisions, they are a very courageous bunch and he enjoys working with them.

"I really take my hat off to those in the forestry game – they invest such a large amount of money in machinery. Then one day they suddenly find that their cutting contract comes to a premature end and the equipment ends up here," he says pointing to a lot of decent-looking gear waiting for new owners.

Despite that, there always seems to be people enquiring about equipment and the industry continues on day after day, week after week.

The business also handles disposal of equipment on behalf of sellers, and the Wilson’s wide network ensures that things are always handled in a timely and experienced manner.

With the large variety of gear available, I can see why Peter Wilson’s phone number is kept close at hand to many buyers and sellers of heavy equipment.

For more information, call Peter on 027 494 8742 or email cplnz@ xtra.co.nz (without the space).

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