Harrison’s HireMaster is one of those businesses that started when someone saw a gap in the market.
From the 1950’s through until the early 70’s the Harrison clan had a couple of grocery shops around Wanganui. With the winds of change starting to sweep through the grocery trade, Bruce and Ann Harrison sold the Four Square business in Aramoho in 1973 and turned to a bit of property development for a while. Frustrated with nowhere to hire basic building equipment for his projects, Bruce hit upon the idea of starting the first hire business in Wanganui.
Now remember this was back in 1975. There wasn’t a lot of help to gauge the viability of a hire business back then, so Bruce and Ann set forth with lots of enthusiasm, hired an old building in Victoria Ave, where McDonalds now stands, spent what precious money they had on a few bits of gear and prayed some customers might venture in the door. From very humble beginnings the business slowly grew and Bruce and Ann agreed that this was a whole lot better than selling Vanilla Wine biscuits!!! After a couple of years they had to relocate to bigger premises @ 3 Churton Street, and gradually bought a bit more gear, and a bit more land on both sides of the street.
Oldest son Grant joined the business in 1990, having completed his trade qualification as a Motor Mechanic, and was soon joined by his wife Karine (they got hitched in 1992).
In 2001 the old Cutelli’s bakery further down Churton street came up for sale, so the family moved the business 100 meters to much larger premises. While the present location at 26 Churton Street offered drive-through under-cover access for customers, it allowed the family to centralise all their gear within one large site.
In 2007 Bruce and Ann decided to step back from the business, leaving Grant and Karine to steer the business into its fourth decade.
In early 2013 Grant & Karine looked a bit further beyond the Wanganui vista. Cousin Paul and his wife Alison joined Grant & Karine and the Bull family to open a brand new Hire Company in Upper Hutt. Not only is the business continuing to grow but so is the number of Harrisons becoming involved in the hire industry.
Today Harrison’s HireMaster offers an extensive range of contracting and DIY gear, Party and Catering gear from cutlery to Marquees. Karine has continued to develop the party hire range, especially for all scales of wedding celebrations, while Grant keeps on buying all sorts of new and interesting machinery.
So the Harrison’s have been in the Hire Business in Wanganui for over 40 years. It doesn’t seem like that’s going to change in a hurry.