NZ Road Transport Hall of Fame Inductee 2019
Paul Currie’s early years were spent at the family’s bach in Charteris Bay, where he developed a love of yachting, getting a P class for his 5th birthday and racing for many years in Lyttleton harbour.
In 1965, at age 15, Paul left St Andrews college and started an apprenticeship as a tool & die maker with Alec Farrah Ltd, Christchurch. Paul’s ambition was to earn 5 shillings an hour, this was the top rate for any trade in those days.
On completion of his apprenticeship in 1969, Paul took a year off and went hunting. He spent time culling for DOC as well as hunting for meat and trophy shooting. He completed a taxidermy diploma and started mounting animals and trophy heads which were then on sold. He still enjoys a good hunt today.
Completing his time professional hunting, he took a role at Sinclair Melbourne, a Lyttleton marine engineering company, where he worked as a marine engineer. This was a big change of direction from his tool & die making trade.
Jet boat racing has now replaced the competitive yachting days. For the next 17 years this became a recreational passion. The love of sailing never waned and Paul obtained his Boat Masters Certificate allowing him to captain many yachting holidays overseas.
In 1973 Paul started working for the Trailer Manufacturing Company Ltd (TMC) founded by his father Ian Currie. He started on the factory floor building trailers, gradually working his way up the chain.
In 1975 TMC had a shareholding change leaving Ian and Paul to become sole owners in a 50/50 split.
With continued growth, 1977 saw the new TMC Trailers Ltd move from Blenheim Rd to a purpose-built facility in Lunns Rd. Here, he ran the workshop during the day and designed trailers using the old drawing machine in the weekends at home. A far cry from AutoCAD and FEA stress annulus they now use.
Sales relied on their strong reputation of calling on customers and fostering the customer/supplier relationship.
During this time, Paul has seen many industry leading milestones achieved, including the following:
- 1972 TMC manufactured the 1000th trailer for Transport Nelson Limited which was a 2 axle pull trailer
- 1986 TMC moved to a larger premise in Shand’s Rd Hornby Christchurch, where our head office is
- 1988 TMC built the first Gull Wing truck and trailer unit in NZ for Apple and Pear board
- 1989 TMC won the best manufacturing award for its Euro Aro dynamics semi-trailer at Hamilton transport show
- 2013 TMC gained the rights for sales, manufacturing and service for SteelBro sidelifters for New Zealand and South Pacific.
- 2015 TMC expanded into Auckland with a workshop in Wiri.
- 2017 Paul was awarded a honorary lifetime membership to the TTMF
In 2018 the company reached its 70th year, the oldest trailer manufacturer in NZ as well as manufacturing its 4000th trailer.