Archiving NZ Trucking History Media
Born at Eltham in the Taranaki in 1948, Jim attended primary school at Eltham and high school at Startford and New Plymouth. In 1963, Jim left school at the age of 15 and spent the next five years working in a variety of capacities as shipping cadet with Union Steamship Co, storeman, driver, knifehand, bricklayer, waterside and a spell in the NZ Army.
It was in 1968 that Jim started working at Hookers in New Plymouth as a shipping clerk in the Ships Agency Division, before being asked by Don Hooker to move in to the Despatch Office after the Transport Manager left rather abruptly. This was to be the beginning of Jim’s 45 year association with Hookers and the New Zealand road transport industry.
Over the next 12 years, Jim extended his experience through various positions including Shipping Agency Clerk, Despatcher, Loader, Driver, Removals Manager, and Transport Manager. In 1983 he was appointed General Manager of Hookers Bros, at which point Newmans Group owned the business. 4 years later, in 1987, Newmans sold the business to Transpac, who only 1 year later went into receivership leaving Hooker Bros in danger of closure.
It was at this point that Jim brought together 6 individuals to form a partnership, buying the business which at the time consisted of 30 trucks (10 not running) and 40 staff. In 1993 Transport Investments Ltd was purchased, bringing together several other transport businesses, operating as subsidiaries of TIL Group.
25 years later, 5 of the 6 original partners remain in the business which now operates over 600 trucks, 1000 trailers, and employs some 1100 staff with over 40 operational depots throughout New Zealand, extending from Whangarei to Invercargill. During this time more than 25 acquisitions have occurred with Jim being involved in all major ones. Today companies within the Transport Investments Group include Hooker Pacific, Actus Transport, TNL Freighting and Roadstar Transport as well as several associated Customs and Shipping Agency operations in both New Zealand and Australia. Jim currently sits as Chairman and Chief Executive of the TIL Group. He is also a Director of numerous associated companies,Jim’s involvement with the Road Transport Association in New Zealand spans an impressive 40 years, including some 30 years on the executive of his local branch (Western Central Districts RTA) and several terms as President. Jim also served the Association as a National assessor/negotiator during the days of the National Industry award talks.
In 2009 the Western Central Districts Branch honoured Jim with a Life Membership. In 2011 he was made a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, and was also awarded the Supreme Mayoral Award for Business Excellence by his home town of New Plymouth.