Managing director of Carrus Corporation, Paul Adams, talks to about his links with Porirua, developing land in the city and playing rugby against Ken Douglas.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in state housing in Naenae. I guess that’s why I have such an affinity for Porirua.
What are your first memories of Porirua?
I recall visiting an uncle in Porirua Hospital in the mid1950s, when the roads were unsealed from the railway station to Kenepuru Drive. He had suffered shell shock, as it was called back then, from the war. In 1955, Porirua was very much a village. I remember playing rugby [for Naenae] against Titahi Bay in 1969, when their front row was about 120 years old, with Ken Douglas the youngest. They were gnarly, tough guys. I was glad I was fullback and generally out of the rucks.
You worked for Cameron’s, the Wellington civil construction company, from 1970 till 1979. You must have had plenty to do with Porirua?
Yes, during that time I managed several significant projects in Porirua, including Todd Motors in 1972-73, the police college in 1973 and the Papakowhai subdivision. I later became a partner in that [Papakowhai] residential development. Cameron’s owned and operated the sand dredge at Paremata and we completed the roading and drainage from the police college to Paremata roundabout. In 2002 I was an initial partner in the MegaCentre project, but the process was very longwinded, so I pulled out before the construction commenced.
When did the Aotea Block project come along?
My company, Carrus, won the right to be the developer and 13 years later we have more than 1000 homes and a retirement village completed. There are still about 500 sites to develop. In 2003 we started the Silverwood subdivision in Whitby.
Was it hard to become the developer for the land there?
It wasn’t really on my radar