Busi­ness holds New Zealand to­gether

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - MIKE BAIN

Peter and Ineke Thissen bolted them­selves in for a ride which would take them to the top.

To­day the Thissen’s still own The Boltholder a multi-mil­lion com­pany in Mata­mata which the cou­ple started in 1983.

The prod­ucts they dis­trib­ute lit­er­ally hold the coun­try to­gether.

Hav­ing em­i­grated from Hol­land, the cou­ple dis­cov­ered Auck­land wasn’t the place for them to live and so looked for al­ter­na­tive lo­ca­tions.

The cou­ple fell in love with Mata­mata and set up their busi­ness sell­ing bolts and fas­ten­ers.

It wasn’t easy as ev­ery en­trepeneur knows and within the first few months Peter Thissen re­calls ‘‘it came close to hav­ing to close the doors’’.

To get started Thissen had to purchase $40,000 worth of bolts from the Aus­tralian Ajax Fas­ten­ers Com­pany, the main sup­pli­ers of bolts, and in his first month of trad­ing had only sold $620 worth.

As the months con­tin­ued with few sales, the cou­ple were nearly forced to close.

But a phone call from a ma­jor Toko­roa forestry com­pany saved the day. The com­pany wanted a par­tic­u­lar size of bolts and The Boltholder had the prod­uct.

The com­pany wanted the bolts ASAP so Thissen drove to Toko­roa to make the de­liv­ery him­self.

‘‘When I ar­rived there were no pleas­antries, thank you, I was in­structed to just put the prod­uct on the bench.’’

Next week Thissen re­ceived a call from the same com­pany but this time it was for five tonnes of bolts.

The com­pany started to make in­roads and ex­panded on its cur­rent site. The Thissens built their busi­ness model on ser­vice which in­cludes man­u­fac­tur­ing or mod­i­fy­ing bolts for spe­cial­ist jobs.

The com­pany em­ploys 16 staff from the Mata­mata catch­ment. Re­spon­si­bil­ity of main­tain­ing and build­ing on the suc­cess of the com­pany now lies with Thissen’s son-in-law, David Hulme.

The Boltholder con­tin­ues to sell com­po­nents to en­gi­neer­ing and con­struc­tion com­pa­nies. It is now a multi-mil­lion dol­lar en­ter­prise but one which re­tains its sense of be­ing a cor­po­rate neigh­bour by sup­port­ing com­mu­nity events clubs and char­i­ties.

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