Hire firm expanding into Invercargill

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 05:00 19/05/2014
stella enterprise
ROBYN EDIE/ Fairfax NZ
EXPANSION: Christchurch-based business Stella Enterprises director Trev Holder and Invercargill branch manager Richard Marrah discuss the opening of the city store, which will be the first of 26 new stores nationwide.

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The Christchurch-based owner of a new multimillion-dollar Invercargill business has returned home to start building his empire.

Stella Enterprises director Trev Holder was advised he should expand his Christchurch hire business.

The former Invercargill man plans to open 26 branches nationwide.

He toyed with the idea of opening his next store in Auckland but it was sentimentality that drew him home.

"Invercargill was going to be the last branch to open but I decided the first branch should be in my home town. I left when I was 17 years old and now this is my chance to give back to the community."

Although Holder lives in Christchurch, he was Invercargill "born and bred".

His Southland roots were never more apparent than during the 2011 earthquakes that ravaged the garden city.

At the time, he had been underground working in a sewer pipe in the central city. He got out and started to rescue people - something he was awarded a medal for.

"The Southland mentality is 'get stuck in' and that was what I did," he said.

He and his Southland workforce provided pumps for the city for months after the quakes.

Creating his new empire had been a long stressful few months but it would reap rewards.

Business was booming in Christchurch and Auckland, where there was demand for his service, and he "absolutely" expected Invercargill to be the same, he said.

Most businesses preferred to hire equipment because the capital outlay to buy was huge, he said.

"Businesses find it better to hire because there are no headaches with it."

Stella Hire was New Zealand owned and operated, something he believed would give him an edge in the monopolistic Invercargill market.

"We are not here to upset the opposition; we are here to make it honest, so people now have a choice," he said.

He invested millions in new trade hire equipment for the drive-through Invercargill branch.

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- The Southland Times

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