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Quiet Success Story Runs With The Ball

The following article appeared in the Whangarei Northern Advocate on March 12 2007.

Quiet Whangarei exporting success story Hansen Products (NZ) Ltd is stepping into the limelight for the first time as a new major sponsor for the Northland Rugby Union. The 45-strong company, which manufactures polyethylene pipe fittings, exports 50 percent of production.

Managing director Carl Hansen has never played rugby but says he is looking forward to supporting the Northland team and mixing with people from other communities when he attends away games. ‘‘It’s a good way to raise the company’s profile around the country especially the rural areas and we are really pleased to have this opportunity to invest back into the Northland community and help our rugby team realise its potential,’’ he said.

Northland Rugby Union Commercial manager Avan Lee said the NRU was thrilled Hansen Products had signed on as a major sponsor. ‘‘Hansen Products has a strong brand and outstanding products and we are proud to be associated with the company. This follows United Carriers becoming our principal sponsor in 2006—local support critical to our success,’’ he said.

   
 

HIGHER PROFILE FOR HANSEN: Carl Hansen, right, managing director of Hansen Products, a new leading sponsor for the Northland Rugby Union, with the union’s CEO Avan Lee, left, and a model wearing a sample of the 2007 NRU shirt. —PICTURE / Tania Webb

 

Bert and Dawn Hansen, Carl’s parents, founded the company in the 1950s. Bert, an engineer, had been unable to find a reliable toilet valve for their new house and invented one of his own. Hansen Products grew quietly from there. The company continued to keep a low profile even after moving into custom-built premises with state-of-the-art Swiss made moulding equipment in 1999. The staff includes a research and development team which works on every aspect of production from product concepts and development to tool design.

Output is forecast to double over the next two years. The business is co-owned by the Hansen family and Graeme Kerr, and the three directors are Carl Hansen, Dawn Hansen and Graeme Kerr. Graeme Kerr says that, although sales are very strong in New Zealand, the market had to be maintained and developed, hence the new focus on developing brand recognition.

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