C B Norwood Our Story our People The first 65 years

In March 2012 C B Norwood Distributors Ltd hosted an event in Palmerston North which had the objective of bringing together long service employees, both past and present. The meeting was part of a broader initiative designed to firstly recognise the extraordinary people who dedicate long working careers to C B Norwood. Secondly we also wished to establish a network of past and present employees whose relationships reach beyond retirement.

Present at the inaugural event were some of the original managers of the Norwood business, now in their 90s and in good health! We quickly realised that we had a responsibility to record their legacy and narrate the story of our company. The decision to write this book was the easy part; the challenge was working through the thousands of articles, photographs and personal recollections accumulated over the 65 years of trading.

Essentially, there are two stories. The first is the early years of the Norwood family and the Ferguson/Massey Ferguson distribution relationship which ended in 1993. (From the beginning, the evolution of an integrated retail model was a critical development, enabling Norwood to implement strategies for achieving significant growth). The second is the story of the modern-day Norwood business, and the new direction that has been enabled under ownership of the Zuellig Group, and the bold decisions taken during the major structural reform of the New Zealand economy in the 1980s. By the end of that decade, C B Norwood had forged new distribution relationships with Kubota and through Sperry New Holland, Ford and Fiat tractors, ultimately the CNH Industrial Group (New Holland and Case IH brands).

We set out to respectfully record the early years, beginning with a single tractor model, the grey ‘Fergie’, while looking to provide a more contemporary insight into the brands, the operating divisions, and the Norwood people who are now shaping the Norwood of tomorrow.

We sincerely hope that you have had a positive relationship with Norwood over the years and enjoy this book. We thank Jane Fletcher for her research and authorship as well as the large team who contributed to the end product.

Copies are available to purchase via your local Norwood Farm Machinery Centre at a cost of $20 each (while stocks last).