Business North August 2022

| 3 Fairer fuel prices at pump for Kiwis Richard Loader Over the last decade Waitomo has established 54 fuel stops, catering to retail customers, along with another 23 diesel stops for trucks. ENERGY Waitomo Group: 75th Anniversary Agile, innovative and future-focused, 100% Kiwi-owned Waitomo Group is a market disrupter, focused on delivering choice and fairer prices at the fuel pump to its continually growing customer base in both the North and South Islands. On the 13th of June this year, Waitomo celebrated its 75th birthday, with the company founded by ‘Diamond’ Des Ormsby who tightly held a philosophy of ‘People, Performance and Price. The story of Diamond Des reminds us that there are people who wonder what has happened, people who watch things happen, and people who make things happen. Diamond Des and the Ormsby family fall strongly into the camp of the latter — for the benefit of all Kiwis. A well-known identity and respected businessman in hometown Te Kuiti, Des acquired the handle ‘Diamond’ because of his success in business, which he enjoyed by smoking cigars, dressing smartly, and driving luxury European cars. Entrepreneurial by nature, Des built several businesses, most memorable of which were Waitomo Lime and Waitomo Transport, established in 1947. When Waitomo Lime was sold to Dalgetys, it was New Zealand’s largest marketer of lime. In today’s language, Des ‘pivoted’ towards the growth opportunity he saw in Waitomo Transport, which had the agency for the distribution of Mobil products in the King Country. 1989 was the company’s next key milestone when it re-branded to Waitomo Petroleum and entered into a joint venture with Mobil. Exiting the JV in 2003, the Ormsby family took full ownership of the business, which was based on commercial fuel delivery to the industrial heart of New Zealand, as well as delivering fuel to farm businesses. But it was 2012 when opportunity for a low-cost fuel supplier and technology enabled real step-change and diversification with unmanned retail fuel sites, where motorists could drive in, fuel up and pay at an outdoor terminal. That same year, Waitomo’s first unmanned fuel stop was opened in the small farming settlement of Te Uku, on the road between Hamilton and Raglan. Rebranding as “Waitomo — Kiwis fuelling Kiwis” – the business has continued to develop around Des’ core values of — People, Performance and Price. to page 4 “Our app allows in-vehicle contactless payment and gifting. They are the things our customers really like, and they are voting with their cars.”