Our story

“Why Blue and Yellow? It’s simple: they were Ted’s favourite colours”  Bev Cowley 2023

It started from humble beginnings in Springs Flat, Whangarei, with a couple named Ted and Helen. Ted was a builder, and it turns out his friends liked to borrow not only his concrete mixer, but also his caravan…. A lot.

Very quickly Ted and Helen were purchasing more concrete mixers and caravans to keep up with demand. They also purchased trailers for rental, and the business kept on growing.
Ted and Helen moved from Springs Flat to Regent. Their son, Wayne Cowley, attended primary school at Whangarei Primary School. Helen Cowley could often be found with her running shoes on, winching concrete mixers and other equipment on to trucks.
Hiring equipment was now a full time job for Ted and Helen, and Cowleys Hire became a Limited Liability Company.

At age 15, Wayne started working in the company.
The business continued to expand and grow with a depot opening in Ruakaka. Ted brought in weekend opening before anyone had even heard of it.
In an era when Whitney Houston’s “I wanna dance with somebody” was blaring on the radio, mullet haircuts and groomed sideburns became a thing, Cowleys Hire was marking 30years in business.

There were many ups and downs during this decade. Bev (Wayne Cowley’s wife) joined the company. Their son Trent Cowley started school at Glenbervie Primary School. A Cowleys Hire generator was even transported to Antarctica for hire.

However, sadly Ted passed away suddenly, and amidst the grief the company still continued on.

By the end of this decade, Wayne and Bev had purchased the company to take it into it’s second generation.
Cowleys Hire was an instrumental contributor to the 150 year Waitangi Celebration which hosted The Queen of England herself, Queen Elizabeth.

Their efforts involved a team of up to 25 staff erecting over 200 tonne of tiered seating, 4413 square meters of canvas, hundreds of meters of wiring, 250 tables, 2500 chairs, 200 super-loos and the list goes on.

Wayne Cowley received a signed commendation and a gold medal for services to New Zealand from Queen Elizabeth for his extraordinary effort.
Welcome ‘Cowleys Hire Kamo’. Our first depot was opened on Clark Road in Kamo and is now located on Great North Road.
Welcome Trent Cowley and ‘Cowleys Hire Waipapa’. Trent officially started working full-time in the company and was key in opening the new premises in the Bay of Islands.
Wayne was inducted into the Northland Business Hall of Fame, but admits all of his accolades could never have been possible without his wife Bev.
The company celebrates over 70 years in business and welcomes the transition to three generations of ownership- Trent and his wife Rachel. We commend Bev for her 38years and Wayne for his 55 years in the company. You can find them enjoying retirement either fishing or supporting one of many community organisations.

Trent Cowley and his wife Rachel Cowley, continue leading Cowleys Hire to success. They have two daughters in primary school and are known as avid DIY’ers outside of work. From chicken runs to building sheds, they are both eager to learn new skills, try different pieces of equipment and know the importance of having the right piece of equipment to get your job done- especially in our Northland conditions.

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