GALLAGHER, one of New Zealand’s longest-running pioneering business success stories, took away 2 accolades at the New Zealand International Business Awards 2016 last night, named Best Large Business and topping the Excellence in Design category.

The Gallagher story started when the late Bill Gallagher (senior) invented the electric fence, and started the company on a Waikato farm in 1938. Since then, Gallagher has grown to become a world leader in electric fence systems, and used that success to expand into related areas including security and fuel systems.

The $NZD200 million-plus company has 1100 staff, exports to 130 countries, has 3 manufacturing sites in New Zealand, and its world headquarters remain at Hamilton in Waikato.

Sir William Gallagher (junior) started working for his father’s company on the shop floor more than 50 years ago, and says it’s Kiwi ingenuity that sets them apart from competitors overseas.

“Our whole business growth is based on being relentless in the pursuit of solving these kinds of challenges for our customers. It’s how we consistently drive out of the box,” he says.

Sir William says there have been many lessons learned that have become part of the company’s DNA – including its branding.

“With a number of acquisitions, we had a confusing mixture of brands. One major lesson from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s team was that we would have more of a chance of getting recognition as an international technology brand with one brand, but not with the 6 or 7 different brands we had morphed into,” says Sir William.

The company consequently brought the businesses under the Gallagher brand.

Gallagher last won the New Zealand International Business Awards Governor General’s Award in 1983, when the awards were called the New Zealand Export Awards. ♦