Profile: Kāpiti ‘Mover and Shaker’ Rick Goodman

Rick Goodman: Iconic Company Owner and Community Supporter

Born in Lower Hutt, Rick Goodman grew up on the family farm first in Hawkes Bay and then Peka Peka before attending St Patrick’s College, Silverstream.

On completing his studies, Rick and his brother Tony started their working lives as contract sharemilkers for their Dad.

Over time the contracting grew beyond sharemilking, and an investment in a bulldozer saw the Goodman brothers working on the construction of the state houses we see in Porirua today. The Goodman’s yard in Anne Street, Waikanae was opened in 1966.

The ’87 sharemarket crash provided the company with its darkest days. Work dried up and with no money they decided to call in a receiver. The company continued trading and with the help of the receiver and a bank appointed financial advisor, things slowly picked up again.

Over this period many lessons were learned including the fact that, even with the best intent, a 50/50 partnership can cause trouble. Another learning was, “stick to what you know best, and get help with the other stuff”.

In 1994 Rick and wife Helen bought out brother Tony’s half of the company. Meanwhile the Goodman children were wanting to join Rick in the business. His advice was to get qualifications first as this would mean they always had something to fall back on.

Today, Goodman Contractors is one of the Kāpiti/Horowhenua region’s iconic local businesses, employing more than 200 people and with over 200 machines across 12 local sub-contracting companies.

Rick’s three sons and daughter Marianne now have equal shares with Rick in the business which puts around $250,000 a week into the local economy through wages alone.

Goodman’s have always been actively involved in the community, sponsoring and supporting many causes and needs. Rick himself has been actively involved in rugby, cricket and Lions, and served on the Board of Paraparaumu College for 10 years, including as Chair.

The company’s strap line is “safely shifting dirt for dollars and fun”. And after more than 50 years in the industry, Rick says he still loves it.