Member Story - Andrew von Dadelszen
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I was born the fifth child of a Central Hawke’s Bay farmer, and my mother was a most powerful influence in my upbringing. She was also a born leader; a risk taker; and a superb motivator, who got the “impossible” done.

At the age of ten I was off to boarding school at Hereworth (Havelock North), followed three years later by five Andrew von Dadelszenyears at Wanganui Collegiate. A good “average” student, I cruised through school and then it was on to Victoria University to study Commerce & Administration. However the lure of the dollar was too great, and I in my second year I started working part-time for Ron Jarden, in his sharebroking business. After three years in Wellington the lure of the land was too great, and I left to go farming.

My father had recently died, and within twelve months I was farming on my own account, on a 350 acre farm on the Takapau plains. After 7 years of farming in partnership (on separate farms) with my two brothers, I decided I needed a bigger challenge, and went off on my own by buying Waitoru Station, near Piopio, in the Northern King Country. This was a huge change, moving from 530 acres of flat land to 5,000 acres of breeding and fattening hill country.

Waitoru was a stunning property, but farming just wasn’t enough! During the mid eighties, I invested heavily in the sharemarket, and by 1986 had decided to diversify further into commercial property. One week before the sharemarket crash in 1987 we bought a home in Eighth Avenue, Tauranga, and in 1988 we sold the farm and moved here. 1989 included 10 months of travel through America and then on to Europe (living in our Chevy Custom van – bought new in Houston).

Arriving home in late 1989 we added to our property portfolio in buying the Welcome Bay Tavern. 4 years and 27 days later we finally got it sold – it was a hard business in a newly deregulated liquor industry. From there I “put up my shingle” and started my sharebroking business, which I ran for 17 years.

The 2008 Global Financial Crisis buried my business – I had overstretched by “borrowing too much short-term , and investing long”. I had also become a Regional Councillor, representing Tauranga residents, and had probably just put too much energy into this new passion. I voluntarily put my sharebroking business into liquidation (I was just too proud to ask my family for help), and I just had to sit back and watch the media crucify me. However I retained my dignity by ensuring that all creditors were paid in full, and have eaten humble pie since. However I am 60 years young, and you haven’t heard the last of me…..

Outside of business I have had many interests, including all things political, and sailing. It was also in 1994 acops 2that I first got involved with an international environmental NGO (Non Government Agency) called ACOPS (The Advisory Committee on the Protection of the Sea).By 2001 I had been appointed a director and Honorary Treasurer, and ACOPS saw me attending (and running) international conferences in Thailand, United States, South Africa, Sweden and Libya. Meeting the likes of Al Gore and Newt Gingrich in Washington, and actively running a conference with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and the Gaddafi Foundation in Tripoli, were both superb highlights and a huge honour.

In 2001 another highlight was meeting my hugely supportive partner, Maree Brookes. By June 2001 Maree had moved from Wellington to live with me – she sure didn’t know what she was letting herself in for! Together we have been pretty politically active, with her now working for Simon Bridges, and I having spent the last 8 years as chair of the National Party environment policy advisory group – the Bluegreens.