Cyclone Industries Ltd

Date established
Date closed

Predecessor: Cyclone Fence and Gate Company Ltd
Successor: Cyclone-CMI Holdings Ltd

Established in Christchurch in 1903

The company had its origins in Australia at the turn of the century (1900), its New Zealand representation being in the hands of JL Ower, who founded the company in New Zealand in 1903. JL Ower continued in the role of CEO until his death in 1924. The business grew rapidly during this period and a branch factory in Auckland was established.

LR Ower, son of JL Ower became Managing Director at the age of 23 and retained this position until is death in 1951. His widow, EF Ower became a member of the board.

In 1925 the company purchased the latest type of farm fence manufacturing machine from Canada which produced the Tightlock Farm Fencing which was eventually produced in factories in Auckland, Dunedin, Christchurch and Invercargill. This type of fencing was especially effective means of containing Deer on Deer farms.

From 1960 a policy of diversification was followed. Prior 1960 80 percent of the company’s production was agricultural sector which dropped to 45-50 percent with the diversification policy implemented.

The company successfully diversified into activities in the manufacturing engineering field and became a major manufacturer of containers for the bulk transport by rail, reinforcing mesh concrete for the building industry and wire racks for use in domestic cookers. Also produced were bread baskets for bakeries, paint tin handles, industrial fencing, packaged residential fencing, pipe fittings, car trailers and various other consumer products.

In 1954 a joint venture was formed between Cyclone Fence and Gate Company Ltd, of Christchurch, for a joint venture in Auckland to be achieved by the incorporation of a new company to acquire the Auckland Branch of the Cyclone Fence and Gate Company Ltd. The new company, Cyclone-Auto Metal Products Ltd, was incorporated 1 April 1955. The company was expected to produce chain mesh netting, barbed wire, fencing staples, field fence, farm and residential gates and a wide range of activity in either wire or galvanised tube.

Each company had an equal share in the holding in the new Cyclone CMI Holdings Ltd.

In 1955 extensions were added to the Dunedin factory and a new factory was built in Invercargill in 1963. In 1976 a branch was opened in Timaru.

In 1958 negotiations were opened with Messrs A. W. Olsen Limited of Hastings for a possible merger of interests. It was agreed early in 1958 that provided a basis could be devised steps be taken to acquire Messrs. A. W. Olsen Limited to work in association with Cyclone-Auto Metal Products Limited. To some extent the fields of operation were closely allied. Olsens however were also equipped to handle such lines as tubular steel sheds, garages, hay barns, wool-sheds, etc, sheep-yards, cow-bails, etc. To accomplish this, Cyclone-Auto Holdings Ltd was formed and this new venture simultaneously acquired control of not only A. W. Olsen Ltd. but Cyclone-Auto Metal Products Ltd as well. Shares in Cyclone-Auto Holdings Ltd were allotted to Olsens interests in return for all the Ordinary share capital of A. W.Olsen Limited.

In 1973 the company acquired Furnware Products Ltd, a Hastings company manufacturing a wide range of furniture and caravans.

In 1970 the company commenced exporting with the first shipment of to Chain Link Netting to the Solomon Islands, and continued with exports of various products to Australia and the Pacific Islands.

In 1981 Cyclone Industries (NZ) Ltd (Christchurch) merged with Consolidated Metal Industries Ltd. The merger broadened the group’s business base and enabled a dominant position to be taken in the wire industry. Murray Woods, General Manager of Cyclone was appointed CEO of the CMI Group.