-Article was written by Caron Stewart
The old “I liked it so much I bought the business” would be an apt way to describe Nicholson’s Auto’s, the family owned and operated motor vehicle franchise originally started in the 1930s by the Paine family in Morrinsville. Initially employed as a car groomer, Graham Nicholson worked his way up the ranks becoming sales manager and part owner, before buying the business outright in 1980. Supported by his wife Shirley and sons Dean and Ross, Nicholson’s Auto’s with Graham at the helm, soon became renowned throughout the Piako region particularly for its strong family and community based values. After he passed away in 2004, Shirley and the boys continued with Graham’s commitment to the philosophy and, as well as striving to provide exceptional sales and service in all areas of business, have always looked at tangible opportunities to give back to the supportive community in which they work and live. The company soon expanded, opening the Matamata branch in 2005 and, after purchasing the Holden dealership at Whakatane, introduced Nicholson Auto’s to the Eastern Bay of Plenty in 2013.
With two past team members having brain injuries, the Nicholson family decided that they would get behind the Brain injury Waikato Organisation and provided them with a car for representatives to attend various training, support and advocacy. They also sponsor Hospice Whakatane and New Zealand Multisport athlete Sam Clark. More recently, looking at ways they could contribute to the Matamata community, it seemed through their customer feedback, that one of the local organisations closest to our hearts, was Pohlen Hospital. “Matamata is extremely fortunate to have such a top class facility of which the community clearly take personal ownership,” said Dean Nicholson when he unveiled the brand new Suzuki S-Cross 1.4 Turbo. “We are delighted to support Pohlen Hospital and hope this vehicle will be of benefit in the work you do within your community.” He also acknowledged Suzuki for their assistance in making such a gesture happen.
Absolutely overwhelmed, Pohlen Hospital General Manager Suzanne Lawes offered her heartfelt thanks to the Nicholson Auto’s team saying that the car was one of the best things she had seen! “Whether it’s transporting patients or their relatives, attending education seminars or general hospital business, we are just so grateful,” she said. “You have truly captured what we feel about Pohlen in a car!”
Pohlen Foundation Trust Chair, Lindsay Tisch, then explained the role of the Foundation in raising funds to support capital purchases for Pohlen Hospital Board and with the utmost appreaciation, thanked Dean, Ross and the Nicholson Auto’s Representatives. As well as providing the new Suzuki S-Cross, Nicholson Auto’s have kindly agreed to take care of servicing, warrant of fitness and registration costs associated with the vehicle.