W. Rietveld Ltd is a family-run business established by Mr Bill Rietveld and his wife Alida in the 1950's. At the time, the company traded mainly in war and government surplus plant and equipment. It was not unusual to see army tents and trucks sharing the same yard as ex-council buses and other pieces of machinery. Dismantling work was also undertaken. Massive jobs like the Alexandra gold dredge in the 1960's, and many a boiler has been removed over the years.
In the early days Bill ran the company from a few different sites around Kaikorai valley and Burnside until settling into the old Mornington rock and sand quarry on Stone Street. Here Bill built the workshop, office and storage building that are still used today.
In the 1980's the next generation of Rietveld’s started to make their influence. Firstly, Tom Rietveld, and a few years later, Chris Rietveld. Along came new challenges and work, such as dismantling railway locomotives and machinery from many company and government department closures. In the early 90's Bill stepped down from the running of the company and Tom stepped up as manager, while Chris maintained all the equipment they sold and kept the goods moving in and out of the gate. They also employed a full time staff member who did most of the dismantling and processing of inward goods.
As the company grew so did the stock, so they ended up buying the old McSkimming brickworks yard and buildings around 1990. This was a big job in itself, to get the most storage, they needed to strip out all the old kilns etc. Both the yard and buildings are pretty full but Chris arranges all the equipment neatly so it doesn’t take long to get things out once sold.
We have some old photos in our historical gallery which you can view here.
The last decade has seen another raft of changes for the company.
Daniel Rietveld (Tom’s Son) has joined the company and runs the Abbotsford yard. Daniel also specialises in hydraulic and pneumatic installations and repairs under the banner of Compressed Air Systems (A Division of W Rietveld Ltd).
Adam Smith has joined the company and works alongside Tom with the day to day running, and the trading side of the business.
The company has invested heavily in new technology, now trading through Trade Me, Facebook and their Website.
Bill Rietveld and Alida are still somewhat involved with the company. Bill still enjoys going to auctions and can be found in the yard from time to time, calling in to see how things are going.
Alida still typed the accounts up until the company transitioned to a computerised accounting system in 2019.
The focus these days is industrial machinery and supplies - both second hand, and new surplus. A recent addition to the business is that certain sizes of new steel are stocked and can be purchased by the metre, rather than in full lengths.
The company has over 4 hectares of land and dry storage. The stock comes from factory updates, surplus from large projects and any industry that likes to recycle used plant.