From left to right (As at October 2018): Chris Wight, Alastair Tennent, Mike Gebbie, Dean Elder, Dale Cocker, Peter Heenan, David Foon, Grant Driver, Brent Esler, Peter Dynes, Martin Catterall, Wayne McEwan, Grace Frisby, Colm Hamrogue and John McDonald.

Feet on the Ground, Eyes on the Future

The core philosophy that Bill Richardson championed still flows through this family-owned business.

Owners and Directors

Shona Richardson

On marriage to Bill I became involved in his business which at that time was Southern Transport.  Neither of us envisaged how it would grow in the intervening years.  I am no longer a Director but continue to take an active interest in our HWR Group. I’m proud of the way it keeps evolving while maintaining the principles that Bill instigated, and I hope that it will continue on as a family business that looks after its people, and gives good service to its customers.

Jocelyn O'Donnell

Joc is a Director of HWR Group and has been since taking on a governance role in the family owned business on the death of her father Bill in 2005.  Joc cares deeply about the family business and ensures the values the business was built on are reflected in todays companies.  She has spearheaded the redevelopment of Bill’s truck collection and the result is Bill Richardson Transport World which opened to the public late in 2015.  Joc is married to Scott and they have three children.

Scott O'Donnell

Scott is a director of HWR Group and was previously Managing Director for ten years from 2005.  Aside from his director role he will also spend time focusing on the wider HWR property portfolio and assisting with overseeing Bill Richardson Transport World.  He has lead HWR Group through a decade of considerable growth in both size and turnover.   Scott is married to Joc and they have three children.

Rex Williams

Rex is a director of the HWR Group, having stepped down from Chairman in October 2019 – a role he held for 12 years.  He spent 30 years in the cement, quarrying and concrete industries, most of that time was spent in New Zealand but he also had experience in Asia and the Pacific.  He retired from full-time employment in 2007 allowing him to have governance responsibilities in a range of sectors including Tertiary Education, Health and Local Government.

Albert Brantley

Albert was appointed as Chairman of HWR in October 2019, having previously sat on the Board as an Independent Director. Trained as an engineer and geologist, over the past 40 years Albert has lead the construction and operation of large scale oil and gas, mining and utility assets throughout the world.

Until recently he was the Chief Executive of Ōtākaro Limited, the Company responsible for the Government rebuild programme for Christchurch, and was the Chief Executive of Genesis Energy before that. He held similar roles in New Zealand for OceanaGold and L&M Mining.

A Canadian, Albert is married to a New Zealander and has been a resident of Canterbury for more than 30 years, although working overseas for much of that time. Albert now concentrates on governance roles, particularly in agriculture services and in local government.

Executive Team

Brent Esler

Brent commenced as CEO of the HWR group in November 2015.  Brent completed an MBA at the University of Otago in 1995 after an early career with the NZ Police.  On completing his studies Brent was employed by CRT as the General Manager Corporate Services and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2004 and led the merger of Farmlands and CRT from 2012 – 2015 creating NZ’s largest rural supplies company with revenues of $2.5B.

Peter Heenan

Peter joined HWR in 2011 as Executive Director of Finance.  During this time he has been a part of the significant growth in the Group including a number of acquisitions. Peter is a Fellow Chartered Accountant and a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.  External roles are Chairman of Southern Institute of Technology, Trustee of Southland Hospice and Southland Boys High School.  

Grant Driver

Grant was appointed as GM Concrete in early 2017 following a three year term as Regional Manager for Allied Concrete - Southern Region.  Grant joined the HWR Group in 2005 as a Project Manager for the Groups construction Division SouthRoads and moved to the role of Regional Manager in 2006.  Prior to this Grant had studied as a Mechanical Design Engineer completing an NZCE in Mechanical Design, while working in transport industry in the field of design and construction. 


David Foon

David was appointed to the new role of HWR Group General Manager Petroleum in January 2018.  He is responsible for the New Zealand and Australian petroleum businesses, and also has a general interest role for HWR in the Auckland Region.  Prior to this David was General Manager Business Growth and was involved in a number of acquisitions made by HWR since 2011. David himself joined HWR following the acquisition of Kauriland Petroleum (Mobil Fuels Distributor) in 2010 by Allied Petroleum.  Prior to Kauriland, he held a number of senior accounting and general management positions within the transport and logistics industry. 

Colm Hamrogue

Colm joined HWR as Group General Manager in December 2018. In his role, Colm has overall responsibility for the Groups’ transport operations. Before joining the Group, he was Chief Operating Officer and Director of Strategy for Farmlands Co-operative. Colm originally hails from Ireland and moved to New Zealand in 2012. He holds an honours degree in Strategic Management and Planning and a Masters Degree in Communications.

Dale Cocker

Dale is General Manager Specialised Transport responsible for four individual companies encompassing eleven different brands providing niche transport and storage solutions to the marketplace nationwide. He started with HWR Group in 1993 as a truck driver with Freight Haulage and has held several roles prior to being appointed General Manager in 2007. 

Grace Frisby

Grace joined HWR as Group Marketing and Communications Manager in 2018. She is responsible for planning, developing and implementing all HWR marketing and communication strategies both internally and externally and coordinating the strategic and operational activities for the Group. She has more than 10 years’ experience in the marketing, public relations and communications fields and has a background in journalism.

Alastair Tennant

Alastair is the General Manager of Allied Petroleum. He is responsible for the operations of the business and has overseen significant growth in the company in recent years. He is also a Director of the HWR joint venture company.  He joined Allied Petroleum in early 2009 and is based in Christchurch.  Previously Alastair has had a varied career working in commercial and operational management roles across a number of industry sectors.

Dean Elder

Dean is the General Manager of the HWR Contracting Division and is responsible for nearly 300 staff across three companies.  He joined the HWR Group in 2004 working as an operator and studied part to gain his Diploma in Civil engineering.  Since he has held several roles prior to being appointed General Manager in 2018.  Dean has 15 years’ experience in the engineering and contracting industries with a background in civil engineering.

Chris Wight

Chris is the General Manager of Petrogas, a Fuel & Lubricant distributor based out of Melbourne, Australia. Chris was the Financial Controller for Petrogas in the five years prior to taking the role as General Manager in September 2015.  Chris has long standing family ties to the fuel industry and prior to joining the business held a variety of other roles within the fuel wholesale and retail industry, as well as a large corporate accounting firm.

Mike Gebbie

Mike is the General Manager Risk responsible for ensuring that all areas of risk across the Group are effectively managed and controlled.  HWR take the safety of their people very seriously and Mike champions the health and safety strategy which is aimed at getting everyone safe home every night through the development of a just culture and continuous improvement. Mike’s skills allow him to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes of HWR employees to improve the safety and wellbeing of staff and others with whom the company works.

Wayne (Ox) McEwan

Wayne McEwan, or Ox as he is more commonly known, is the General Manager of the Rural and Joint Ventures Transport.  He is responsible for twelve transport companies and one lime quarry in various locations through out New Zealand.  Ox has been in the transport business for the last 40 years and with 32 of those spent at Ryal Bush Transport and for the last eight years with HWR Group. 

Peter Dynes

Peter is the CEO of Dynes Transport which formed a joint venture partnership with HWR Group in December 2016. Peter has been passionate about the transport industry since his younger years and was driving full time before taking over the management role of the business in 1997. His vision for the future is to have systems, IT and people in place that will improve efficiencies and will result in providing the best service for their valued clients.

John McDonald

John is the General Manager People Development and is responsible for ensuring that HWR employees are delivering maximum value to the business through development initiatives that empower them to make decisions at the coalface. Another key aspect of his role is to provide opportunities for HWR employees to advance their careers while remaining in the business. Previously John held a number of positions within HWR including Risk & Compliance, and various roles within Allied Concrete.

The notion of game-changing ideas is still very much part of our business philosophy across the companies within our Group.

In the highly competitive marketplaces we operate in, we know the value of having technologically advanced equipment, including one of the most modern and efficient truck fleets. We also have strong technical expertise in developing new products and helping customers resolve their technical issues. Our service ethic has deep roots but we are constantly looking at innovative ways we can deliver that little bit extra for our customers.


Whatever we decide to do, we’ll continue to build a Group with its feet firmly on the ground and its eyes firmly on the future.

Casting our eyes forward, we can certainly see room to further develop our existing companies, as well as opportunities to invest in new businesses on both sides of the Tasman that could potentially complement our existing operations.



We buy and operate the most modern and efficient truck fleet.


We operate safely and develop people to make the right decisions at the coal face

transport company nz

We create value by forming alliances with customers in the productive sector.