Bob Owens

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Pioneering is part of who we are

Pioneering is part of who we are. That’s why each Ryman village is named after a Kiwi or Aussie trailblazer. Anthony Wilding, Lady Diana Isaac, Evelyn Page to name a few. They lived with passion and purpose, they pushed further, they went beyond the ordinary. That’s exactly what we strive to do every day at Ryman. To pioneer a new way of living, for a new retirement generation.

Sir Bob Owens (1922-1999)

One of New Zealand’s most renowned businessmen, Sir Robert (Bob) Owens, is largely credited with the mid-century development of Tauranga and the Port of Tauranga.

A true pioneer, Sir Robert was highly influential in the growth of New Zealand exports. Having emigrated to New Zealand in 1953 he began a small business which grew to become the Owens Group, one of Australasia’s leading transport logistics companies covering 38 companies and representing Mitsui OSK Lines in New Zealand.

His service to the Tauranga community included serving as a Tauranga City Councillor, Mayor of Tauranga, and Mayor of Mount Maunganui Borough. Sir Robert continued to influence the growth and development of New Zealand transport on the Bay of Plenty Harbour Board from 1962-1988, as Director of the Port of Tauranga in 1988, and as Chairman of Air New Zealand from 1981-1984 where he restored the nation’s trust in the company following the Mt Erebus tragedy of 1981.

Having been inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame in 1996, Sir Robert became a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1997 in recognition of his services to New Zealand.