Sir Paul Adams has been inducted into the NZ Business Hall of Fame.
The long-term Tauranga local was inducted before about 700 of his peers at a recent black-tie event in Auckland. It was a far cry from his childhood growing up in a state house in Upper Hutt.
Sir Paul is well known in New Zealand for his business acumen and his many philanthropic contributions, especially in the field of education. He told the Bay of Plenty Business News that he was especially pleased the actual award was presented to him by a Tauranga Boys’ College (TBC) student, Isaac Schuler.
“I requested a TBC student for the presentation and Isaac was selected for me,” he told BBN.
Sir Paul told BBN that TBC was a member of YES (Young Enterprise Scheme), which gives budding business students the chance to be involved in business enterprise during the school year.
He said that introducing inductees at the hall of fame event was an opportunity for those chosen to be exposed to New Zealand business people and to stand in front of the Governor-General and introduce inductees.
Contributions to the school include the gifting of Sir Paul and wife Cheryl’s former house to TBC where it was relocated to the grounds and now serves as teacher accommodation and as a site for sports events.
Sir Paul said that he and his wife had also supported various students requiring financial support to take part in overseas sporting, cultural and study trips.
Sir Paul originally worked at the Wellington Harbour Board engineer’s office to put himself through polytech and university in civil engineering and business management. He built his reputation as an early pioneer in the kiwifruit industry and his long career has included being a prime mover in establishing the University of Waikato in Tauranga and founding the successful Carrus Corp construction company.
Although a regular and generous contributor to the community, he generally maintains a low profile.
His achievements include his knighthood for services to philanthropy and the community and being named a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business and philanthropy.
Sir Paul has held numerous roles including as a director of the IHC and the founding chairman of large social housing non-governmental organisation Accessible Properties, owned by the IHC.
He was a past councillor of Waikato University, the Waipuna Hospice patron and life member, the founding director and a life member of the Western Bay of Plenty economic agency Priority One and patron of Tē Tuinga Whānau Support Services Trust.
He was reported as being “truly humbled and honoured” to be acknowledged and welcomed into the ranks of fellow businessmen and women who had all made extraordinary contributions to business and the community in New Zealand.