looking back at dtr's history - January 2012

Mark Spring January 30, 2012 : 0

Robert Muldoon (left) and Stan Pemberton (right)

 The Hon. Robert Muldoon, Minister of Finance at the time (left), congratulating Stan Pemberton (right) on the opening of Dominion House, the new Auckland premises of Dominion Television Services (19 August, 1971)

Earlier this month, we decided to take a trip down memory lane with Len Pemberton – son of dtr founder Stan Pemberton – and his wife Bronwynn, by bringing them up to Auckland and taking them out for lunch.

When Stan opened the first dtr store in Howick back in 1962, Len was one of the first employees to work there. Having been there from the beginning, he was able to share many stories from back in the day.

In those days, dtr was known as Dominion Television Services (DTS) and their focus lay simply in renting televisions to Kiwis. At the time, the purchase price of a television was exceptionally high and their lack of reliability made renting them a very attractive option. In fact here’s evidence to suggest that the availability of renting as an option accelerated the penetration rate of TV in New Zealand.  

Since then, our name has changed slightly, hire purchase has become the dominant acquisition method, and our product range has expanded significantly. Listening to Len however, I was struck by how much of Stan Pemberton’s vision and character had remained with dtr throughout its development of almost 50 years.  Stan’s overarching motto was, ”Is it the truth, is it fair, will it build good will, and better relationships, and will it be beneficial to all concerned?”.

Stan was a member of the Rotary Club of Newmarket and often provided funds and manpower to deserving projects within the community. It sounds as though his cheque book was always open and helping those around him. He sponsored a number of young people to attend Newmarket’s Dilworth School, was involved in sponsoring sporting awards and even, for a time, supplied a bunch of flowers to every baby born in the Howick district hospital.

All accounts of Stan point towards a fellow who was well liked, could enjoy a yarn, but equally loved to work hard. I am very proud of our staff who, though their dedication, continue Stan Pemberton’s honorable legacy.

Looking ahead, into 2012 and beyond, I am excited to be commencing another year with a company that holds such a reputable and long history in New Zealand.


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