THE man at the helm of a large Southland transport company for over three decades has been honoured by his peers.
Paul Balneaves, a shareholder of DT King and Co Ltd, was one of six men and the only Southlander inducted into the New Zealand Road Transport Hall of Fame at a gala function at Bill Richardson Transport World on Friday night.
DT King, based at Pukemaori, near Tuatapere, was founded 78 years ago and has only been in the control of two families, the Kings and the Balneaves.
It is the parent company for several transport and transport-related companies purchased over the years including Crosbie Bros, Mason & Raynor, HE Melhop (renamed Commercial Vehicle Centre Ltd), Western Haulage, White, Bates and Shearing Transport, and NZ Log Marketing, which has since been sold.
The citation read at the function said Mr Balneaves’ involvement with DT King began in 1980. He took over running the company four years later.
Under his leadership, Mr Balneaves has seen the business go from a 33-truck fleet to 125.
He has contributed time to the Road Transport Association (RTA) in several roles including president of Region 5 and president of Southland branch.
The New Zealand Road Transport Hall of Fame was begun in 2012 by Scott and Jocelyn O’Donnell, of HW Richardson Group.
More than 570 guests from around New Zealand and Australia gathered for this year’s awards. The other inductees this year were Stan Williamson (Taranaki/Bay Of Plenty), Mervyn Solly (Collingwood), Don Wright (Northland/Auckland), Derek Dumbar (Bay Of Plenty) and Brent Watchorn (Taranaki/Waikato).