Hall of Fame Inductee 2022
David Conroy was born in Napier in 1951, one of six children. David had a strong work ethic and from an early age spent school holidays at McDonalds Transport yard, a local rural transport company, which cemented his interest in the road transport industry.
David left school at 15 years of age and commenced work for a merchant, Ethridge’s. For David, there was no time to sit still and a spare lunch hour could be used to earn more money by mowing lawns.
David’s interest in road transport led him to start driving trucks for one of Napier’s characters, Hughie McAllister, over the Napier Taupo Road in the late 60s, which was a good grounding on things not to do in your own business.
This was followed by driving for Nihill Bridgemen Croad based out of Hastings, carting livestock, metal and timber. This took him all over the North Island and, with the late Matt Purvis being the dispatcher, there was always opportunity to do plenty of hours. Not afraid of hard work, David put aside extra money earned for future opportunities.
At 21 years of age, and keen to do something for himself, David approached a local furniture removalist Bill Griffin and, with some financial support from his mother, David purchased a business with one D-series petrol powered Ford.
Conroy Removals was founded in 1972, based out of Napier with one truck. David Conroy was transporting household furniture all over New Zealand, and eighteen months later another truck and one VA were purchased off Ivan Palleson from Hastings. At this time, David’s brother Gary joined the business as a partner and drove the second truck. Gary has since retired and remains a shareholder in the business. In the early days, their mother looked after the administration and phones while the boys covered the country in their trucks.
As the business grew, a branch network was established, initially in Auckland, followed by Wellington, Christchurch, Tauranga, Nelson and Cromwell.
In the late 90s, there was a desire to have a presence in Australia, so a three-truck business was purchased in Brisbane followed by Townsville, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
David always had an absolute passion for the wider transport industry, serving on the RTA at a local branch level and at a regional level on the CARTA executive.
He also served on the New Zealand Overseas Movers Association, building long-standing relationships and networking with overseas removal partners which has helped grow the international part of the business.
David has always had a focus on supporting and sponsoring community activities in local areas as it is his way of thanking people that have supported Conroy’s over many years.
With Conroy’s now in its 50th year of business with around 350 staff and 12 branches in New Zealand and Australia, this is a testament of David’s passion and interest in people and the wider transport industry.
David is still actively involved in the day-to-day operations of Conroy Removals Business ensuring the team maintain a “can do” attitude and provide the customer service he is proud of.