Fisher, Woolf

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Sir Woolf Fisher

The first Labour government played a key role in Woolf Fisher's decision to become a whiteware manufacturer.

From 1934 he and Maurice Paykel were content to sell imported fridges and washing machines. But the government's tough import controls, introduced in 1938, persuaded Fisher & Paykel to start manufacturing its own products. This was the start of the partners' success.

Fisher, whose famous saying was “Today's luxuries are tomorrow's necessities”, laid the foundations for an iconic New Zealand company.

He played a major role in establishing the Outward Bound course at Anakiwa and set up a charitable foundation to provide travelling scholarships for teachers and principals.