Fletcher, James

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Sir James Fletcher Snr

Scots-born carpenter James Fletcher became the nation's most important builder. His joinery and house-building business, started in Dunedin in 1908, became the Fletcher Construction Company - the basis of the publicly listed conglomerate, Fletcher Holdings, and a company now part of Fletcher Building.

Fletcher Construction built some of the country's finest public buildings and a number of the nation's first state houses.

During World War II Fletcher took charge of the New Zealand construction industry when the government appointed him commissioner of defence construction, superintendent of military works and controller of shipping. His son, Jim, took over the business that in 1981 became part of Fletcher Challenge.