Sir Patrick Higgins grew up listening to his parents, Dan & Phyllis, talk about business at the kitchen table. Dan had come to New Zealand as an Irish immigrant and quickly realised his skills in the drainage and roading industries. When Sir Patrick joined his father in the business in 1958, the official Higgins company era began.
Sir Patrick's first roles involved him working alongside his father and their two employees on drainage, roading and maintenance projects. In 1963, when engineering staff from local authorities and the Ministry of Works were invited to see a new road oil sprayer in action, it was Sir Patrick demonstrating the new unit.
Since then, Sir Patrick has moved into leadership roles, first as Managing Director and then as Chairman of the Board. Alongside his brothers Bernard and Michael, Sir Patrick has grown the company to a new level. Today the Higgins Group is at the forefront of building New Zealand's infrastructure. It is one of the leading roading construction and civil contracting specialists in the country with over 1200 employees in the Green Team. They have completed work on projects as diverse as the Victoria Park Tunnel, the Westwind Wind Farm and the Royal New Zealand Airforces Ohakea Air Base.
Sir Patrick was knighted for services to philanthropy and the community in 2011. The Higgins Group is a major sponsor of the Manawatu Rugby Academy based at Massey University, and the Manawatu Turbos rugby team, as well as other sports in the region. Organisations or activities supported by Sir Patrick and his wife Lady Kay include Manfeild Park, the Arohanui Hospice Trust, the Manawatu Cancer Society, and the Louise Perkins Foundation.