about-bridgestoneAfter over 50 years of faithful service to Kaikohe and the Firestone/Bridgestone brand, Ray Whitelaw has put away the overalls and slipped into his motorbike jacket to ride into the sunset.

We (Mark and Nicole Anderson) have returned to the Far North after a short stint in the Waikato. Having owned a Firestone and a Bridgestone dealership in Auckland previously, we are excited to be taking on the business that for many years has been known as Whitelaws Tyre Service. Now to be known as Bridgestone Kaikohe, we are looking to expand on the sound base that Ray has built up over many years.

Over the coming year, we will make some changes to enhance the business including increasing the stock held, updating equipment and improving customer facilities.

Kaikohe has had a bit of a hard time over recent years, but we see a positive future for Kaikohe and have voted with our feet and put our money where our mouth is.

Your local team with 55 years industry experience and rising!

Mark Anderson – 15 years of industry experience

I started as a Trainee Manager with Firestone in 1992 and went through the store grades. Youngest store manager within the company up until that time at 21 years of age. Bought the first dealership in 1997 – Firestone Direct Wiri. A couple of years later set up Bridgestone Manurewa. Stayed in the business until 2005 then moved and bought into the family business of Applied Chemicals (www.apchem.co.nz ), of which I am still an owner. Shifted to the Hokianga in 2008 with our four kids and farmed, started a beekeeping business and represented South Hokianga on the Community Board.
I love coaching rugby and have done for about 15 years (since I am too broken to play anymore). Mountain biking and skiing are also favourite sports. I love the area and really missed it while I was away.

I am really looking forward to adding value to the Kaikohe Business Community and I see some shining lights on the horizon for Kaikohe. The rebuilding of Northland College, the proposed industrial park at Ngawha and pending treaty settlement for Ngapuhi make for an exciting time ahead. Come and tell me about your thoughts for Kaikohe’s future – I’d love to hear it.

Nic and I have 4 children ranging from 8-16 years old are lucky to have the team we have got at Bridgestone Kaikohe.

Nicole Anderson

It was meant to be when I started working at Firestone in 1992- working as an accountant, auditing company stores and Mark a Trainee Manager. Things moved quickly and soon I was auditing more than Marks stock records as a Store Manager in 1993!

I started my working life as an accountant. I then moved into Health Promotion with Te Hotu Manawa Moari and followed by Sport Auckland. My career took a different path as I moved into Maori Development work with CEG then TPK. I have always assisted Mark with the administration and financial side of the business and continue to do so. I am currently also Project Analyst for Tuhoronuku advancing Ngapuhi Treaty Settlement and sit on the board of Pharmac.

I went to Northland College and grew up at Mataraua. We wanted to come back to the area where our children were raised to be part of the Kaikohe success story going forward!

Colin Mortenson – 29 years of industry experience

I am a long time resident of Kaikohe and in my earlier years attended Kerikeri High school. I trained as a motor mechanic at Ohaewai Garage and stayed in trade for 7 years. I tried my hand at security then moved into tyres in the Firestone/Bridgestone camp in 1989 and have found myself in the trade for some 27 years.

I am married to Lynette and we have a 23 year old son working in the automotive industry too.

I have a few hobbies and most of them revolve around hunting. I am currently involved in running a predator control programme for The Kiwi Foundation.

The things I like about Kaikohe are it’s down to earth, friendly people and what you see is what you get. When we shifted to the area I liked how folk smiled back at you when you passed them in the street – even if you didn’t know them.

Brendon Mayell – 17 years of industry experience

I have lived in Kaikohe all my life. I went to primary in Kaikohe and secondary school in Okaihau.

I have been in the tyre industry nearly all my working life and all my tyre industry experience has been at Whitelaws. In that time I worked my way up from being the ‘junior” learning every aspect of the business and am now the main fleet service technician for the business. I think I have changed the biggest, muddiest, ugliest tyres in Northland!

I am married to Aimee with a young son Aiden who will be starting school next year. One of my main interests outside of my volunteer work is hunting.

The main reason I like living in Kaikohe is its great community spirit. I am an active member of the Kaikohe Volunteer Fire Brigade and I like living somewhere where everyone knows everyone.