Hall of Fame Laureate – 2014 Horowhenua – Larry Ellison


Larry Ellison – Fuel & high-tech entrepreneur

Born in Raumati, Larry always wanted to be self employed. With new wife Jane, he leased a service station in Sanson in 1976, before buying a station in Foxton. Hard work saw business expand till being bought out in 1994.

But entrepreneurship and petrol is in the Ellison’s DNA. They opened the first Challenge Petroleum station in NZ before, in ’98, starting Rural Fuel, distributing fuel to farmers in competition with major petrol companies. When sold in December 2013 Rural Fuels had 30 tankers and 80 staff supplying the lower North Island. With awards for 2011 Westpac Manawatu Business of the Year, and Taranaki Employer of Choice Year award and Large Business Award in 2013, the Ellisons attribute their success to building team culture, smart marketing/ PR, and most of all having fun.

The Ellisons are residents of Foxton Beach. A life member of the Foxton Volunteer Fire Brigade, Larry’s served on schools’ Boards and the Manawatu Boating Club Executive. Driving forces behind the Foxton Area Community Medical Trust, they underwrote the construction of the new centre.

Too young to retire, Larry has a new company, Smart Solutions Ltd, working on hi-technology liquid monitoring devices, and works with the Massey University-based Bio-Commerce Centre. He personally helps start-ups and SMEs in the agri-tech industry with mentoring, governance and help to access financing.

The Ellisons have also helped dairy farmers get established in joint venture farms at Kuku Beach, Rongotea and Bulls.

Most of all Larry and Jane remain a community-minded, humble couple, proud of their successes, even prouder at being able to share them in a typical Kiwi way; around a table with coffee and Jane’s superb home baked muffins.