Blackfern increased its local voice by welcoming Gary Senior as Area Manager for the Southland region.
A tricky start to 2020 meant COVID-19 lockdown for everyone, but Blackfern emerged and resumed its forward momentum toward new heights, being on track to reach 1000 members by year end.
Continued growth across the country saw Blackfern Co-Operative becoming a recognised and trusted brand within New Zealand. New suppliers, including YHI and Centrix, increased the diversity being offered to members. In December 2019 we were joined by Jim Lockwood, providing a localised Blackfern experience for Eastern North Island members.
By the end of 2019 Blackfern Membership was in excess of 800 members.
August 2018 saw founding director Roger Castleton transition to full-time. Blackfern Co-Operative celebrated its first issue of shares, whilst FMG became a supplier and two new area managers were appointed. Christine Lambie joined Blackfern in Christchurch and Fliss Wilson joined Blackfern in Taranaki.
Blackfern's website underwent modification to become an active online facilitation portal, streamlining processes for all stakeholders.
Blackfern held its first overseas conference, with a nine day cruise to the Fijian Islands.
Membership expanded greatly in 2017, with significant increases in Northland and soaring nationally. By the end of 2017 Blackfern Co-Operative had achieved a total membership of 215.
To drive growth in Auckland and the Northern region, Blackfern Co-Operative welcomed Tim Peters in 2016.
With Tim's efforts Blackfern achieved significant growth.
In February 2015 Blackfern Co-Operative completed its first transaction between members and achieved a total of 91 members by year end. Most members being in the lower North Island and Hawkes Bay.
We were joined by Steven Coombes to assist in the Wellington region. His and Blackfern's efforts were greatly assisted by foundation suppliers including the Mount Shop, Koba Batteries, 1st Autoparts, Q8 Oil, AS group, and Value Tyres. Their combined efforts created the basis of a truly Kiwi offering to members.
Also in 2015, Blackfern joined the New Zealand Cooperative business association.
On 5th August, at Masterton in the Wairarapa a quorum was formed by fourteen workshop owners, voting to form a New Zealand run Cooperative buying group for the automotive industry. Blackfern's Constitution was created, ratified, and Kevin Tunnell was voted in as the member Director.
Blackfern Cooperative pledged two mottos of "Bringing people together" and "For New Zealand."