Back in the day, and really not so long ago, these two gentlemen were leaders in the retail sector of Wellington. Kirkcaldie and Stains was the absolute doyen of shopping.
In the halcyon days, of the 1980s and 1990s the combination of Graham Roche, K&S's Sales and Marketing Manager, and Peter Hansen, K&S's Chief Executive was impressive. They saw to it, through their leadership, dedication and commitment, to not only K&S, but Wellington too, our city was the retail destination of New Zealand.
It was strong well directed leadership too. I well remember, how both men were right to the fore, in leading K&S out of the 1987 economic downtown, and kept CBD retailing relavent, and front and centre.
Both men were strong personalities, were reliable, lateral, and in total sync with each other. You often saw them on "the floor" at Kirks, inspiring and influencing the Kirks Team.
Kirks was the "Wellington Brand!" People from all around New Zealand looked forward to the K&S shopping experience. When you went into the store it was always special. The displays were first class, and the product lines matched.The staff were the best part of the experience too! An emphasis was placed on people first, and foremost.
Peter and Graham commanded respect by virtue of their actions. They were always immaculately presented, and were both sought after for their leadership, wisdom and expertise, and in a number of areas. Peter lead The Wellington Chamber of Commerce, and in his term Wellington saw great economic growth, cohesion and collaboration.
Both men were community minded, contributed greatly, and were visible in many areas of Wellington life.
Kirks was fully engaged with the Wellington community, its people, its events, and its occasions. The charitable work the store involved itself in was impressive. It was a win win for all.
Peter and Graham made the most of opportunities, and took calculated risks. They were steadfast, honest and confident, without being overbearing, or over-confident. They rarely failed in a project or venture. Kirks was the centre piece of the retail draw to our CBD It was largely through both men's innovation and people skills. They took the Kirks team for a great ride, and gained valuable returns as a result.
If there were two people who Wellington could draw inspiration from at this time, it would be Peter Hansen and Graham Roche. Two very fine Wellingtonians, who have passed on, who are certainly remembered with a lot of respect and affection in our city.