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Newspaper Feature: 30 Years

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Hutchins and Dick celebrate 30 years of service

Innovation focus key to valuation success in Taranaki over thirty years. Collective expertise serves clients well.

Focusing on adding value to clients’ assets has been the secret to the success of Valuation and Property specialists Hutchins and Dick.

The firm - which today celebrates thirty years of service - was formed in 1980 when directors Frank Hutchins and Max Dick joined forces and has grown into one of the leading valuation firms in the region.

According to Frank Hutchins, helping clients find solutions to their property challenges rather than blandly reporting on basics, has been the firm’s trademark approach.

“Our emphasis on service and our collective expertise has served us well as is evidenced by the high level of repeat and referral business. We are indebted to our clients for this support.” he said.

Valuers employ factual market data, such as property sales and commercial rentals, and make objective and subjective adjustments with comparative evidence, to convert raw data into meaningful information for clients.

According to Frank, there is no substitute for extensive local knowledge and experience. Their expertise in specialised properties and going concerns in the rural and commercial sectors has allowed them to extend their range of services to include project and property management.

“It’s really important to look to add value as the reality is for a lot of people their property is their major asset so giving clients different options when buying or disposing of property is a big part of what we do” he said.

The firm has also been a leader in Valuation innovation.

“In 1996 we were the first NZ-based valuation firm to adopt a quality management system and in 2008 we adopted best sustainable practice by introducing electronic filing which aims for a paperless office and provides our valuers secure access to operate from anywhere in the country.

This innovation in servicing clients’ needs has resulted in others in our profession following our lead” he added.  Frank said the current challenges facing the profession include the shortage of registered valuers in the provinces, particularly in the commercial and industrial sector.

“Three year property graduates can be daunted by another three years of supervision to become registered so they sometimes prefer property management, the banking sector or high-end real estate sales, so getting new blood into the industry can be difficult” he said.

This year, the Property Institute of NZ - the professional body to which valuers belong - celebrates 100 years of valuation in NZ.

“We are pleased to celebrate our anniversary at the same time as the Institute. The industry demands the highest standards of education, professionalism, independence and confidentiality and this is what we are all about” Frank said.

Rural Director Merv Hunger said a big change is the way technology has revolutionised the valuation profession. Paper based systems moved to microfiche sales lists, followed by computerised data in the late 80’s. Valuers now use laser measuring devices and IT equipment which calculates land and building areas.

According to Merv the next thirty years will be more exciting and challenging for business in general.

“While futurists talk about the virtual office, valuers definitely benefit from interaction with their peers, especially over complex assignments or where market evidence is minimal. The physical office as we now know will likely still be around in 2040. However valuers may be required to enter new geographic domains such as the sea bed and carbon credit trading” he said.

“The world is becoming a smaller place through technology and like all Kiwi businesses and sports teams we will continue to “punch well above our weight” for the next thirty years of inevitible change” he added.


Rural passion and local knowledge drive growth of rural service.

Merv Hunger is the rural director for Hutchins and Dick’s busy rural valuation and consultancy team.

Raised on a dairy farm at Lepperton, Merv gained his professional qualifications at Massey University and his full registration in 2002 . Farm management roles in Ireland set Merv on the path back to his roots, and a 50:50 sharemilking partnership on a 240 cow farm at Tariki.

Merv is a partner of the firm and his passion for farming and his extensive valuation experience, make him the ideal leader for Hutchins and Dick’s rural business.

According to Merv, being passionate about everything rural and having local expertise on the state of the rural land market from an objective point of view is the key to their success.

“By specialising in the rural sector we are always up to date with the most recent and relevant information to assist clients in their rural land matters and decision making.

“We have a lot of experience as Max Dick has been providing rural valuations for more than thirty years and we work well as a team. Both of us have practical farming experience and we are both Taranaki born and bred.

This means we have very good local knowledge as well as the experience to work outside the region in specialist areas as required,” Merv said.

They advise on all property and farm management issues, and specialise in all dairy operations, lifestyle and specialist property including asset valuations for government and iwi organisations.

“As Taranaki’s leading rural valuation team we pride ourselves on providing knowledgeable independent valuations and property advice in all rural land matters. This includes farm acquisition and disposal, dairy, drystock, feasibility budgets, subdivision, land compensation, easement compensation, poultry farming, rental assessments and leasing of land.”

The company’s association with ValuersNet also gives them access to up to date information and expertise for other regions when completing national assignments.

“The bottom line is your rural property is a major asset that you can only buy or sell once so getting good advice before making any final decisions is the key,” Merv said

“It’s a tremendous job as you get to work with some fantastic people and my wife Jo and our two sons Liam (5) and Sam (2) all love Taranaki so we’re looking forward to the next thirty years” he laughed.


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