Joc O’Donnell loves Volkswagens. And in particular she loves that icon of the Flower Power–hippy era, the Volkswagen Kombi, or Microbus if you are American. Joc (pronounced Joss as it is short for Jocelyn) and her husband Scott O’Donnell preside over the enormous, Invercargill-based conglomerate HWR, which has interests in the transport, petroleum, concrete, contracting, quarrying and environmental industries. To use a cliché, HWR operates below the radar and most people of Auckland, for example, wouldn’t be aware of the group, let alone its size, nor the impact it has on their daily lives.

The company has 48 brands, operates in six sectors of the market, employs 2500 staff, and has a weekly turnover of several million dollars.

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