James Fletcher (industrialist)
Sir James Fletcher (29 March 1886 - 1974) was a New Zealand industrialist who founded Fletcher Construction, one of the country's largest firms. His son, Sir James Fletcher Junior, continued to build the corporation.
Fletcher was born at Kirkintilloch, Scotland, and was educated in Glasgow. He was the sixth of thirteen children. He migrated to Dunedin, New Zealand in 1908. He donated New Zealand Marble to the town of Kirkintilloch in 1925 to construct a War Memorial which stands today at the entrance to the town's Peel Park.
In 1908 he established a building business with his brother William John, known as Fletcher Brothers. In 1916 the partnership was formed as a limited liability company, and from 1919 was called the Fletcher Construction Company. In 1940, the company was renamed Fletcher Holdings. James Fletcher moved the businesses headquarters to Auckland in 1925. The company grew despite the difficult economic conditions, completing a number of major construction projects, such as the Chateau Tongariro and Dominion Museum in 1929.
Following the election of the First Labour Government in 1935, James Fletcher established an enduring friendship with the government. Fletchers' built some of the first state houses in New Zealand.
James was seconded by the government in 1942. His second eldest son, also called James, took over the running of Fletcher Holdings at this time. Throughout the Second World War he held several positions, first as Commissioner of Defence Construction, then Superintendent of Military Works, and later Controller of Shipping.
- "University of Auckland Business History Project - Fletcher Challenge". University of Auckland. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
- New Zealand Encyclopaedia, 1966. "FLETCHER, Sir James". Te Ara. Retrieved 2007-08-31.
- Goldsmith, Paul (2009). Fletchers: A Centennial History of Fletcher Building (hardbackISBN 978-1-877378-35-5.). Auckland: Davia Ling Publishing.
- Smith, Jack (2009). No Job Too Big: A History of Fletcher Construction, Volume I: 1909-1940 (hardbackISBN 978-1-877448-69-0.). Wellington: Steele Roberts.