Distinguished Alumni: NZ Home Loans founder and businessman John Erkkila will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Waikato on the 19th August.
Businessman and Waikato Hospice supporter John Erkkila will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Waikato this month.
John Erkkila graduated from the University of Waikato in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Earth Science and Biology. His first job after leaving university was a two-year stint managing a hotel, then he set up his own insurance brokerage, John Erkkila & Associates.
Building NZ Home Loans
In 1996 he joined forces with Murray Fergusson to establish New Zealand Home Loans. The first franchise opened in Wellington and within a year there were also branches on the North Shore, South Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty. Today there are 58 franchises from Whangarei to Invercargill; the business employs more than 200 staff and has $3.8 billion of loans and $22 million of insurance premiums under management.
In 2006, New Zealand Home Loans sold a 51 percent share to Kiwibank, but Mr Erkkila remained as CEO until April this year and is now an Executive Director.
Tourism and boat building
With his wife Christine, John Erkkila also owns Team Gamesail, a venture that began operating in 2005 when the business launched the first of its two ocean-going luxury catamarans for people, mostly international visitors, to voyage around the Hauraki Gulf and Bay of Islands. Both Gamesail boats were built at Mr Erkkila’s boat building facility in Tamahere and he is currently developing a range of unique trailerable game fishing boats.
Last year Mr Erkkila purchased a development farm next to the Mangakawa Reserve near Cambridge which he is developing as a tourist adventure farm.
He was one of the key drivers behind the new Waikato Hospice in Hillcrest. He chaired the fundraising campaign, which brought in $8 million, and is chairman of the Hospice Waikato Foundation.
John Erkkila will receive his Distinguished Alumni Award on 19 August at the University of Waikato’s Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts.