Steve made his mark

Goldsbury bows out.

Goldsbury bows out.

Retired stock agent and auctioneer Steve Goldsbury reflects on a 47-year career during which time he earned the respect of the industry. Picture by Paul Rickard



Gisborne-East Coast-Wairoa stock agent Steve Goldsbury reflects on a 47-year career during which time he earned the respect of the industry. He talks to reporter Murray Robertson . . .

The first thing retired Gisborne-East Coast-Wairoa stock agent Steve Goldsbury did within days of the finish of his 47-year career was head to Queensland to play lawn bowls for two months.

“Good on him” would be the call from farmers, though the lawn bowlers here might see it a bit differently, because the man with 37 centre titles already, will now get even more practice time.

Steve ended his career at the Friday sheep sale at the Matawhero saleyards on June 27 at the end of Bull Week, a week he said at the time was the “best I have ever seen”.

“It was such an unbelieveable bull sales season to be part of to end my career.”

He partnered Neville Clark, David Streeter, Jamie Hayward, Chris Hurlstone and others in the sales rostrums across his final auction season. Tributes were paid to him at each and every sale.

Steve was born in the Bay of Plenty and came here with his family to live in Cameron Road on a lifestyle block when he was 10 years of age.

He attended Riverdale School, Gisborne Intermediate and Lytton High School.

“Ken Candy and Ray Steed, two guys who had probably the longest stock trading partnership in the country at 50 years, lived over the road from us in Cameron Road, and they had a large impact on my career,” Steve said.

“Ken taught me how to draft sheep and cattle, and to sell them to best advantage. All I ever wanted to be was a stock agent and auctioneer. I don’t really know what inspired that, it just happened.”

He joined Dalgety NZ in January 1971 as a junior clerk, then they transferred him as a farm cadet to Mount Possession Station in the Ashburton Gorge in the South Island for six months.

“A 108,000-acre high country property, 25,000 sheep, and I was lucky enough to be in on the autumn muster on horseback.

“It was a great experience in such big hill country, for a boy from the warmth and beaches of Gisborne to the cold of the South Island high country.”

After that the company transferred him to Auckland, and then he took up his first stock agent’s appointment in Waiuku, then Tuakau and Papakura as an agent and auctioneer.

“I came back to Gisborne in 1978, still with Dalgety’s.”

In 1984 he and Mark Egan, Grant Allen and Murray Elsmore got the Egan Stock Agency started.

“We ran it for five years, and in 1989 I joined Williams & Kettle Ltd when W & K took the agency over. W & K became PGG Wrightson Ltd in the early 2000s.”

He was W & K’s livestock manager when Wrightson took them over.

Steve remained with PGG Wrightson until his retirement.
“If I was asked if stock agency work would be my career choice again, the answer would definitely be yes. I’ve loved it.”

Over the years, Steve represented the district in cricket and lawn bowls.

He played about 70 games for the Bay in cricket, captained the side and was a selector.
He started playing bowls in l993 when fellow stock agent John Loveridge said “I’ve got the sport for you, come with me” . . . and the rest is history.

Steve has won 37 centre titles and is regarded as one the district’s best-ever bowlers.

He said the farming clientelle he had amassed over the years as a stock agent were very special to him.
“They are wonderful people. They become your mates. Your friends.

“I have worked through three generations in some familes, like Bill, Hamish and Paul Williams for example, the Dodgshun and the Reeves families too. Those family connections feel even more special.”

Asked about his reflections over a 47-year career Steve said the droughts of 1983 and 1987 and Cyclone Bola come to the forefront of his mind.

“Particularly in the past month with the floods around Tolaga Bay first, and then the second lot across the district after that.

“Events like drought and floods mean really tough times for the farmer, because they often have to do something they don’t want to do — like sell capital stock.

“That is an extremely stressful time for a farmer, and for the agent, because you have to help them see what’s best for them downstream.”

He said the big decisions keep coming at times like that.

“The farmers are hurting and you feel for them.”

On a lighter note he recalls the way young weaner cattle used to be moved from the saleyards in Bell Road to the Matawhero railhead.

“Lots of stock were moved out of the district by rail back in the day and moving those young cattle, fresh off their mums, down to the railway was a tricky job. It was like moving a mob of young lambs . . . It could be chaotic.”

He recalled yardings at Matawhero in the earlier days of 35,000 sheep for a Friday sale.

“It has saddened me over the years to see how forestry took over what used to be good farming country here. That has decimated communities on the East Coast, and that’s sad.”

What now for Steve Goldsbury — stock agent, auctioneer and above all — stockman?
“I plan to spend a lot more time with my wife Kay and the rest of the family. We have a bach at Anaura Bay we don’t stay at much.

“We have a small boat we don’t use much, so I’ll go fishing more with my grandson Tanay, and I hope to do something for lawn bowls administration.”

The tributes flowed like water during Bull Week as Steve approached retirement.

Neville Clark described him as a “diligent and hard working stock agent”.

For “Bump” Mitchell from Whangara B20, Steve was a top stock agent.

“He’s got integrity and is a very good stockman. Steve got my children started in their careers in the industry.”

She has known Steve all her life, since they grew up close-by each other in Gisborne.
“He always did his job properly and he has earned the respect of the industry.”

Peter Reeves from Mokairau Farm said Steve came up his driveway for 40 years.
“He’s been a friend and a colleageue all that time, and he has an excellent eye for stock.”

Hamish Williams from Turihaua Angus Stud said three words summed up Steve Goldsbury: “Conscientious, honest and loyal.

Steve was always totally loyal to whoever he worked for, and with. Not only the farmers, but the stock companies too.
“He was always a man of great integrity and honesty. He always worked hard for whoever, and put his clients, his companies and the district before himself.”

Steve said he had been humbled by the things people had said about him as he retired.
“I had always thought I was just doing my job, servicing my clients.
“It has been very special to hear what they have said about me, and about the job I have done.
“I am proud of that and very grateful for the support I have always received.”



Gisborne-East Coast-Wairoa stock agent Steve Goldsbury reflects on a 47-year career during which time he earned the respect of the industry. He talks to reporter Murray Robertson . . .

The first thing retired Gisborne-East Coast-Wairoa stock agent Steve Goldsbury did within days of the finish of his 47-year career was head to Queensland to play lawn bowls for two months.

“Good on him” would be the call from farmers, though the lawn bowlers here might see it a bit differently, because the man with 37 centre titles already, will now get even more practice time.

Steve ended his career at the Friday sheep sale at the Matawhero saleyards on June 27 at the end of Bull Week, a week he said at the time was the “best I have ever seen”.

“It was such an unbelieveable bull sales season to be part of to end my career.”

He partnered Neville Clark, David Streeter, Jamie Hayward, Chris Hurlstone and others in the sales rostrums across his final auction season. Tributes were paid to him at each and every sale.

Steve was born in the Bay of Plenty and came here with his family to live in Cameron Road on a lifestyle block when he was 10 years of age.

He attended Riverdale School, Gisborne Intermediate and Lytton High School.

“Ken Candy and Ray Steed, two guys who had probably the longest stock trading partnership in the country at 50 years, lived over the road from us in Cameron Road, and they had a large impact on my career,” Steve said.

“Ken taught me how to draft sheep and cattle, and to sell them to best advantage. All I ever wanted to be was a stock agent and auctioneer. I don’t really know what inspired that, it just happened.”

He joined Dalgety NZ in January 1971 as a junior clerk, then they transferred him as a farm cadet to Mount Possession Station in the Ashburton Gorge in the South Island for six months.

“A 108,000-acre high country property, 25,000 sheep, and I was lucky enough to be in on the autumn muster on horseback.

“It was a great experience in such big hill country, for a boy from the warmth and beaches of Gisborne to the cold of the South Island high country.”

After that the company transferred him to Auckland, and then he took up his first stock agent’s appointment in Waiuku, then Tuakau and Papakura as an agent and auctioneer.

“I came back to Gisborne in 1978, still with Dalgety’s.”

In 1984 he and Mark Egan, Grant Allen and Murray Elsmore got the Egan Stock Agency started.

“We ran it for five years, and in 1989 I joined Williams & Kettle Ltd when W & K took the agency over. W & K became PGG Wrightson Ltd in the early 2000s.”

He was W & K’s livestock manager when Wrightson took them over.

Steve remained with PGG Wrightson until his retirement.
“If I was asked if stock agency work would be my career choice again, the answer would definitely be yes. I’ve loved it.”

Over the years, Steve represented the district in cricket and lawn bowls.

He played about 70 games for the Bay in cricket, captained the side and was a selector.
He started playing bowls in l993 when fellow stock agent John Loveridge said “I’ve got the sport for you, come with me” . . . and the rest is history.

Steve has won 37 centre titles and is regarded as one the district’s best-ever bowlers.

He said the farming clientelle he had amassed over the years as a stock agent were very special to him.
“They are wonderful people. They become your mates. Your friends.

“I have worked through three generations in some familes, like Bill, Hamish and Paul Williams for example, the Dodgshun and the Reeves families too. Those family connections feel even more special.”

Asked about his reflections over a 47-year career Steve said the droughts of 1983 and 1987 and Cyclone Bola come to the forefront of his mind.

“Particularly in the past month with the floods around Tolaga Bay first, and then the second lot across the district after that.

“Events like drought and floods mean really tough times for the farmer, because they often have to do something they don’t want to do — like sell capital stock.

“That is an extremely stressful time for a farmer, and for the agent, because you have to help them see what’s best for them downstream.”

He said the big decisions keep coming at times like that.

“The farmers are hurting and you feel for them.”

On a lighter note he recalls the way young weaner cattle used to be moved from the saleyards in Bell Road to the Matawhero railhead.

“Lots of stock were moved out of the district by rail back in the day and moving those young cattle, fresh off their mums, down to the railway was a tricky job. It was like moving a mob of young lambs . . . It could be chaotic.”

He recalled yardings at Matawhero in the earlier days of 35,000 sheep for a Friday sale.

“It has saddened me over the years to see how forestry took over what used to be good farming country here. That has decimated communities on the East Coast, and that’s sad.”

What now for Steve Goldsbury — stock agent, auctioneer and above all — stockman?
“I plan to spend a lot more time with my wife Kay and the rest of the family. We have a bach at Anaura Bay we don’t stay at much.

“We have a small boat we don’t use much, so I’ll go fishing more with my grandson Tanay, and I hope to do something for lawn bowls administration.”

The tributes flowed like water during Bull Week as Steve approached retirement.

Neville Clark described him as a “diligent and hard working stock agent”.

For “Bump” Mitchell from Whangara B20, Steve was a top stock agent.

“He’s got integrity and is a very good stockman. Steve got my children started in their careers in the industry.”

She has known Steve all her life, since they grew up close-by each other in Gisborne.
“He always did his job properly and he has earned the respect of the industry.”

Peter Reeves from Mokairau Farm said Steve came up his driveway for 40 years.
“He’s been a friend and a colleageue all that time, and he has an excellent eye for stock.”

Hamish Williams from Turihaua Angus Stud said three words summed up Steve Goldsbury: “Conscientious, honest and loyal.

Steve was always totally loyal to whoever he worked for, and with. Not only the farmers, but the stock companies too.
“He was always a man of great integrity and honesty. He always worked hard for whoever, and put his clients, his companies and the district before himself.”

Steve said he had been humbled by the things people had said about him as he retired.
“I had always thought I was just doing my job, servicing my clients.
“It has been very special to hear what they have said about me, and about the job I have done.
“I am proud of that and very grateful for the support I have always received.”

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