family-historyA colourful family history

In 2010 Ryan, Thomas & Co celebrated 100 years of service to the local Taihape, Rangitikei and Central Districts; a history dedicated to family and the community, of which they are truly proud.

1910 – 1928

The practice was set up by Mr Alfred Mervyn Ryan during the early years of Taihape’s settlement, officially opening in 1910. Mr Ryan was commonly known as ‘Darby’ and worked out of a rented office next to the Gretna Hotel, the ‘local’ in Hautapu Street. His heavy involvement in the community such as the Moawhango Rabbit Board and A & P Association delayed his accreditation as an accountant until 1918. Later in his career, Darby earned a reputation for having the odd drink at midday which explained his often cantankerous moods in the afternoon.

1929 – 1948

Previous to 1929 farming profits were not taxed. The NZ Government then introduced the Standard Value System to recognise the significant contribution farmers were making to the country’s economy. Accounting advice and bookwork became a new requirement of farmers and Darby was swamped with business.

Enter Darby’s son, Guy William Eric Ryan and over time the father-son partnership consolidated its position in the Taihape community. Realising they required new offices they purchased Joblin’s Tui Street Chambers which was occupied at the time by the Bank of New South Wales. In the late 1940’s Darby took court action to evict the Bank after their leased expired. Later the practice moved to Tui Street where the firm still operates today.

From their new premises, the Ryans continued to develop the foundations of the practice around their clients, their client’s families and the Taihape Community. Darby retired from the business in 1948.

1950 – 1975

Due to the growing demand in the area Guy approached local Tax Inspector Colin Rae (Guy believed it was “better to have them on my side”). However the partnership only lasted for three years bringing Guy back to the same dilemma: a need for two more accountants to serve a rapidly growing clientele. In 1951 Guy hired Raymond Guy Jack Tregurtha (Trig), secretary of the A&P Association and a Hospital Board Chairman. He also took on Ronald Edward Thomas in 1954, who was secretary of the Fire Board (18 years) and involved with Rugby, Cricket, Bowls, Table Tennis and Rugby refereeing (eventually holding six life memberships).

Hence Ryan Tregurtha & Thomas, a very notable accounting team was born. Both Trig and Ron were ex Tax Inspectors and along with Guy all lived in Kaka Road which made for some interesting social evenings!

Rabbits were a significant hindrance on farmer’s incomes in the Taihape District and the firm’s partners were all instrumental in the administration of the district’s four Rabbit Boards. These boards combined in 1961 to become the Taihape Pest Destruction Board, until 1989 when the Regional Council took control. The Ryans and Ron Thomas were the main administrative driving force behind the successes these boards brought to the community and as a result, relationships between the farmers and the practice continued to grow.

Trig passed away while still practising in 1967 and the firm’s name became to ‘Ryan, Thomas & Co’.

Guy Ryan retired to Taupo in 1971 (and passed away in 1989).

1975 – today

Ron was left to practice on his own until he hired his two budding accountant sons Gary and Alan in 1975 and 1977 respectively. Both were admitted as partners in 1981; Ron stepped down in 1988 and retired in May 1997 at the ripe old age of 82.

The practice continues today on the same basis as it was set up, operating as a family business and serving the Taihape and neighbouring districts. The name ‘Ryan, Thomas & Co’ reflects a colourful history involving two local families, with Alan and Gary carrying on their father’s legacy of strong involvement in sports and community activities.

The practice has acted for many families and their interests over generations and in many cases continues to act for them even after they have left the district.