2016 North Harbour Business Hall of Fame Laureate

The joint owner of New Zealand’s largest 100% New Zealand owned and operated electrical wholesaler. John Spooner is a private man who inspires and challenges – and has given so much back to the community.

JA Russell was originally founded in 1951 by three friends Jack Spooner, Albert Hopkins and Russell Williamson. They began with an old house in Grafton as their warehouse and office.

A high level of personal service resulted in spectacular growth and the motto was born : The House for Top Service.

John Spooner originally trained as a lawyer gaining an LLB from Auckland University, and in 1977 joined his brother Roger at JA Russell, and today with other members of the family have created a 100% kiwi owned and operated family business.

During the 1990s, with John & Roger at the helm, J. A. Russell embarked on a new phase of expansion acquiring branches in Waikato, Northland and the Bay of Plenty.  In 2002 they took the opportunity to acquire a Christchurch based network providing 18 branches covering the South Island.

After 65 years of business there are a total of 68 branches. JA Russell is the largest, New Zealand owned, electrical wholesaler employing over 430 staff members. The company has continued to grow and prosper and is still the House for Top Service. 

A life-long resident of the North Shore, John is a member of the Rotary Club of Takapuna North and Trustee for YES Disability from the inception of the Resource Centre. The giving of his time and expertise continues to be a valuable resource for local charitable organisations and the community.

Thanks to the ongoing support of our fantastic sponsors