The COOKE Group of Companies began in New Zealand over 95 years ago, when the founder, Mr W L Cooke, commenced in business as a Plumber and Heating Engineer.
It was with a background of two generations of the family business as plumbers and sheetmetal workers in Cork, Southern Ireland that preceded the arrival of the Cooke family in New Zealand in 1923. The family plumbing and sheetmetal business was started by Bartholomew Cooke in 1856. He was later joined by his son, and they operated as B Cooke & Son in Tuckey Street, Cork, and traded for over 60 years.
Ireland was beset with political and civil unrest during the period around and after World War 1, and on the untimely death of their father in 1922, the Cooke family closed down their business in Cork and made the decision to leave Ireland to settle in New Zealand. In November 1923, Mrs. W L Cooke with her four sons and two daughters arrived in Auckland to start their new lives.
William Levingston Cooke (Bill), the eldest son, who was named after his father, trained as a plumber in Dublin and London, and carried on his trade after the family’s arrival in New Zealand in November 1923. In 1925 he commenced in business on his own account, operating his own small business from a large garage at his Remuera home, and in 1929 the business W L Cooke Ltd. was formed.
In the mid 1930s a property was purchased in Kent St. Newmarket, and the business transferred to that location. In those early years, plumbing and heating were the core business, and it was from these origins that the group has developed.
The businesses are now located on a group owned 18,000m² industrial site in Penrose, Auckland. David Cooke, the present Chairman of the group companies, joined in 1952, and his son Andrew, current Managing Director of Cooke Industries, followed in 1992.
The trading companies in the Cooke Group of Companies comprise:
Cooke Industries Ltd - Manufacturer of air handling, air distribution and acoustic products. Importer and distributor of heating, cooling, air diffusion, dehumidification, heat recovery, and air treatment products.
Cooke Plumbing Company Ltd - Service company offering commercial installation and maintenance in the plumbing and gas fitting fields.