It all began with Thomas Wright in the late 1800’s. He was a master clockmaker and owned a jewellery store in London, England. Thomas moved to New Zealand during the gold rush and set up a jewellery store in Westport.
This trade was passed down to Walter Wright, who completed his watchmaking apprenticeship in England, before returning to New Zealand to open Wrights Jewellers in King Street, Pukekohe in 1912. However, business was tough at this time due to The Depression and World War One, but because of the dedication and hard work of Walter, the business lived on to be passed down to his youngest son Jack Wright.
William “Jack” Wright
Jack was the first of the family to complete his watchmakers apprenticeship in Auckland, but had to put his career on hold to be an instrument repairer for the Airforce in WW2. After the war ended, Jack continued to run the Pukekohe store and opened another Wrights Jewellers store in Otahuhu while Walters middle son, Oswald, opened a jewellery store in Kaikohe.
The passion for the watchmaking and jewellery business was strong in all of Jack Wright’s sons. His eldest Son, Ralph, began a clock and watchmaker apprenticeship in 1960 and qualified 5 years later. In 1966 Ralph sailed to Sydney to work servicing R.A.A.F aeroplane instruments, following on from his fathers wartime trade. Upon return, Ralph and Norris took over ownership of Wrights Jewellers in Pukekohe from father Jack.
After completing his watchmakers apprenticeship at age 18, Norris ran the Pukekohe store with his brother Ralph. In the 1970’s Wrights Jewellers Papakura was established by Norris, which operated for about a decade until Norris returned to the Pukekohe store in partnership with younger brother Gary. Norris retired in 2016.
Kevin managed Wrights Jewellers Otahuhu in the late 1960’s and later purchased the business from his father. The store was sold in the late 1980’s so that Kevin could pursue his passion with cars.
The youngest of Jacks sons, Gary came into the business in 1971 after completing his watchmakers apprenticeship under the guidance of older brother Ralph. He worked in partnership with Norris up until 2016, and is now in partnership with his daughter Rhian.
The Fourth Generation owner of Wrights Jewellers, Pukekohe, is Rhian Wright who studied business and design. She proudly carries on this tremendous legacy through the continuation of watchmaking and jewellery manufacturing in store. She continues to nurture the deep roots Wrights Jewellers has within the Pukekohe Community and create new relationships with new families coming into the area.
"Our legacy in quality jewellery and watchmaking is here for many generations to come."