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Radiator 100 logo saraiv7Final Red Version

Radiator is turning 100 years old

This year, in May, Radiator will celebrate its centenary. This makes our magazine one of the oldest continuous publications in the country.

Publication began three years after the Garage Proprietors’ Association was set up in April 19017. It’s first editorial celebrated Radiator as “the official organ of the automobile trade in New Zealand”.

With 500 members, the association found it necessary to produce a regular form of communication for and between its members.

There was always a strong focus on representing member interests to government and within the sector. Much of the content was also designed to arm members with information and resources that would build their knowledge, skills and professionalism. Some articles were reprinted from overseas trade journals, providing insight into the markets of the US and England. Members who were well established in business wrote helpful articles for newcomers, technical knowledge was shared, legal cases involving members were discussed, and advocacy for new regulations and policies was initiated.

One hundred years later, Radiator continues that tradition in the knowledge that cooperation and collaboration benefit the trade as a whole.

Members benefit

In its first issue, Radiator published an article urging garage proprietors to stock and sell petrol, rather than leave it to storekeepers, who would quickly target buyers with spark plugs, tyres and other motoring bits and bobs. At the time, petrol was expensive, in short supply, and the regulated profit margin was very narrow. However, the article noted the demand for petrol was regular and constantly increasing: “The garage man whose whole business is dependent on petrol is the natural distributor of it”. With this in mind, the Association farsightedly negotiated with the oil companies for its members to be given the maximum possible discount for selling petrol. This put them on the same footing as dairy companies and store owners and allowed them to compete for business on even terms.

Today’s MTA has also negotiated a range of deals that provide a business advantage to members. Check out the full list of ‘business partnerships’ available to members on the Toolbox (login via