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Les Cleveland

Les Cleveland was many things; a successful businessman, regional councillor, opera singer, conservationist, philanthropist and gardener. Les’ efforts in the former resulted in his receiving the Otago Region Gardener of the Year Award in 2010.

Other recognitions such as his OBE in 1995 and Dunedin Citizen of the Year in 1997 are a testament to his contributions both to the Otago Region and New Zealand as a nation.

Les’ passion for gardening saw him donate more than two million daffodil bulbs and 8000 rhododendrons that grace many of Dunedin's public spaces today.

For the Gough TWL team, we are most thankful for the company he formed from humble beginnings in his private garage in Dunedin in 1966.

Almost 50 years later, we remember Les as larger-than-life. He was certainly ahead of his time in many respects in regards to the environment and culture he created for his staff.

The TWL Fairfield, Dunedin head office of the 1970s featured a squash court and full-time cook, with fresh baking for the team at morning and afternoon teas. Les genuinely worked hard for his team and they reciprocated in kind.

Today we thank Les for establishing what we believe is a special team culture in one of New Zealand’s greatest and most enjoyable industries in which to work.

The Gough Group team would like to offer their deepest condolences to the Cleveland family and particularly Les’ sons Peter and Ray who have both been a big part of the TWL and Gough Group family over many years.


Scott Holt
National Manager - Transport - Gough Group