Former professional rugby player Tony Marsh is tackling a new career in commercial real estate – and he’ll be playing a key role in Colliers International’s Auckland growth strategy.
Marsh joins Colliers in a new role focusing on the high-growth Counties/Franklin area, which encompasses the emerging hubs of Pukekohe and Paerata.
He is an ideal fit, having built a strong profile and lasting relationships in the area throughout his career.
As a professional rugby player, Marsh had over 50 appearances for Counties Manukau and helped to clinch Super Rugby titles for the Blues and Crusaders.
Marsh’s rugby career culminated in representing France at an international level, including against the All Blacks at the Rugby World Cup in 2003.
His career outside sports was also established in the Counties/Franklin area, with Marsh spending six years in the New Zealand Police in the mid-1990s, based at Papakura.
He will also be working closely with Industrial National Director Greg Goldfinch, who he’s known for three decades.
“Marshy and I go way back to the mid-1980s, when we played rugby and cricket, both with and against each other, starting off in the Counties Manukau Goldfields rugby team,” says Goldfinch.
“Years later, we were both in the police together as Marshy’s rugby career was taking off. We were even on prison escort together, transporting the prisoners from Papakura Court to Mt Eden Prison.
“Now we’ve come full circle and will be working alongside each other. I’m thrilled to have Marshy on board – he’s a highly driven individual and a great fit with the Colliers team in South Auckland.”
Barnes says Colliers has long recognised the potential of the Counties/Franklin area.
“Pukekohe, Paerata and the surrounding areas are expected to attract substantial investment and development as Auckland’s growth accelerates.
“We wanted to make sure Colliers had the right person on the ground to capture this growth, so as a business we’ve taken the time to get it right.
“Tony is exactly the person we need to drive our growth strategy in Counties/Franklin. He’s a familiar face in the area, has great local knowledge, and can draw on numerous established relationships in the community.
“Most importantly, he’s a great fit with the Colliers culture of doing what’s right to accelerate success of our clients and people.”
Marsh has a solid business background and strong community ties to draw on.
He has a Certificate in Exercise Science from AUT and has recently focused on fitness-related ventures, including Fit-Pak and the development of a fitness app.
He also currently sits on the high-performance board for Counties Rugby and is an ambassador for several health and wellbeing organisations.
Marsh says he’s excited to cut his teeth in one of Auckland’s key growth markets.
“There’s so much potential to tap into, with significant development anticipated in Pukekohe, Paerata and surrounding areas over the next 30 years.
“The Auckland Plan has identified some 1,700ha of future urban development land, which could accommodate 14,000 dwellings and 34,000 new residents.
“All of this development will require a significant investment in infrastructure, to be staged over the next 10 years.
“Transport upgrades will include roading improvements, electrification of the rail line from Papakura to Pukekohe, and a new train station at Paerata.
“This will bring huge opportunities for commercial, industrial and retail offerings servicing the local community and the wider Counties/Franklin area.”
Auckland Council has prioritised Paerata, where 790ha has been identified for urban development, including 330ha of land that is ready to develop now.
The Pukekohe-Paerata Structure Plan, adopted last year, envisions a mix of apartments and terrace houses centred on the new Paerata train station, with less intensive housing further out.
The first stages of Paerata Rise, which will comprise a boutique community of up to 4,500 new homes, are already underway.
Paerata Rise is only five minutes’ drive from Pukekohe’s town centre, which is set to undergo a regeneration programme led by Panuku Development Auckland and the Franklin Local Board.
“I’m thrilled to be leading Colliers’ strategy in this dynamic market at such an exciting time,” comments Marsh.