The originating company of CMI Screws & Fasteners Ltd was a Melbourne based manufacturer called Sidney Cooke Pty Ltd. Sidney Cooke were for many years makers of Printers Ink and were a well respected company located in Australia.Sources say that over one hundred years ago Mr Sidney Cooke left his office to buy himself a sandwich for lunch and whilst walking his route to the sandwich bar came across a “For Sale” sign outside a company who were Wire Nail Manufacturers. Mr Cooke made inquiries inside and exited the building owning the company and Sidney Cooke Fasteners Pty Ltd was born.

Consolidated Metal Industries (CMI) a New Zealand company also manufactured nails amongst its product range. During the mid 1960’s an arrangement was agreed upon for Sidney Cooke Fasteners (NZ) Ltd to become an associate company of CMI. The company was formed with CMI Ltd and SCF Pty Ltd each holding a 50% shareholding and this arrangement profited both parties well until the early 1980’s when CMI purchased the 50% shareholding that was held by SCF Pty Ltd.


Machine insides
CMI Screws and Fasteners was formed and became a wholly owned subsidiary of CMI Ltd. Rapid growth in both sales and production were experienced from 1974 due mainly from Government Trading Policies in operation at that time relating to a system of Import Licensing. This system effectively protected the manufacturing sector of industry against cheaper imported products from primarily Asian countries. Two main fastener manufacturers existed in New Zealand at this time these being Ajax GKN and CMI.

With both companies protected from importation it was not unusual for severely long delivery times or lead times to be experienced by customers and quite often these delivery times were in excess of 30 to 36 weeks. Lobbying to government by disenchanted retailers merchants and end user customers eventually led to the Import Licensing System being abandoned and a Free Market System being established.

Ajax GKN who were the main competitor to CMI Screws and Fasteners was forced to exit the market place due to rapidly falling demand and therefore market share. Indeed CMI also felt the impact of not having the protection it had once enjoyed and overcoming these influences meant improvement to the product range as well as investment in plant and machinery. Quite difficult decisions to make at a time when the future in the NZ manufacturing environment was not at all clear.

Lessening demand for the standard product ranges of machine screws self-tapping screws and woodscrews paved the way for CMI Screws and Fasteners to investigate the manufacture of the “bolt” range. CMI Screws and Fasteners commenced manufacturing mild steel 4.6 class bolts from M6 diameter through to M10 diameters.

Machine 2

At this time the parent company CMI were also initiating the manufacture of an entirely different nail. An agreement with Senco of Cinncinatti in the USA was signed and CMI started manufacturing Senco Nails. CMI Screws & Fasteners were called upon to assemble and collate the nail sticks for Consolidated Metal Industries.

With the introduction of the Bolt and Nut products in conjunction with the collating of the Senco Nails, CMI Screws & Fasteners were able to “weather the storm” and continue to operate as a viable and profitable company.