We wrote this for our application in the “2018 Wellington Regional Business Excellence Awards”. We are extremely happy to announce we are a finalist in best small business.
BRIEF HISTORY OF BEGINNINGS
In early 2008, a group of friends started a private paintball group with their own equipment. The group was small, as other friends didn’t have access to their own equipment, so one member, Richard Renfrew, began building a small collection of spare equipment for extra players. He bought and repaired old gear, until he had enough to host a small group of players in his backyard. Word spread, and soon Richard was contacted by youth groups and other communities, asking if he could organise games for them. Thus, the first iteration of Paintball Corp, named Splatter Paintball, was born.
In 2012, Richard met his future business partner, Ratu Mataira, while at university. They began searching for an indoor venue to host their expanding business. After a thorough search, Richard and Ratu finally opened Paintball Corp on the 30th of June 2012, in an old warehouse on Willis Street, Wellington Central.
CHALLENGES AND IMPROVEMENTS ALONG THE WAY
This indoor field was an immediate success, bringing in many groups eager to try this new Wellington experience in its opening week. Keen to expand their growing business, Richard and Ratu took over a competitor’s company, Tag Paintball, which operated two outdoor fields in Pomare and Grenada North. At the time of acquisition, Tag Paintball was in complete disarray. The two fields in question, Hostility Creek and Isolation Hill, were barely playable, being overgrown and inaccessible. Out of 130 markers (paintball guns), Tag Paintball only had 10 working. Richard and Ratu threw themselves into the challenge of rebuilding the company from literally the ground up.
The merger came just in time. In late 2015, Paintball Corp’s Willis Street field was issued a demolition notice, and forced to shut down. Ratu decided to remain a sleeping partner, but effectively left the business. Richard stayed on, and moved Paintball Corp fully onto the two outdoor fields.
HOW WE OPERATE
Over the next three years, Paintball Corp grew into the business it is today. Each paintball group is given a thorough safety briefing, that has been crafted and tweaked over our six years in business. Our crew then takes the group to the field, guiding them safely through several games specifically chosen and adapted to fit the group’s needs.
Over the years, we have changed our approach in order to reach a broader audience. Although Paintball Corp’s marketing initially targeted work functions and stag dos, we are proud to have moved away from the more macho image of the sport to create a more inclusive, family friendly environment. Part of this move included introducing our “Reduced Impact” package to our business, opening the game to children and seniors. This has proved a great success, allowing players young and old to enjoy our fields. Our crew are also highly culturally diverse, committed to learning both official languages of New Zealand (Te Reo Maori and NZSL - New Zealand Sign Language). We firmly believe that paintball should be for everyone, and work hard to make this a reality.
WHERE WE ARE TODAY
Through six years of trial and error, Paintball Corp was built into the company it is today. Both Hostility Creek and Isolation Hill have been revamped into entirely functional venues, with safety being of the utmost importance. We host stag and hen dos, work functions, open games, galas, and birthday parties for kids and adults of all ages. As the premier paintball experts in the region, we get contacted for advice on gun maintenance, on the sale of paintball equipment, and by clubs hoping to use our facilities. We also pride ourselves on providing employment opportunities for excited young people, helping them support themselves through university and giving them a solid foundation for their future careers. Community is at the heart of what we do, and spreading joy through paintball is our key goal.
Now you know know how we started, see how we are going with Sustainability here