MHM Automation designs and supplies innovative engineered solutions to the primary and logistics sectors globally.

Our vision

To design and supply innovative food processing and packaging systems to the world.

Our Values


We are BOLD


We are Aspirational


We are in it Together


We Stand by it

We are

We solve problems, we are hardworking, courageous and straight forward.

An expectation of behaviour: hard work, resilient, solution focused, get the job done

We are

We innovate, we think differently, we can do better.

An expectation of behaviour: we innovate, we ask questions, we are confident and we solve problems.

We are in it

We are one team; for our workmates, clients and shareholders. We are proud of our diversity and our people. We do what we can to support and encourage a great work environment and excellent outcomes.

An expectation of behaviour: stringent health and safety standards, team work and support, honest and respectful behaviour.

Stand by it

Integrity is key to everything we do. We are honest and proud of our work.

An expectation of behaviour: attention to detail, integrity, always accountable and responsible, we own our behaviour.

Our Story

One company, one team, one goal.

Our story began in 1884 in Christchurch, in the South Island of New Zealand. Today, we have evolved into a global, technology and automation led story, designing and delivering systems to many of the leading food processing companies globally.

A company founded on invention; from the very beginning, our journey has been one of continuous improvement and innovation.

Our New Zealand story is one of elite primary production. As a small country, our arable lands and agricultural prowess proved viable as the close of the industrial revolution marked the beginning of global expansion.

Today, little has changed; New Zealand’s export industry is still concentrated on products from the primary sector.

Our company’s history spans 135 years and sits alongside the story of New Zealand’s development. MHM Automation exists to design and supply world-leading, innovative food processing and packaging equipment globally.

MHM and our legacy brands have helped shape the New Zealand engineering and manufacturing sectors. Years of acquisitions, growth, milestones, and perseverance have seen the original Mercer Group of businesses move to a single focused organisation. MHM Automation. One company, one team, one goal; to design and supply innovative food processing and packaging systems to the world.


MHM Automation and our legacy brands have been instrumental in shaping the New Zealand engineering and manufacturing sectors, with our roots stretching back more than 135 years.


Southern Cross Engineering (SCE) was acquired to expand and further diversify our manufacturing engineering capabilities.


Mercer Group was re-branded as MHM Automation to reflect the growing importance of automated technologies to the group and to align the three operating entities – Mercer Stainless, H&C and Milmeq – as one business.


Milmeq was purchased to extend automation capabilities into chilling and freezing and Haden and Custance was rebranded H&C Automated Solutions.


The BetaVac and AiCo product ranges were moved into Haden and Custance.


Haden and Custance was purchased by Mercer Group.


Mercer Technologies was split between Mercer Medical and Mercer Stainless, with three companies formed under the Mercer Group: Mercer Stainless – industrial fabrication and design, including AiCO and BetaVac machinery; Mercer Products – suppliers of kitchen, laundry and bathroom equipment; Mercer Medical – medical equipment, incubators, cleaning equipment and sterilisers.


Purchased Duratech Wholesale and integrated it into Mercer Products.


Purchased InMotion Engineering, in Australia.


Purchased Equipment Maintenance Ltd, owners of the BetaVac brand, and integrated it into Mercer Technologies.


Mercer Technologies division was established, integrating Mercer Medical and AiCo Products, and to focus on new R&D projects.


Medisys was purchased and a new division of the business was established: Mercer Medical.


AiCo Materials Handling was purchased and integrated into Mercer Stainless.


Robots were introduced into Haden and Custance product handling systems for the dairy industry. Milmeq pioneered the development of large-scale plate freezers for the meat processing industry.


Broadway Industries purchased South Island Dairy, fully integrated Silver Dolphin and J Mercer & Sons, and started trading as Mercer Stainless Ltd.


South Island Dairy purchased J Mercer & Sons in 1980 and continued trading under names J Mercer & Sons and Silver Dolphin.


Haden and Custance moved into providing solutions for manufacturers including palletising. Milmeq (then known as Realcold) developed automatic chilling and freezing tunnels for the meat and dairy industries.


Haden and Custance was established.


Mercer Group Limited (MGL) was first listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.


Milmeq had its beginnings in New Zealand under the name Refrigeration Engineering, providing chilling and freezing equipment to meat processors to enable the export of their product.


Silver Dolphin Industries was established as manufacturing arm of South Island Dairy Association.


South Island Dairy Association was established.


The original Mercer company, J Mercer and Sons, was established by James Mercer in Christchurch, New Zealand.

where we work

MHM Automation has completed more than 500 installations for food processing companies worldwide.

Where we Work

Our Directors

Trevor Burt


A Chartered Fellow of the NZ Institute of Directors, Trevor is an experienced director of large scale companies and is currently Chairman of New Zealand Lamb Company Ltd, Chairman of Rua Bioscience Ltd and a director of Market Gardeners Ltd and Landpower NZ Ltd. He was a previous Chairman of Ngai Tahu Holdings Corporation Ltd and Lyttelton Port Ltd and former Deputy Chairman of PGG Wrightson Ltd.

Trevor’s executive career was with the global companies Linde Group and the BOC Group and he led businesses in Australia, China, USA, and Germany, retiring from the Executive Board of the Linde Group in 2007. Since moving back to New Zealand, Trevor has had a very successful career in governance of companies in a wide range of sectors including energy, retail, distribution, and food.

Richard Rookes


Richard was appointed CEO in July 2015. Since that time, he has driven the strategic changes across the business with a view to transition the Group towards a technology-led future.

Prior to joining Mercer Group, Richard was an investment banker in New Zealand and the UK. Richard holds a B.Com, Diploma for Graduates and a Post Graduate Diploma in Commerce, all from the University of Otago.

Colin Neal


Colin founded Big Chill, a significant refrigerated trucking company in New Zealand. Colin brings a wealth of experience in supply chain logistics and procurement with an extensive network of local and international contacts.

Colin has several other business interests, both public and private. In addition to Colin’s investment in Mercer Group he has most recently acquired Smiths City. His private investments include supplying meal products to supermarket chains and food related industries.

Paul Smart

Independent Director

Paul is a Chartered Accountant and a long-standing member of the Institute of Directors. He also holds a BBS (Finance).

As an executive, Paul has served as CFO of New Zealand’s largest energy company, Meridian Energy, and prior to that, founding CFO of Sky Television.

As a professional director Paul has acted as a director, audit and finance chair and board chair for a range of companies from listed to large private companies. He is currently a non-executive director of ArborGen Holdings, Geo40, Argus Fire Systems Service and SolarCity.

George Rolleston


George joined the board in February 2019. He is the founder and Managing Director of Asset Growth Fund, based in Melbourne. He is also the director of a number of private New Zealand and Australian companies that span a range of industries.

He has a Masters of Applied Finance and a Bachelor of Law degree. George represents the interests of the majority shareholder, Asset Management Limited.

Our Executive Team

Richard Rookes


Ian McGregor


John Fredrickson


Mike Lee

GM Sales & Marketing

Shane Daly

Head of Innovation

Ross Coppard

Sales Manager – Stainless

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