Van Dam Plumbing Ltd was founded by Arie Van Dam who immigrated to New Zealand from Holland in 1951 with the goal of owning his own business. Arie and future wife, Klara emigrated together from Holland, married in New Plymouth, New Zealand and had 5 children.
He found a job as a plumbing labourer in Matamata and went on to complete an adult apprenticeship which required him to work under a plumber for 7 years. He became qualified in early 1960. In 1961 he started his business with a bike and a shovel.