Parts Manager — CLAAS Harvest Centre, Bay of Plenty
Where do you come from?
Bloemfontein, South Africa and I Moved to New Zealand with my parents and sister in December 1997.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I started a pre-trade course at Waiariki polytechic in Feb 1998 after completing that I worked at Repco for 18 months before starting my apprenticeship at Goughs CAT as a diesel technician, I worked as a diesel mechanic for just under 10 years, Had a change in career for 3.5 yrs working at Off Road NZ as a mechanic and guide before starting at CLAAS Harvest Centre as Parts Manager and been here for almost 5 years now. I’m married to a kiwi lady Yvette and have 2 kids Sean 14 and Courtney 11. We are a pretty busy family enjoying a number of outdoor activities such as camping, tramping, kayaking, mountain biking, fishing, and hunting. We are just in the process of buying a lifestyle block and looking forward to being mini farmers and having the opportunity of living in a community with a number of our customers.
How long have you worked at CLAAS Harvest Centre?
I joined the team in 2012
What does a typical day involve?
A typical day for me involves opening up the branch in the morning and unpacking all the incoming freight and getting it all sorted for the techs for the day, then processing invoices of all incoming stuff and charging out accordingly. My parts assistant Rod and I are kept pretty busy providing parts support to the techs in the workshop and to customers over the counter, and then there are all the background jobs that go with running a successful parts department ( stock taking etc.)
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I really enjoy the variety that the role brings and dealing with customers face to face but still being involved in a familiar industry with my diesel tech background. It gives me great satisfaction being able to supply the parts needed to keep our customers going as quite often they have very small windows of time to get their job done.
How did you find the immigration process? How long did it take?
I did not have too much involvement in the immigration process, as I came over with my parents they had to deal with all of that side of it, it was a pretty exciting concept moving to a new country though and I have fully embraced the new life over here.
What do you like about living in New Zealand?
I absolutely love living in Rotorua, the lifestyle opportunities are endless, we have some of the best mountain biking tracks in the world right on our door step( and it is free to access) we have 13 lakes all within ½ hour drive from town and all teaming with trout so makes it really easy to go out for a quick fish or paddle after work. If you into snow sports it’s a 2-3 hour drive down to the mountain and same sort of time to the big smoke of Auckland, so we do live nice and centrally
What thing has taken longest to get used to?
Probably the one thing that has taken me the longest to get used to is the weather coming from a very dry province in South Africa it feels like it never stops raining here but then on the flip side I reckon if you coming from parts of the UK it might seem really good.
What advice do you have for others contemplating moving to New Zealand?
If I can give any advice to anyone thinking of coming over here it would be get over here and experience it yourself everyone has different expectations and what is awesome for one may not be for someone else and if you do come over fully embrace your new home so many come over and say “oh it is not like this at home”.