Diploma in Mechanical Engineering (Tool, Jig and Die Maker)
Moved to Christchurch:
Why did you choose to move to Christchurch?
I used to work for Toyota and a number of my colleagues had moved to New Zealand. My brother also came to Christchurch, so I followed him to this city.
What does your company do?
Enztec combines smart design with precision engineering to develop functional and stylish orthopaedic medical devices.
What does your job involve?
I basically run the factory. I do everything from programming the machines and scheduling everything we manufacture, to customer relationships and internal employee relationships.
I have a factory of about 17 people who report to me.
What do you enjoy about your job?
I enjoy the challenges. Nearly every month we’re making different new products for about eight to 10 international customers.
It is great to see the look on people’s faces when we turn their ideas into reality for them. There is a lot of satisfaction in this role.
I think that is what attracts our people and keeps them here – the quality of work we do and the environment we work in. It is just a great place to work.
We must be one of the top engineering groups around and our skills base comes from around the world. We have nine nationalities represented in a team of 30 people, so I get to work with the best engineers from all over the world.
How do you see your career progressing?
When I came over, I was hired as a factory supervisor. In the five years since then, I have progressed to become the manufacturing manager.
I might be in this role for some time to come, but our factory is growing rapidly and the technology we are introducing gives me the job satisfaction and challenges I enjoy.
Tell us about your lifestyle in Christchurch:
Fun at work:
It is a very social company. Our social club holds events at least every two months and we often have BBQs with all of us there.
During the workday everybody is very focussed and dedicated to their jobs, but the environment is still very friendly.
When we recruit, the focus is on skill and talent, but they also have to be a good fit in the team. So we protect our work environment in that way.
Enztec also has a “beer-o-clock” – every Friday, everyone finishes work half an hour early and gets together to have a beer or coke or whatever. We talk about the week and socialise outside of the work context.
Fun outside of work:
For me, it is mountain biking and road biking.
I go to Hanmer Springs (an alpine town 90 minutes north), but even within the city limits there is around 60 kilometres of single tracks around the Port Hills and Forest Parks, where I often go on the weekends.
Christchurch is fantastic for anyone involved in any type of outdoor activity.
While our winters are colder than a lot of places in New Zealand, they are drier as well. So you can train all year round if you’re in to multisports, running or biking.
They love it! My wife works for a real estate company and we love the people here, who are very, very friendly.
My kids love it too. The schooling is excellent; you can’t compare it to schooling in South Africa, which is so regimented. Here, the kids are nurtured and taught, rather than “schooled”. So my kids are happy, my wife is happy, so I am happy!
Life in Christchurch:
The parks and recreational areas are fantastic. Every suburb has its own little park.
We live near Rugby Park, which is where the Crusaders rugby team trains, so we see them often, which is cool!
The social scene is quite vibrant too – there are coffee shops around every corner and lots of pubs and bars in the city. There are tonnes of things to do and places to go.
We have young kids, but we still go out quite often and there are many places that are very kid friendly.
Christchurch is pretty affordable as well, compared with many other countries around the world.
We have lots of friends who are also migrants and they all love the city too. Although Christchurch is smaller than a typical big city, it’s still got everything that a big city has.
After the earthquakes, we considered moving to the North Island or Australia even, but the family liked Christchurch too much to do that.
So we’ve stayed and I am glad we did. We love it!