There are several new faces at the KeelowCraft Boats factory in Gore, but for the company it’s business as usual.
New production manager Shayne Harris has spent three months in the business after shifting down from Canterbury to work for KeelowCraft.
Mr Harris spent 30 years in the Royal New Zealand Air Force as a trained aircraft technician.
For the last eight years, he was the Technical Officer at the air force Museum of New Zealand in Wigram.
“At the museum, I was in charge of the restoration and maintenance of the aircraft,” he said.
With his new position at KeelowCraft, he has been able to swap planes for boats, in a case of turning his hobby and sport into his day job, and he is loving it.
He is a keen follower of KeelowCraft boats, having been a committee member of the Canterbury Branch of Jet Boating New Zealand.
Wendy den Hertog took on the new role of business manager after restructuring the management roles in May.
“I joined the team a year and a-half ago, part-time doing accounts when Gillian [Terry] decided to move to China to be with Dwayne full-time,” Mrs den Hertog said.
“Gillian phoned me at home, as she had heard I wasn’t working.
“I wasn’t actively looking for work as I was at home with my toddler. However, the flexible hours and a great working team tempted me back into the workforce” she said.
Mrs den Hertog now oversees all the administrative functions of the business while Mr Harris concentrates on daily operations.
In the factory, it is business as usual.
Joshua Kingipotiki is in his first month in the job as a boatbuilder/engineer.
He has relocated his young family from Invercargill to join the team.
Foreman Ashley McDowell has 11 years’ experience with KeelowCraft.
Andy Crawford and Jon Paul Bascones complete the boatbuilding team while Elliot Warwood handles all jet-boat maintenance and repairs.
James Spinks is working at KeelowCraft while doing his Gateway course through the Southern Institute of Technology.
The crew has just finished work on a 15-seat commercial boat for Dart River Safaris in Glenorchy.
KeelowCraft is also looking forward to continuing its ongoing relationship with Shotover Jet in Queenstown to replace the company’s fleet of boats over the next few years.