Paki Tamehana - CityDepot Site Foreman

We sat down for a quick catch up with CityDepot Site Foreman Paki Tamehana.

What’s your role at LPC?
I’ve been the Site Foreman for seven months now. Before that I was a forkhoist driver for nine years. This job is about coordinating all the trucks and trains moving in and out of CityDepot, managing our operations team on the ground, working with the CSU, VBS and Container Control teams and all the containers that move through CityDepot every day. I do a lot of talking and coordinating in my job!
So for example, right now we have a train in and we need to unload 24 full containers that are going to the Port for Fonterra and we need to back load 24 empties to head back to Darfield for packing. We have multiple trucks needing servicing and boxes moving through various Wash, Repair and Survey processes. We also have over 15 Contractors onsite building our new Wash Bay.
In our operations team, we have 17 drivers, two wash bay operators, a yardman, five container surveyors and about 15 repairs staff. The Depot is open 24/7 Monday to Friday and until 12 pm on Saturday. Lots of the work is about making sure the right people are in the right place at the right time to get the job done quickly and keep our customers happy.

What do you enjoy about your role?
No day is ever the same. It’s a great bunch of people to work with here. I also like knowing I’ve been part of something – getting things from A to B.
There’s the new wash bay that’s being constructed at the moment, that’s going to be great. We’ll be able to have 38 containers at a time to service both standard and MPI washes. Everything will be in the same place.
Lately, I’ve also been involved in the waste management contract change too, which has been interesting and I’ve learned a lot – it’s even made me rethink what we throw out at home!

Since starting in your new role, what have you learnt about being a leader and managing people?
To be a good leader you’ve got to be fair and honest. Communication is a big one too, and being able to put your hand up when you’ve made a mistake.

What’s something people may not know about you?
There are 15 kids in my whānau, we grew up in the Bay of Islands and went to a full immersion Māori primary and intermediate school.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?
Spending time with my partner. I also go on lots of walks with my dog – we go up the Bridle Path a lot – it’s more to keep me fit than her!
I also love free diving for kina, paua, crayfish and spearfishing. We usually go to Akaora or Kaikōura if the weather is good.

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