Tiwai Pointer

July to September 2018
Tiwai Pointer

Excellent emergency response saves Line 3

During the early hours of Sunday 9 September, a serious fire destroyed the Line 3 office block/cribroom at NZAS.  Thankfully no-one was injured.

In addition to the Tiwai Fire Brigade, six other fire crews from Invercargill and Bluff fought the blaze.  Access to the fire ground proved difficult due to the building being located between the Potlines.

NZAS General Manager, Stew Hamilton, was very appreciative of the efforts from the smelter team and emergency services.  “My sincere thanks to everyone who helped out during this emergency, particularly the prompt and professional response from the Tiwai Fire Brigade and Fire & Emergency NZ.  The fire crews did a great job containing the fire to the office block only.”

“I would also like to acknowledge the many employees who came in on their rostered days off to assist and everyone who has been helping since.  People across multiple Reduction Line crews and other teams on site went above and beyond to support this work.  This is a shining example of the NZAS team pulling together and taking Tiwai pride in our operation.  We have managed to recover without cause of injury and without losing a cell which is an outstanding achievement,” he said.

Fire investigators have been on site to determine the cause.  The full investigation report will be released when available.

NZAS & Southland Girls’ High School winners at Energy Excellence Awards

Stew Hamilton & Yvonne Browning at SGHS

The NZAS and Southland Girls’ High School education partnership has been recognised at the Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards by winning the ‘Community Initiative of the Year’ category.

Stew Hamilton, NZAS GM, was delighted with the win, “This is great recognition for our partnership with Southland Girls' High School (SGHS).  Now in its eleventh year we have hosted our 49th student from SGHS on site, and with half the girls who have participated in the partnership going on to study engineering, I think we can say we are achieving our goal of encouraging more young women into what remains a very male dominated profession.”

One other unexpected result of the partnership is that the numbers of girls enrolling in Year 13 physics at the school has tripled over the past five years.  Physics has become a hot subject at Southland Girls’ High School!

At the same time NZAS is also continuing its efforts to increase the number of women on site and has already seen an upswing from 6.7% of the workforce to 8% this year.

The Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards is the premier event for the New Zealand energy sector attended this year by nearly 700 of that sector's key influencers and leaders.  

Stew Hamilton and Andrea Carson attended the SGHS senior school assembly to celebrate the win.  Yvonne Browning (Principal) is pictured holding the trophy, which will be on display at the school for the rest of the year.


Today’s students are tomorrow’s engineers …

Four of Southland Girls’ High School’s (SGHS) top Year 13 students have completed six days on site as part of the eleventh annual NZAS/SGHS education partnership.

Imogen Wyatt and Hannah Chatfield worked in Reduction, Laura Dennis spent her time in the Laboratory, while Korn Chulabha was in the Casthouse.  Their projects looked at comparing NZAS’ standard cell design against future cell design; the impact of cell hood removal on fume emissions in Reduction; comparative sodium analysis on carbon material and the effect of air flow through the billet casting graphite ring.

Imogen worked alongside her host, Prasanth Gopalakrishnan, in Reduction and really enjoyed her time on site.  “Having the opportunity to work in the industry has been extraordinary.  I consider myself grateful to have been granted this experience, as I have had the opportunity to see where I may end up in the future as a female engineer.  From day one, I have been treated like a ‘local’ down here and I think that this has made the week fly by,” she said.

Prasanth Gopalakrishnan (left) & SGHS student Imogen Wyatt, taking measurements in Reduction

Imogen’s project looked at comparisons between NZAS’ standard cell design and the future cell design.  Cell design plays a vital role in cell life and mV savings.  Imogen has carried out several cathode current distribution measurements on three different designs of cells to compare the current mV savings and understand their behaviour.

Thank you to everyone who helped with this year’s education partnership, particularly site hosts Prasanth Gopalakrishnan, Mike Dikstaal, Cheryl Kemp, Ray Cook and Greg Masters.

We wish this year’s students all the very best as they head to university in 2019.

SGHS students and NZAS site hosts (from left) Korn Chulabha, Greg Masters, Laura Dennis, Cheryl Kemp, Hannah Chatfield, Imogen Wyatt, Ray Cook, Mike Dikstaal & Prasanth Gopalakrishnan

NZAS continues to support budding scientists

NZAS judges Kathryn Roy & Ben Conway pictured with Nikita Middleton (left) & Pyper Allen of Hillside Primary School with their exhibit ‘Does your sense of smell affect your sense of taste?’

The 2018 NZAS Southland Science & Technology Fair was held in September, with 277 primary and secondary school students participating.

NZAS not only provides funding, but more importantly, provides the majority of helpers for the fair, with 23 employees volunteering this year, many for multiple days.  The smelter also provides administration support and has three people on the organising committee.

Stew Hamilton, NZAS GM, was very pleased at the amount of support provided by the company, “Science underpins everything we do at Tiwai – without science there would be no aluminium.  Of course technology also plays a major role in our everyday work at the smelter, so it was great to have seen so many members of the team applying their knowledge and skills at this year’s Fair,” he said.

This year’s major prize winners were:

NZAS Premier Science Award

Michael Chesney and Charlotte Collie from Verdon College for their project ‘Phytomining’.  They investigated the ability of different plant species to extract metals from the soil.  Michael and Charlotte also received the NZAS Award for Excellence in Science (Year 9 & 10), a Gold Award for Science & Technology, Best Exhibit related to Metals or Mining, Best Exhibit related to Statistics, an Environment Award from Environment Southland, and the Tania Lineham Science Communication prize.

NZAS Premier Technology Award

Travis Chittenden of Halfmoon Bay School for his project ‘Kiwi on the move’.  He designed a robotic kiwi for use in kiwi avoidance training for dogs on Stewart Island.  Travis also received the NZAS Award for Excellence in Technology (Year 7 & 8), a Gold Award for Science & Technology, Best Exhibit related to Conservation, and an Environment Award from Environment Southland.

Power Supply is on Full Charge!

Coursing through the power lines you drive past every day is about the same amount of electricity as the residential load of Auckland.  As by far, New Zealand’s single largest consumer of electricity our team at Power Supply is one of the busiest in the country and right now things are really humming with several big projects on the go.

R22 Rectiformer

A new Rectifier cubicle is being installed on R22.  The photo below shows the north cubicle, which weighs 13.6 tonnes, being hydraulically jacked in place by Multitrans.


Line 4 DC switches

The 16 switch contact points have had to be replaced and were physically cut from the bus by a hydraulic wall saw.  New switch components were sourced from France and the switches were reassembled by the Power Supply maintenance team and Sheet Metalcraft.

The switches then had to be welded into the bus, which was a lot of work with four reels of wire consumed on each switch (equivalent to over 3 kms of welding on all switches!).  Four welders worked long days including Saturday mornings to complete this work.

The following photo shows a switch with welded stack plates on each side.  There are four switches per rectiformer bay.


T41 Transformer

As Line 4’s equipment is outside and been  idle for six years, a lot of work checking, testing, cleaning and recommissioning has had to be carried out prior to the restart of the potline.

T41 transformer was ‘tented’ and the transformer’s external temperature heated which helped to reduce temperature loss from the shell of the transformer. 

T41 holds a whopping 66,000 litres of oil.  The oil temperature had to be raised to around 45 degrees to remove moisture.  This work was carried out by Tex Onsite.

Bus between Lines 3 and 4

The photo below shows the bus between R34 (Line 3) and Line 4.  The bus was cut and alloy blocks welded in place.  This allowed a bypass to be bolted in to short-circuit the Rectiformers R41 and R44 to allow for electrical testing before actual start-up.

The bypass will be removed after testing and link plates installed.  These will allow switches at R34 to be repaired at a later date.

There has been a lot of work by the Power Supply maintenance team and Rectifier Control Officers to get the equipment ready for livening.

Don’t be afraid to call the ambulance (dial x 888)

Nurse Sheila Eastley & Security/Ambulance Officer Karl Frahm

Each year there are a number of medical events or injuries where the NZAS ambulance has not been called, and there appears to be hesitation or sometimes reluctance to call for the ambulance.  On these occasions people have been transported to the Medical Centre by departments in other vehicles.  These vehicles and the people transporting patients are not equipped or trained to handle medical events, and are inadvertently increasing the risk to the patient.

Please don’t ever be afraid to call for the NZAS ambulance if you or one of your workmates are feeling ill or have suffered an injury.  Sometimes it is crystal clear that the ambulance is required, but at other times we might think we are overreacting by calling one because the situation doesn’t appear to be life-threatening, but sometimes what looks like a minor illness can actually be potentially fatal.  In those circumstances any delay in assessment or unnecessary movement could significantly reduce a person’s ability to recover. 

Our Medical Centre/Security team would much rather deal with a false alarm than have someone suffer a more serious medical event/condition by not calling for their assistance.

Check out the examples below which may look like minor symptoms but could easily turn into serious health conditions:

  • A pain in the shoulder/arm or suspected indigestion could be early symptoms of a heart attack
  • Sudden weakness, dizziness and blurred vision may be early symptoms of a stroke
  • Sudden onset of headache, visual disturbance could result in a seizure



As you can see, minor symptoms can develop into serious health issues very quickly, so please call x 888 to get medical assistance straight away.

NZAS employees’ long service celebrated

NZAS celebrated the outstanding contribution of 100 employees who reached service milestones over the past year by holding a special dinner to thank them for their continued hard work and loyalty to the company.  

All of their service added together amounted to a staggering 2,120 years!  Murray Rees from the Casthouse was acknowledged as being only the second NZAS employee to reach 45 years’ service - unfortunately he wasn’t able to attend the function.  Five employees completed 40 years, 19 achieved 35 years, nine completed 30 years, and eight 25 years of service.  Other attendees included those who had achieved 20, 15 and 10 years’ service.

During his speech, GM Stew Hamilton acknowledged that everything achieved at NZAS is down to its people and thanked everyone for their hard work and dedication.

40 years

(From left) Liu Nimo (R), David Bowie (A) & Kevin Todd (A)

Absent:  Dave Rosanowski(A) & Dave Brett (R)


30 years

(From left) Back row:  Bruce Malcolm (R) & John Pile (R)

Front row:  Ian Boutherway (C&L), Wayne Andrews (A), Doug Nicolson (A) & Steve Strathern (C&L)

Absent:  Manu Hikawai (R), Peter Marshall (C&L) & Neil Grindlay (R)

15 years

(From left) Back row:  Graeme Hibbs (C&L), Danny Bisschop (R), Justin Boyt (R), Paul Horo (C&BI), Darryl Smith (A) & Robin Kyle (R)

Front row:  Nigel Hill (R), Doug Barlow (A), Antony Maloney (C&L), Kim Hill (Mgmt) & Tim Talamahina (R)

Absent:  Matt Burke (C&BI), Chris McDonald (C&BI), Wayne Stephens (C&BI), Glenn Kemp (R), Peter Marshall (R), Marty Black (R), Darrell Moodie (A), Richard Moss (R), Tony Carson (C&BI), Brodie Cunningham (A), Michael Lindsay (R), Curly Hardiman (C&L), Brett Beker (C&L), Greg Wright (C&L) & Garry Duggan (R)

35 years

(From left) Back row:  Laurie Rangi (C&SS), Joe Wynne (A), Dave Saunders (C&L), Gilbert Spriggs (C&L) & Ian Smith (C&L)

Front row:  Doug Ronald (C&BI), Lindsay O’Brien (C&BI), Bruce Fraser (R), Warwick Gray (A) & David Cloake (C&L)

Absent:  Kevin Turnhout (C&L), Trevor Gregory (A), Rob Donaldson (R), Rick Oudt (C&SS), Trevor Eddy (C&BI), Graeme Smith (R), Mark Duncan (C&L), Barry Simmonds (C&SS) & Dave Fannin (A)

20 & 25 years

(From left):  George Davison (R) 20, Paul Sexton (C&SS) 20, Jeannene Gilkison (C&SS) 20, Russell Frisby (R) 25 & Grant Cuff (C&SS) 25

Absent:  Cheryl Kemp (C&SS) 25, Scott Gorrie (A) 25, Roger Hackett (A) 25, Mark Quertier (A) 25, Philip Page (A) 25 & Neville Chamberlain (C&L) 25

10 years

(From left) Back row:  Ray Cook (C&L), Jeff Duggan (C&L), Jody Young (C&L), Shaun Gray (R), Gareth Wishart (C&BI), Peter Hunt (R), Chris Sanders (R) & Paul Bryan (C&L)

Front row:  Karen Sturman (C&SS), Richard Snoek (R), Jamie Hotton (C&L), Andrew Brown (C&BI), Craig Scarlett (C&SS) & Jacqueline O’Reilly (C&BI)

Absent:  Dale Forbes (A), Dwayne Ridd (A), Peter Low (C&L), Rebecca Faithfull (C&SS), Alan Edgley (R), Tony Clay (C&L), Mark Bantang (C&L),Chloe Harvey (C&SS), Wayne Spooner (R), Glenn Scott (C&SS), Rodney Lietze (A), Brendon Andrews (R), Stacey Jefcoate (A), Tony O’Driscoll (A) & John McCann (R)

New Training & Development Team

Recognising that we have many people approaching a well-deserved retirement and that we will have more and more new starters walking in the gate, a new Training & Development team has been established at NZAS.  Training that used to be done by trainers within the crews is now organised by a team of specialised trainers who are based outside production crews.

Debbie Rankin leads the team and is supported by training co-ordinator Leanne Pavitt,  along with trainers Andrew Brown & Paul Wood (Rodding), Mark Christian (Reco), Iki Talamahina, Garry Tucker , Rob Donaldson & Andy Braven (Reduction), Shane Hamill, Curly Hardiman, Bruce McIntyre & Phil Gilligan (Casthouse) and Mike Eckhold (Bake & Green).

With more than 70 new employees starting over just the last three months, a lot of support has been required from leaders, the training team and crew trainers.

First ‘Hub’ intake group (from left) Curly Hardiman (Trainer), Cody de Vries, Guri Singh, Jonathan Curry, Paul Wood (Trainer), Bijoy Regmi, Garry Tucker (Trainer), Andrew Johnston, Gina Nathan, Laura Molloy & Myra Eden

“The crew trainers and assessors are doing an excellent job supporting our new starters.  In addition, the team is also training Process Controllers and rolling out department inductions.  I am very appreciative of the positive feedback I have received from around site while we have been transitioning to the new team structure,” said Debbie.  

Alan Strong and Phil Henderson from the Assets team also have a portion of their roles as trainers and are currently being up-skilled to enable them to deliver training to maintenance teams for tasks such as isolation and using portable hydraulic tools.

The Training & Development team are based upstairs in the Reduction Maintenance building and can be contacted via: 

  • Debbie Rankin - x 5723
  • Leanne Pavitt - x 5920
  • Training Officers (hub) - x 5833, x 5834 &  x 5749
  • Please forward all training requests to NZAS.Training@pacificaluminium.com.au

Business Improvement update

Black Belt training
A wave of Black Belt training was completed in May and June.  NZAS employees Jacqueline O’Reilly, Gareth Wishart, Andrew Wilson, Lily Wallis and Greg Masters are now working on projects to complete their certification and once qualified will work on ‘Critical Few’ projects for NZAS.

Kim Hill and Darren Campbell (NZAS Black Belts) provided the training as part of their Master Black Belt certification.

The Critical Few projects are displayed on the Site Information Centre board and are assessed weekly to ensure that they will be delivered on time or if they need more resources and people.  The board is located in the Operations Building across the corridor from the GM’s office.  Pop in and have a look next time you are passing by.

Black Belt candidates at Kalori, Gladstone

Building Full Potential
A Building Full Potential (BFP) desktop workshop was held on site in early July led by Shane Tinnock.  More than $16 million of improvement ideas were identified and grouped into five streams:

  •  Effective use of carbon materials
  •  Ultra High Purity strategy
  •  Reduction power block utilisation
  •  Process stability and drumbeat
  •  Reducing Casthouse scrap & WIP

A subsequent Deep Dive was held later in the month to develop pathways to achieve the targeted value.  The Deep Dive was run slightly differently this year, with more of

a targeted focus to achieve more detailed action plans and involving fewer people than we have previously involved.

Part of the Deep Dive is determining what existing projects or potential projects should be included into the 2019-2023 planning process.

Other ideas that didn’t make it to a mini Project Charter have been collated and forwarded to department specialists for future consideration.

A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who participated, particularly those who came in on rostered days off.

Jacqueline O’Reilly – Business Improvement


Tiwai apprentices ‘spark up’ the competition during electricians' challenge

Two apprentices from NZAS competed in the Southland round of the Master Electricians Apprentice Challenge, an annual competition held across New Zealand to find the country’s best electrical apprentice in the ‘Industrial’ and ‘Commercial/Domestic’ divisions.

David Te Rangi (Power Supply Maintenance) competed in the Industrial division and Lachlan O’Driscoll (Reduction Maintenance) in the Commercial/Domestic division, with Lachlan showing excellent skills by winning his category.

Alan Sadlier (Specialist, Electrical & Instrument Workshops) watched both

David Te Rangi competing in the Industrial division

apprentices in action.  “I was really impressed with the skill level that both Lachlan and David showed during the competition.  It is not an easy challenge as there were a variety of tasks to complete within a limited timeframe, including fault-finding on a domestic switchboard, wiring up a network controlled lighting circuit, building network cabling and testing and writing a PLC program, to name a few.  They both put a lot of effort into preparing for the competition and did NZAS proud.”

Unfortunately Lachlan just missed out on qualifying for the national final, as only the top five apprentices throughout the country gained entry.

Lachlan O’Driscoll competing in the Commercial/Domestic division of the Southland Master Electricians Apprentice Challenge

NZAS at the cutting edge of virtual reality

Research think tank the Callaghan Institute said that when it came to the application of virtual reality, NZAS was far in advance of any other real industrial centre they had seen.

We have the drive and expertise of Superintendent IT & Group Cyber Security, Kurtis Longman to thank for that.

Recognising his skill the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) asked Kurtis to teach advanced cyber security classes to Bachelor and Post Grad IT students.

While he was there, Kurtis asked if SIT would be interested in offering an internship for one of their student’s to work on the NZAS Virtual Reality (VR) projects.  VR is an interactive 3D computer-generated experience within a simulated environment.  The value and opportunity lies in the ability of VR to create immersive environments that can be interacted with.

Edgar Kim (left) & Kurtis Longman with the virtual reality equipment

At that time student Edgar Kim was looking for a thesis topic for his Masters degree, and SIT asked if Edgar could base his thesis on aspects of the NZAS work – to which the answer was yes and his internship commenced.  Kurtis also agreed to become one of Edgar’s thesis supervisors.

Edgar carried out some great work on site and upon completion of his studies, was employed by NZAS to accelerate the development of a number of specific VR projects.

So what makes VR so useful?

  • Studies show VR can be a very powerful training tool
  • VR can be used for visualising complex situations by enabling enable the recreation of situations or scenarios that can’t be done in real life, eg recreating safety incidents
  • VR is pioneering technology – various virtual reality scenarios at NZAS can be created and applied to areas such as safety, training, inductions, site tour and complex projects

Kurtis first had the idea of using VR at NZAS in 2008 and performed discretionary R&D over the following eight years.  It took until 2015 for the headset technology to catch up.  Virtual reality technology then became a viable option with the arrival of low cost, capable, consumer grade technology.

Proof of concept work was produced by Kurtis over the next couple of years to determine what might be possible.

VR applications currently underway include:

  • Recreating safety incidents
  • Major projects such as Carbon Bake Furnace No. 1 crane replacement by creating a model of the replacement plan which is then studied by engineers and used to develop and improve the plan.  Project contractors are then invited to use VR to improve their understanding of a complex project, thereby improving safety by simulating the whole process first which helps to identify hazards and controls
  • Graduate recruitment tool to showcase NZAS operations during roadshows
  • VR site tour for some visitors
  • Isolation training
  • Reduction operations training
  • Hot Metal Carrier driving experience

The future of virtual reality technology is incredibly exciting - watch this space!

Stacey Jefcoate (Systems Support Officer) driving a virtual Hot Metal Carrier in Reduction
This picture of CBF2 in high detail shows the cutting edge/advanced technical nature of virtual reality technology

New Starters – July to September 2018

Welcome to our new starters: 

  • Barry Todd – Superintendent CCG, Assets
  • James Close – Operator, Operations C2, Casting & Logistics
  • Corrie Sutton – Refractory Sealer, Green & Bake Carbon C5, Carbon & Business Improvement 
  • Ashley Richmond – Refractory Sealer, Green & Bake Carbon C5, Carbon & Business Improvement 
  • Ben McCoy – Operator, Rodding C4, Carbon & Business Improvement
  • Sam Patton – Line 4 Superintendent, Reduction
  • Kylie Scobie – Refractory Sealer, Green & Bake Carbon C5, Carbon & Business Improvement
  • Ray Stephens – Refractory Sealer, Green & Bake Carbon C5, Carbon & Business Improvement
  • Courtney Myron – Operator, Line 4 C3, Reduction
  • Elenoa Pe’a – Operator, Line 2 C3, Reduction
  • Liz Reid – Operator, Line 3 C3, Reduction
  • Stew Hamilton – General Manager, NZAS 
  • Justin Johnstone – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Kale Thompson – Mechanical Tradesperson, Mechanical Workshops, Assets
  • Jardin Dunnick – Operator, Reconstruction C1, Reduction
  • Mark Fletcher – Refractory Bricklayer, Green & Bake Carbon C5, Carbon & Business Improvement
  • Adam Henery – Services Operator, Shipping Services C1, Casting & Logistics
  • Shannon Griffin – Services Operator, Shipping Services C2, Casting & Logistics
  • Tim Nicoll – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Jonathan Harwood – Mechanical Tradesperson, Breakdown Response C3&4, Assets 
  • Taylor Brown – Services Operator, Shipping Services C4, Casting & Logistics
  • Sam Fairbairn – Services Operator, Shipping Services C3, Casting & Logistics
  • Paul Cross – Services Operator, Shipping Services C2, Casting & Logistics
  • Zane Farrow – Laboratory Technician, Analytical & Monitoring Services, Commercial & Support Services
  • Mahmoud Emamjomeh – Metallurgist, Analytical & Monitoring Services, Commercial & Support Services
  • TeOne Murchie – Operator, Green & Bake C3, Carbon & Business Improvement
  • Robert Calvert – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Alan Strong – Contractor & Training Supervisor, Carbon & Services Maintenance, Assets
  • Phil Henderson – Contractor & Training Supervisor, Molten Metal Maintenance, Assets
  • Seth Ward – Electrical Tradesperson, Breakdown Response C1&2, Assets
  • Jared Simpson – Operator, Green & Bake C2, Carbon & Business Improvement
  • Derick Trollip – Specialist Process Engineer, Technical, Carbon & Business Improvement
  • Nick McFadzien – Trades Assistant Mechanical, Casthouse Maintenance, Assets
  • Angela Barwick – Operator, Rodding C4, Carbon & Business Improvement


  • Keith Bryan – Mechanical Tradesperson, Breakdown Response C1&2, Assets
  • Pipi Mainland – Operator, Operations C1, Casting & Logistics
  • Max Crawford – Mechanical Tradesperson, Casthouse Maintenance, Assets
  • David Heslin – Electrical Tradesperson, Breakdown Response C2&3, Assets
  • Luke Haru – Operator, Operations C1, Casting & Logistics
  • Roy Abbott – Electrical Tradesperson, Breakdown Response C1&2, Assets
  • Matt Gilroy – Mechanical Tradesperson, Breakdown Response C1&2, Assets
  • Kelvin Neutze – Operator, Technical Services, Casting & Logistics
  • Cody De Vries – Operator, Rodding C2, Carbon & Business Improvement
  • Michael Duncan-Rose – Operator, Line 2 C1, Reduction
  • Andrew Johnston – Operator (Hub), Operations, Casting & Logistics
  • Myra Eden – Operator (Hub), Operations, Casting & Logistics
  • Laura Molloy – Operator (Hub), Line 2, Reduction
  • Guri Singh – Operator (Hub), Line 2, Reduction
  • Gina Nathan – Operator (Hub), Line 2, Reduction
  • Jonathan Curry – Operator, Rodding C3, Carbon & Business Improvement
  • Bijoy Regmi – Operator (Hub), Green & Bake, Carbon & Business Improvement
  • Chris Menlove – Mechanical Tradesperson, Breakdown Response C1&2, Assets
  • Shan Verma – Work Capacity Superintendent, Commercial & Support Services
  • Kent Stewart – Operator, Line 3 C1, Reduction
  • Tom Quigley – Services Operator, Shipping Services C1, Casting & Logistics
  • Mohammed Sheraan – Maintainer/Operator Mechanical, Operations C2, Casting & Logistics
  • Jocelyn Butler – Operator, Green & Bake C4, Carbon & Business Improvement
  • Ete Sapini – Operator, Reconstruction C1, Reduction
  • Graeme Blanch – Mechanical Tradesperson, Breakdown Response C3&4, Assets
  • Corey Brett – Mechanical Tradesperson, Cell Repair, Reduction
  • William van der Schuit – Operator, Rodding C4, Carbon & Business Improvement
  • Erin Ruxton – Operator, Rodding C1, Carbon & Business Improvement
  • Glenn Hudson – Operator (Hub), Line 2, Reduction
  • Taylor Scott – Operator (Hub), Line 2, Reduction
  • Jayden Holland-Collins – Operator, Rodding C1, Carbon & Business Improvement
  • Tony Rayner – Operator, Reconstruction C2, Reduction
  • Ray Hemi – Operator, Line 3 C1, Reduction
  • Ben McLean – Production Systems Analyst, Business & Production Systems (IT)
  • Daniel Dwen – Specialist Production Engineer, Carbon Products & Business Improvement
  • Carl Smith – Operator, Operations C2, Casting & Logistics
  • Lita Levi – Operator, Operations C3, Casting & Logistics
  • Lloyd McLean – Services Operator, Shipping Services C3, Casting & Logistics
  • Graeme Kelly – Operator, Reconstruction C1, Reduction

Nice one Ethan!

Helping Ethan (second from right) to celebrate are (from left) Grant Cuff, Chloe Harvey, Diane Johnstone, Paula Checketts & Donna Wilson

Congratulations to Ethan Francis who has qualified as a Chartered Accountant (CA).

He was joined by the rest of the Accounting Team at a special event to celebrate his and many other Southlanders’ recent achievements within the accounting professional body, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Ethan’s road to becoming a CA began in 2010.  After four years of study to gain his Bachelor of Commerce part time at the Southern Institute of Technology and then full time at the University of Otago, the journey was far from over.  A further three years of practical experience, workshops, assignments, mentor assessments and five more exams were in store before Ethan reached his goal.

Going forward, to maintain his designation as a CA and membership of this highly respected global network of professionals, Ethan will need to undertake continuing professional development and will need to stay current in the fast-paced changing world of finance.

The rest of the Accounting team, Paula and I are incredibly proud and happy that Ethan has achieved his CA designation, a just reward for the hard work he has put in.

Grant Cuff – Specialist Finance


NZAS' top 20 longest serving employees

A number of people have been asking who our longest serving employees are – check out the top 20:

1.    Phil Macaskill (Green & Bake, Carbon & Business Improvement)

2.    Murray Rees (Technical Services, Casting & Logistics)

3.    Donald Ward (E&I Workshops, Assets)

4.    Kay Shaw (Supply Chain Strategic, Commercial & Support Services)

5.    Phil Jones (Shipping Services, Casting & Logistics)

6.    Graham Gilbert (Line 3, Reduction)

7.    Lance Taylor (Power Supply Operations & Maintenance, Assets)

8.    Ray Weaver (Operations, Casting & Logistics)

9.    Allan Youngman (Reduction Maintenance, Assets)

10.    Arnie Ultee (Carbon & Services Maintenance, Assets)

11.    Ross Dawson (Breakdown Response, Assets)

12.    Basil Clark (Operations, Casting & Logistics)

13.    John Mooij (Reduction Support, Reduction)

14.    Allan Meikle (Rodding, Carbon & Business Improvement)

15.    Chris Ward (Reduction Support, Reduction)

16.    Kevin Todd (Power Supply Operations & Maintenance, Assets)

17.    Liu Nimo (Reconstruction, Reduction)

18.    Dave Rosanowski (Mobile Equipment Workshop, Assets)

19.    David Bowie (Power Supply, Assets)

20.    Dave Brett (Cell Repair, Reduction)

Our People

Name:         Jamiee Thompson

Position:    Operator, Operations C1, Casthouse

How long have you worked at NZAS?
I’ve been in a permanent role since the beginning of June this year, and in the summers of 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 I was a vacation student on Line 2.

Does it feel different being a full time employee compared to a summer vacation student?
Being full time has definitely made me pay more attention to the bigger picture of what’s going on down here, rather than the wee block-setting bubble I was in as a student.  NZAS is now my main focus, rather than a place I would spend two months at over the summer, and I think my mindset about coming to work has changed as a result.  When I was a student there were very few females on site and now our changehouse is full of awesome women, so that’s one difference I have noticed which is very cool to be a part of!

What made you want to return to NZAS?
I enjoyed the ‘four days on, four days off’ lifestyle (don’t we all?!) and was keen to move home from Wellington so I could be closer to my family and friends.  I saw a lot of opportunity for myself at Tiwai and after enjoying my time here as a student, I thought why not come and give it a go.

What is it like working in the same department as your Dad Chris?
Working with family can be difficult for some people but I love having Dad in the same department.  Explaining to people who’ve never been to Tiwai what we do for a job can be a challenge so it’s great that I can not only ask questions and discuss the workplace, but get area specific advice and whinge to him when I feel the need, haha!  Dad puts the expectation on me to work hard and I want to make him proud so that definitely helps to keep me accountable.

What would you do if you won Lotto?
I would love to travel, live in South America for a while and then settle down in Greytown or Nelson and have a fruit and vege farm.  And buy Dad as many car parts as he’d like of course!

What is your favourite food?
My favourite foods are Saag Aloo (Indian spinach and potato curry) and medjool dates filled with almond butter and dipped in chocolate - yum!

What’s the most outstanding memory of your school days?
In 2013 I did my final year of school in Chile on a student exchange, and my graduation party was definitely a highlight.  It was in a castle on top of a hill overlooking Santiago – it had the most amazing buffet I’d ever seen and finished at 6.00 am.  Chileans definitely know how to party!

Who is the person you most admire in the world?
Dr Michael Greger does incredible work in the health field, running a not-for-profit organisation that changes the lives of many by providing endless scientific studies and information.  I find him fascinating and really enjoy reading his work.

What is your favourite leisure activity?
On my days off I like exploring Southland with Marla (the family dog) and showing my partner Tom (who’s from Wellington) cool places he hasn’t been before.

Where’s your favourite place visited in the world?
I travelled to Patagonia in Chile with my sister while she was on an exchange in 2016, and Puerto Natales is definitely my favourite place.  It’s the base for travelling to the Torres del Paine National Park, which is an amazing area for seeing wildlife, glaciers, tramping and adventuring.

What’s your biggest achievement in life so far?
It would be a toss-up between graduating from university and becoming fluent in Spanish.  I am pretty proud of myself for both.

What’s your favourite NZ holiday spot & why?
My family used to go camping in the Catlins when I was a kid and it’s been a place where I consistently go back to time after time.  You can’t beat the beaches in the summertime, and all the scenic walks and waterfalls year round.

What’s your favourite saying/proverb or mantra?
“I choose to live, not just exist” from James Hetfield.

What was your first job?
My first job was at the Waikiwi pub in the glory days when Thursday nights were just starting to become the night to drink from the $4 fridge and ride the mechanical bull.

If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?
It would be amazing to go back in time and change the environmental impact we’ve had on our planet so we can protect and preserve it.  I’ve been to some special places and hate the idea that we are slowly destroying them.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I don’t consider myself to have eaten any weird foods, however my crew would probably beg to differ.  I like bringing in things like chicken-free-chicken and making them try it, which I imagine they find pretty strange!

Life After Tiwai...

Frank Padget (left) showing off his catch with skipper Keith Donald

Check out the photo above showing two long-serving ex-NZAS employees.  Many of you will recognise Frank Padget (formerly Rodding) and Keith Donald (formerly Line 3).

Frank retired earlier this year after spending 35 years as an Operator in Rodding.  In fact the fishing rod and gear in the photo were given to Frank as a retirement gift from his crew.

Keith was a Reduction Crew Leader and worked at NZAS for almost 37 years before he left in 2017 to operate fishing trips out of Bluff.

Several members of Frank’s old Rodding crew including Sam McCreadie, Tony Laurie, Warren Livingstone, Andrew Farquhar and Dave Osborne, along with Brian McMath from Security, try at least once a month to get out for a day’s fishing and diving with Keith on his boat Loredo Charters.  They always have a great day out in Foveaux Strait with many tales told (including some tall ones we believe!) while catching some of the finest seafood delicacies Southland has to offer.

If anyone is looking for a team bonding opportunity or just a really fun day out in Foveaux Strait, contact Keith on (027) 383-1902.

See, there really is life after Tiwai!


Lab Team Gets Roasting to Support Families with Sick Children

A huge ‘high five’ to Kim Watters and the Lab team for organising another ‘Host a Roast’ event at NZAS to raise funds for Southland Hospital’s Ronald McDonald Family Room.

Twenty hungry diners ready to enjoy a sumptuous roast lunch

More than 40 roasts were served across Southland for this year’s ‘Host a Roast’ raising over $16,000.  This money will help to provide a homely room, food, warmth and support for a week for 16 families who have a child in hospital.

The Family Room offers four short stay rooms for the caregivers of critically ill children.  There are also dedicated play areas for siblings to play quietly; space where patients are welcomed with their families when they are well enough to be out of their hospital beds, and are able to mix with other children. The Family Room is also a place for family visitors to gather throughout the day.

The very generous folks from the Lab also provide much needed food items to the Family Room each month.  If you would like to contribute, please email Kim and she will add you to the Family Room’s monthly wish list.


Looks like the roast went straight to Glenn Scott’s head (literally) - he is seen here channelling his ‘inner Ronald’!

Good Morning Tiwai!

Everyone loves a stunning sunrise. Check out the photo above which was taken by Mark Vincent from Shipping Services – just another beautiful spring morning in Southland!