Tiwai Pointer

April to June 2018
Tiwai Pointer

Stakeholders farewell Gretta and welcome Stew

Stew Hamilton & Gretta Stephens

In May two functions were held in Wellington and Invercargill to farewell GM Gretta Stephens and to welcome Stew Hamilton, who was at NZAS for a two-week handover (Stew used his leave to come over and get up to speed with NZAS).

A mix of senior leaders from the energy sector, government officials, regulators, contractor companies and community partners gathered at the events.

Gretta told the guests that she is looking forward to the challenge of her move to lead BlueScope Steel’s NZ and Pacific operations, but said NZAS will always have a special place in her heart.  “It is the place where I met my husband and embarked on what has been an incredible personal and professional journey - to say I am proud of the team at NZAS would be an incredible understatement.”

“When I joined NZAS in 2013 it is fair to say I walked into a challenge.  We had just limped through a very, very tough 2012 – making an underlying loss of nearly $50 million – our interactions with the NZ government were garnering a lot of negative press and it’s fair to say New Zealanders north of Southland would have been hard pressed to understand the value NZAS contributed to the country.  Fast forward five years to 2018 and the team at NZAS is looking to the future with more confidence than it did in 2012, and I was especially delighted to recently announce the restart of Line 4 – bringing another 32 jobs and growth to Southland and New Zealand,” said Gretta.

Many people at NZAS already know Stew as he has a 20 year association with the plant and joked that there is something unusual about him for an NZAS GM – he has a kiwi accent!  After spending the past three years in Tanzania with Acacia Mining, Stew and his family are looking forward to returning to Invercargill in July.

Gretta Stephens addressing stakeholders at the Invercargill event

Pacific Aluminium NZ’s financial results announced

Pacific Aluminium New Zealand has reported its financial results relating to its interests in NZAS showing underlying earnings of $75 million for 2017, an increase of $50 million on the previous year.

Consistently higher aluminium prices have delivered this more favourable result with metal prices 23% higher on average last year than in 2016. 

GM Gretta Stephens is pleased with this result, “It gives NZAS the ability to look more confidently to a commercially sustainable future.  However, predictions are for market conditions in 2018 to be volatile and we remain vulnerable to that market volatility as well movements in the NZ dollar against the US dollar.  This is because we continue to pay one of the highest prices for delivered power for a smelter anywhere in the world.  In 2017, our transmission costs, at $72 million for the calendar year, were just $3 million shy of our underlying profit.  We believe businesses should pay a fair price for the transmission services they receive, this is not what is happening under the current system,” she said. 

The Pacific Aluminium (New Zealand) Limited and subsidiaries Annual Financial Report 2017 can be accessed via the following link:  http://www.pacificaluminium.com.au/210/News.

  $ million 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
  Underlying profit or (loss) after tax 75 25 54 56 (18) (49)

NZAS to return to full operating capacity

Line 4 which has been cold for six years will once again be a productive part of NZAS by the end of the year. 

It took extensive negotiations with Meridian but the Energy Team managed to secure a power contract to enable NZAS to restart Line 4 earlier this year.

Opened in 1996, Line 4 was built with a view to expansion at some point in the future, however in April 2012 with historically low aluminium prices and a looming increase in power prices, the very difficult decision was made to shut the potline down.

Restarting Line 4 will create up to 32 jobs in Southland, as well as boosting production by an additional 85 tonnes of metal a day.  It is expected to take up to six months before the line will be fully operational.  The start-up leadership team of Darren Campbell, Bernie Carter and Jared Gorrie are now working on the detailed project schedule.

The 50 MW power contract will run until the end of 2022.  NZAS’ main power contract runs until 2030.

NZAS Line 4


The second round of the 2018 NZAS Innovation Awards has been completed.

Congratulations to our winners:

Health, Safety & Environment:  Reco Crew 1 - Removal of reject rammed paste from cell linings

In this innovation Reco Crew 1 led by Dave Mackenzie has continued their campaign to eliminate heavy manual tasks from their work.  Previously when a new cell needed to have ramming paste removed and replaced, the removal was very hard work which involved using picks, shovels, jackhammers and many hours of hard labour. The innovation was to use a modified bucket with a single tooth on the small excavator to remove the paste.  They made the prototype themselves and trialled it successfully.  This particular innovation builds on previous ideas where heavy or hazardous labour has been replaced with tooling on the small digger.  

Cost:  John Young (Shipping Services) & Michael Corcoran (Automation Engineering) - Torbed resistance reduction

John and Michael worked together to change the pulsing on the bags in the Torbeds to ensure they were pulsed more evenly to keep the pressure drops down.  This saves power and will ultimately extend bag life, with a net benefit of a minimum of $115k per annum.  John showed tenacity in challenging fundamental beliefs on what is possible with the equipment and process and Michael followed through with some smart coding to make the changes happen.

Living the ValuesMark Walker & Roger Hackett (Cost Engineering), Ian Boutherway & Chris Thompson (Operations) and Michael Corcoran & Ton Plomp (Automation Engineering) - No. 2  Ingot machine throughput optimisation

When Mark was assigned the task of implementing automated OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) on the No. 2 ingot machine he couldn’t help but notice opportunities to remove frustrations and hold-ups from the process.  Working

with others in the ingot and automation teams, he gathered many ideas which he was able to implement in the PLC code.  There are twelve changes already implemented which reduce scrap generation, improve cycle times and the need for human intervention.  In terms of throughput across both ingot machines, this along with the concurrent Business Improvement project to reduce time between casts, has the potential to increase casthouse capacity by 33,000 tonnes per year - that’s more than all the metal Line 4 will produce.

Living the Values (Highly Commended) – Vivi Hitchcock (Health, Safety & Environment) - Major hazard facility work

This round would not be complete without mentioning one more innovation which really sums up what ‘Pure Kiwi Mettle’ looks like in action.  After a change in regulations in 2016, NZAS would have become classified as an ‘upper tier Major Hazard Facility’ which would have led to significantly increased compliance costs and so much additional safety work we would likely have had to employ an extra person to do it all.  By working methodically through the regulations Vivi was able to reduce our holdings of various hazardous products and/or have them more accurately classified such that by Q3 last year our only remaining issue was the size of our LPG holdings.  With the clock ticking from WorkSafe, an (almost) unachievable deadline and a complicated interaction with a Rio Tinto project on process safety, Vivi and Duncan Robbie (Electrical Engineering) worked with our gas suppliers to decommission the 12 tonne Rodding tank and replace it with a 3.5 tonne moveable tank.  Two year’s work and a massive push right into Christmas have us now below the threshold for Major Hazard Facility status.

Not every innovation wins a prize but all the other entries showed the same features of bright ideas, a willingness to challenge the status quo and push through obstacles to make positive change in our business. 

Reco Crew 1 (from left) Dave Mackenzie, Phil De Goldi, Glenn Kemp, John Johnson, Don Hodson, Jason Kent, Ray Duncan, Jim Cosgrove & Ete Sapini

Improved ergonomics for our ATV drivers

Anode Transport Vehicles (ATVs) are purpose built vehicles used to deliver anodes from the pallet loading station to the Reduction Lines.

An ATV driver will spend an average of ten hours each shift inside the vehicle.  Some drivers reported a number of health concerns including stiffness and sore backs.  This resulted in a workplace visit by the Occupational Health team to evaluate the ergonomics of the ATVs (Dr Martin Peterson, Emily Hodgkinson - Occupational Therapist, and Andrew McIntosh - Physiotherapist).

Allan Meikle (Rodding Superintendent) then commenced a Green Belt project which aimed to put containments in place to prevent injury/illness to our ATV drivers.  He was assisted by Sam McCreadie (Health & Safety Representative and Rodding Operator), Peter Impelmans (Rodding Operator), Jim Pickett (Mechanic) and John Lyons (Auto Electrician), who all had substantial input into recognising the ergonomic issues and providing the final solutions to the seating and steering column issues.

This project has resulted in significant improvements being made to our fleet of ATVs, including:

  • A new seat with several adjusters to allow the driver to have the correct set-up
  • A new steering column that has a three-way adjustment, again allowing the drivers to have the correct set-up
  • The manufacturer’s recommended cab mounts fitted
  • The development of a ‘go, no-go’ gauge for measuring wear in the rubber of the cab mounts which is measured each time the vehicle is lubed at the garage
  • The large steel boxes from the seats removed to reduce seat loading
  • The large boxes attached to the steering column removed (drivers would hit their knees)
  • A new dashboard containing gauges and warning lights installed at roof height (previously housed in the boxes on the seat and steering column)
  • New hydraulic valve fitted in seat rotation system to provide more control, removing the jolt when the seat locks into position
  • The orbital valve placed on the steering column below floor level to reduce heat in the cab
  • Engine mounts replaced to original parts to reduce vibration in the cab
  • The hydraulic valve for the accelerator replaced to allow soft control

These improvements have made a real difference to the health and wellbeing of our ATV drivers.  It is great to see that our culture of continuous improvement remains alive and well at NZAS. 

(From left) Peter Impelmans, John Lyons (AJ Auto Electrical), Allan Meikle & Sam McCreadie

Welcome to our new apprentices

Our apprentice numbers have increased to sixteen with nine new apprentices having started this year, joining the other seven who were already on site:

  • Josh Kim – Electrical, Services Maintenance
  • Yatish Gupta – Mechanical, Mechanical Workshops
  • Sean Dick-McLaren – Mechanical, Reduction Maintenance
  • Clair Hikawai –  Pre-Trade Electrical, Reliability Maintenance
  • Jack Oosterbroek – Pre-Trade Electrical, Electrical Workshop
  • Monikue Raggett – Mechanical, Carbon Maintenance
  • Vighnesh Singh – Mechanical, Mechanical Workshops
  • David Te Rangi – Electrical, Casthouse Maintenance
  • Josh Harwood – Electrical, Casthouse Maintenance
  • Austyn Templeton – Electrical, Carbon Maintenance
  • Chloe Branks - Mechanical, Casthouse Maintenance
  • Khan Shearer – Mechanical, Mechanical Workshops
  • Michael Grobler – Heavy Automotive, Mobile Equipment Workshop
  • Josiah Brown – Pre-Trade Heavy Automotive, Mobile Equipment Workshop
  • Callum Peters – Heavy Automotive, Mobile Equipment Workshop
  • Lachlan O’Driscoll - Electrical, Reduction Maintenance

As you know we have made a deliberate push to increase our gender diversity and are delighted that three of our apprentices are women.  

Apprenticeships at NZAS are managed through the Southern Group Training Trust. 

(From left) Glenys McKenzie (Southern Group Training Trust), Josh Kim, Callum Peters , Yatish Gupta, Josiah Brown, Sean Dick-McLaren, Clair Hikawai, Jack Oosterbroek, Monikue Raggett, Vighnesh Singh, Darryl Smith (Superintendent Maintenance Support & Stores) & David Te Rangi

Keeping children safe online

(From left) Vivi Hitchcock, Kiri Tuhura & Karen Sturman pictured with John Parsons at the Cyber Safety evening

John Parsons, one of New Zealand’s leading authorities on cyber safety for children, held another very informative session for NZAS employees and families recently, and shared some great tips:

  • Become your child’s ‘friend’ in any social network environment your child creates
  • Maintain easy access to your child's profile via their log in - you will see everything
  • Ensure that you can always have access to your child's phone to help them stay safe (ie it is not a ‘no-go’ area) - check the quality of how they are communicating with others; talk about how they connect and communicate with friends.  Is it consistent with the values of your family?
  • Educate your children about the importance of protecting images of family and friends - teach them to seek permission of another before they send or upload images to the internet
  • Always try to always maintain open lines of communication with children.  Do not over-react if you see something that alarms you or makes you angry - share your concerns and always talk about the issues and how they relate to them and their friends’ safety
  • Agree on a time in the evening to stop using the technology within the home - that’s everyone not just children
  • Talk/ask about their friends and social activity as a way to reduce the opportunity for cyber-separation to develop - encourage being open about new friends and what they are up to, and who their parents are.  When in doubt, call the parents and introduce yourself
  • Teach your children to protect their online identity, as a way to future-proof themselves for employment - we need to nurture and protect them online and teach them how to protect themselves as they engage information technology

Paedophiles and online gaming platforms

Paedophiles gravitate to areas where children play, communicate and congregate – pay attention to the online games your children are playing.

Questions you should ask:

  • Are the games age-appropriate?
  • Is the quality of the language used in the games suitable for a child?
  • How does the game make money out of a child’s use?
  • What processes are available to adults should they need to make a complaint about a user?

Parents/guardians need to familiarise themselves with the game the child wants to play before the child enters the game; alternatively sit alongside the child and experience the game with them. Online gaming platforms provide paedophiles with the ability to observe minors interacting with other minors, all the time learning about the child.  This gives the paedophile the opportunity to target select and then build a relationship with a child once the grooming starts.

Karen Sturman (Commercial & Support Services) thought John’s presentation was very good and balanced.  “Despite the obvious threats he was not against technology and made that point loud and clear.  He just wants strong, confident, loved human beings.  Who doesn’t buy into that,” she said.

Craig Brown (Reduction Maintenance) attended with his partner and was also impressed with the session.  “We both thought it was going to be about our computer settings and came along with a note book and pen.  I was secretly hoping there were going to be lots of handouts and in bullet format to help me navigate all of these settings.  What a mind-shift the evening was and I now feel better informed about the root cause and better prepared in how to communicate about the subject with my children and grandchildren,” said Craig.

Huge thanks to Rotary Invercargill East who are funding this wonderful community initiative.   And special thanks also to Peter McMillan and Club Southland for offering their venue and facilities free of charge.

To help parents, John is now uploading video pods to Facebook – these can be accessed via the following link: www.facebook.com/johnparsonsS2E.

Driving tips to keep safe in winter conditions

Our roads can be very wet and icy during the winter months - check out the tips below to help you drive safely:

  • Check the weather forecast before you hit the road
  • Check your vehicle’s water, oil and wiper-blades before commencing a long drive
  • Keep your windows clean (inside and out) and allow an extra few minutes to fully de-mist your windscreen before driving
  • Clear your entire windscreen of any frost or ice with a scraper (or a bank card) before you drive anywhere – don’t use hot water as you run the risk of cracking the glass
  • Turn your lights on if the light is dim or it is raining
  • Increase your following distance and adjust your speed to the conditions
  • Take extra care during low sun which can cause sun-strike
  • Don’t drive when you are tired and if you are on a long trip, take short breaks periodically
  • Make sure you’ve got all you need should your vehicle break down
  • If things don’t go to plan and you are running late due to road conditions, ring ahead to let someone know your updated time of arrival – don’t rush

Above all, driving safely in winter needs a healthy dose of good judgement.  Before heading off on any journey, check the weather forecast and the state of roads to determine if it is safe to travel.  And always drive to the conditions.

Hoar frost near Alexandra, Central Otago

Donating your mobile phone can help clear up plastic pollution

With 69% of New Zealand’s rivers deemed unsafe for swimming after rainfall due to contamination and 77% of single use plastics in the marine environment, cleaning up our water and beaches is important and urgent work for us all. 

For the last six years NZAS has collected old mobile phones and donated them to Swapkit, a company that operates a mobile phone appeal programme which supports the Sustainable Coastlines charity.  The proceeds from the mobile phone recycling scheme help achieve their long-term vision of beautiful beaches and healthy waterways.

Swapkit is dedicating the month of June to

'World Environment Day 2018’ and have asked for our support by continuing to donate any unwanted mobile phones to help raise funds.  World Environment Day is a United Nations environment-led global event with this year’s theme being 'Beat Plastic Pollution.'

Mobile phones received are graded, data wiped and sim/memory cards removed and destroyed.  Phones that can still be used are sold by tender to off-shore businesses that specialise in the resale of second-hand mobile phones.  They are refurbished and sold as low cost handsets to places like Africa and Asia.  Phones that have reached their end of life are broken down and recycled in an environmentally friendly way with up to 95% of their materials being recycled into other products.

Regardless of condition, make or model, please collect all mobile phones from home, family and friends and drop them off to Andrea Carson in the Operations Building. 

Did you know the following plastic pollution facts?

  • Every year the world uses 500 billion plastic bags
  • Each year, at least 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans, the equivalent of a full rubbish truck every minute
  • In the last decade, we produced more plastic than in the whole of last century
  • 50% of the plastic we use is single-use or disposable
  • We buy 1 million plastic bottles every minute
  • Plastic makes up 10% of all of the waste we generate

Rio Tinto’s new whistleblowing programme

You will have noticed the new posters around site advertising ‘Talk to Peggy’, Rio Tinto’s new whistleblowing programme (previously called ‘Speak-OUT’).

‘Talk to Peggy’ provides an avenue for people to share their concerns regarding alleged wrongdoing anonymously or confidentially, and is available as an option if someone feels they cannot raise an issue with their manager.

As part of the Rio Tinto group, NZAS is committed to the values of safety, teamwork, respect, integrity and excellence – and a culture of transparency.  Employees, contractors and other stakeholders are encouraged to speak up and share their concerns with management, members of a function such as Human Resources, or through ‘Talk to Peggy’.

The number to call from New Zealand is (0800) 425-448. 

A very special visit to Shipping Services

Following a serious car accident on the way to work in July 2017, Mark Duncan accompanied by his wife Vicki, returned to NZAS for the first time recently to have morning tea with his crew. 

Mark wanted to share the following message:  “It was great to be back visiting the guys at Tiwai after spending eight months in Christchurch, firstly in Christchurch ICU, and then at Burwood Spinal Unit (we cannot express how grateful we are for the care and attention I received during this time, and without this facility my prognosis would have been very different).  Vicki, Taylor, Sophie and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their thoughts and best wishes during a very stressful time - in particular I would like to thank the guys on Crew 3 Shipping for their friendship and support on my road to the ‘new normal.’ 

Life for us has changed dramatically, but we are pleased to be back in Invercargill amongst friends and family whose love and support have made my recovery much easier.  We find ourselves living in Windsor and not in Otatara for at least 12 months as we go through the process of remodelling our house.  I am continuing to rehab as

best I can with slow increments of change.  This will take some time and although I am now confined to a power chair, this does not stop me from becoming as independent as I physically can. I remain positive and upbeat about what the future holds for us both as we journey this road together.”

It was fantastic having Mark back on site.  The entire crew, as well as many more of Mark’s smelter friends and colleagues, visited him during his time at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch.  It is great that he has now been able to leave hospital and move back to Invercargill. 

Mark has some pretty cool technology to assist with his mobility.  The wheelchair that he was using when he came to site has LED lights, indicators and an elevating and standing function so he can raise himself to be eye to eye with others who are standing.  Mark’s sense of humour still shines through and that along with the love and support from his family and friends has contributed to his remarkable recovery.

(From left) Scott Smith, Chris Hollingworth, Tristan Quinn, Steve Blakie, Mark Duncan, Dave Osborn & Kevin Turnhout

Tiwai sons do New Zealand proud at the Commonwealth Games

There are two incredibly proud fathers at NZAS – Paul Sexton (Commercial & Support Services) and Garry Knipe (Line 1), whose 19 year old sons represented New Zealand in track cycling at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Tom Sexton rode in the team pursuit which qualified third.  This meant they were in the bronze medal ride-off against Canada.  As they had already beaten Canada’s time by four seconds, bronze seemed almost guaranteed.  Unfortunately disaster struck with one of the team’s bikes failing the technical measurement after the race, which resulted in the NZ team being disqualified.  This was an absolutely gut-wrenching moment for the team and their supporters at the velodrome, not to mention everyone at home who watched the drama unfold on TV.

To his credit Tom picked himself up and then competed in the 160 lap Points race heats.  He rode a conservative race to save energy and qualified in fourth place for the final.  During the final Tom and his two teammates, Regan and Campbell, all

lapped the field twice to gain 40 points, along with seven other riders.   Team mate Campbell won the silver medal, with Regan and Tom finishing in very credible ninth and tenth places respectively.      

Bradley Knipe was privileged to be the reserve for the Team Sprint (who are World Champions, as well as Olympic and Commonwealth medallists).  He also competed in one of his favourite races, the Keirin, a six lap race which is led by a motorbike for the first three laps.  Bradley gained a lot of valuable experience competing against some of the world’s best print cyclists but unfortunately missed out on qualifying for the finals.  

Congratulations to Tom and Bradley – to be selected to compete for your country at the Commonwealth Games at such a young age is an incredible achievement.  Both of these young men have huge futures ahead of them on the world cycling stage.

Paul Sexton (far right) pictured with his wife Theresa, son Chris & his girlfriend Lisa outside the Commonwealth Games velodrome
Tom Sexton competing in the 160 lap Points race

Tiwai Industrial Fire Brigade has turned 40

When NZAS started operating in 1971 an Emergency Squad was formed.  The members were paid $1 extra per week in their wages and were trained by off-duty staff from the Invercargill Fire Brigade.  If the fire sirens were activated, brigade members went to their muster points and were collected by the duty Security Officer as he drove the Toyota Land Cruiser with a front-mounted pump around site to pick the crew up, sometimes passing the incident two or three times in the process!

In 1976 a permanent Fire Prevention Officer, Peter Price, was employed on site and he recognised the need to establish a registered volunteer fire brigade.  Peter successfully negotiated with Comalco (Pacific Aluminium’s previous name) as well as the United Fire

Brigades Association (UFBA) and the Tiwai Industrial Fire Brigade was officially formed on 16 June 1978.

A centralised fire station was then built and an International fire appliance with a 750 US gpm mid-mount pump was purchased.  Fire fighting clothing in those days was rather sparse and it was a case of ‘first in, best dressed’ for some time when responding to calls. 

The strong focus that the brigade has always maintained on being prepared for any emergency, which over the years have included fires, flooding, motor vehicle accidents and even shipboard rescues, has seen the Tiwai Industrial Fire Brigade evolve into an efficient unit.

The brigade’s current appliance is a 1998 Scania with a 1500 US gpm pumping capacity, reportedly the largest of its type in the country.

The brigade currently has 42 members and is always on the lookout for new recruits.  If you are interested in finding out more information, contact Chief Fire Officer Ross Ferguson on x 5559 or (0272) 204-228.

Next generation of potential engineers

Richard Snoek (Line 1 Superintendent) and Lily Wallis (Process Control Engineer) along with Andrea Carson (Community Relations) gave a presentation to Year 13 physics students at Southland Girls’ High School to promote this year’s education partnership.

In addition to learning about the partnership programme, Lily and Richard talked about their university study and career development opportunities at NZAS, along with a fair amount of banter as to which university was the best!  Lily went to Auckland and Richard studied at Canterbury.

This partnership is an excellent example of the business and education sectors working together and an opportunity to promote and increase gender diversity.

Project week will be held in September. 

Lily Wallis & Richard Snoek at Southland Girls' High School

NZAS gives a helping hand on Poppy Day

Sincere thanks to the twelve hardy employees who braved the elements to help the Invercargill RSA on Poppy Day – Nicola Thomas (Management); Tony Leonard & Nick Wiering (Casting & Logistics); Joe Wynne, Darryl Smith, Terry Reeves, Roger Hackett and son Noah (Assets); Peter McMillan, Kay Shaw, Ethan Francis & Barry Todd (Commercial & Support Services) and Aparajita Goswami (Reduction).  Unfortunately takings were down this year due to the inclement weather conditions, but not even the hail could stop the NZAS team getting out there to raise money for a cause that is close to all of our hearts.

Poppy Day convenor, Cindy Kennedy, was delighted with the smelter’s assistance, “On behalf of the Invercargill RSA I would like to thank NZAS management and staff for the continued support of our Poppy Day Street Appeal.  This year considering the awful weather we managed to raise $14,000 from the street and shop collections.  Some of these funds will be used to purchase an AED defibrillator for Age Concern Invercargill.  Once again thank you all for your continued support and we look forward to working with you next year.”

The annual Poppy Days and ultimately ANZAC Days give us the chance to remember and honour the service and sacrifice of so many New Zealanders and Australians who served during the wars.  

This year’s appeal theme was ‘not all wounds bleed’ and highlighted the fact that mental health injuries are the most common but least understood, of all wounds suffered by New Zealand servicemen and women.  Poppy Day raises funds to support NZ’s 41,000 veterans and their families.

Poppy Day has been part of the NZ calendar since 1922, making it the country’s oldest nationwide appeal.

A special shout out and thank you to Starbucks Coffee who provided complimentary hot drinks to NZAS volunteers on Poppy Day. Terry Reeves (left) & Ethan Francis look very happy with their free coffees!

New starters - April to June 2018

Welcome to our new starters:

  • Lee Pemberton – Tradesperson Electrical, Reduction Maintenance, Assets
  • Jared Bolton – Tradesperson Mechanical, Reduction Maintenance, Assets
  • Eugene Venter – Superintendant, Carbon & Services Maintenance, Assets
  • Johans Ufano – Process Engineer, Technical Development, Reduction
  • Alex Moynihan – Tradesperson Mechanical, Reduction Maintenance, Assets
  • Cheyne Cardoso – Operator, Line Services, Reduction
  • Shyam Patel – Process Engineer, Technical, Carbon Products & Business Improvement
  • Dean Cribb – Operator, Operations, Casting & Logistics
  • Kade Ridder – Operator, Operations, Casting & Logistics
  • Kylie McKenzie – Operator, Operations, Casting & Logistics
  • Kristy McCullen – Operator, Line 4, Reduction
  • Darcie Thompson – Operator, Operations, Casting & Logistics
  • Ashley Abraham – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Danielle Tipuna-Hapurona – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Vashti Mangu – Operator, Line 4, Reduction
  • Sophie Duncan – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Campbell Squires – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Jacob Smith – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Peter  Prekopa – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Paratene McLeod - Operator Line 4, Reduction
  • Aaron Herman – Operator, Line 4, Reduction
  • Denise Weir – Human Resources Superintendent, Commercial & Support Services
  • Andree Wallace – Process Control Engineer, Green & Bake, Carbon Products & Business Improvement
  • Jamiee Thompson – Operator, Operations, Casting & Logistics
  • Bradley Humphrey – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Tipene Clarke – Operator, Line Services, Reduction
  • Hayden McCann – Operator, Line 2, Reduction
  • Damian Eade – Operator, Operations, Casting & Logistics
  • William Pera – Operator, Carbon Rodding, Carbon Products & Business Improvement
  • Harrison Finnerty – Operator, Operations, Casting & Logistics
  • Brendon Frost – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Brent McCormack – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Matthew Kohe-Love – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Mark Andrew – Operator, Operations, Casting & Logistics
  • Tyler Wainui-Murray – Operator, Line 1, Reduction
  • Andy Smith – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Te Ao Piki Nicholas – Operator, Operations, Casting & Logistics
  • Robert Leishman – Operator, Carbon Rodding, Carbon Products & Business Improvement
  • Troy Winter – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Blair Eade – Operator, Line3, Reduction
  • Caleb Dick – Operator, Line 1, Reduction
  • Woody Vaidayanuwatti – Operator, Line 1, Reduction
  • Shaun Gordon – Operator, Green & Bake, Carbon Products & Business Improvement
  • Stacy Dewar – Operator , Operations, Casting & Logistics
  • Alisha Race – Operator, Operations, Casting & Logistics
  • Milie Jayasinghe – Operator, Line 1, Reduction
  • Reece Hawira – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Georgia  Simeon – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Ben Mills – Operator, Line 3, Reduction
  • Tim Lowe – Operator, Line 1, Reduction

Our People

Name:            Darren Campbell

Position:       Manager, Line 4 Restart

How long have you worked at NZAS?
I started in Reduction almost eight years ago as the Technical Specialist before moving to Line 4, then Rodding followed by the BI Team

What are you most looking forward to in your new role as Line 4 Restart Manager?
Putting the team and the plan together so we know where we are going and how we are going to get there.  After the tough times the NZAS team and the business have been through in recent years it is fantastic that we have a far more positive outlook, and the Line 4 restart is so symbolic of our upturn in fortunes.  It is a privilege to be part of this project team

What would you do if you won Lotto?
Travel to as many new places as possible. I also need to go back to St Petersburg in Russia as I spent a year there working and saw virtually nothing other than the plant and the hotel

What is your favourite food?
Slow roasted beef spare rib

What is your favourite tipple?
Desperado – a light Mexican style lager with a shot of tequila and lime.  Great for a BBQ on a hot summer day

What’s the most outstanding memory of your school days?
Going to the youth club to watch a local punk band called ‘The End’.  Their official photographer took my photo for the sleeve of their single

Who is the person you most admire in the world?
Usain Bolt springs to mind.  He is a fantastic athlete who was totally dedicated to his sport and a great entertainer - probably the best there has ever been

Who would you like to be stranded on a desert island with and why?
British comedian Peter Kay just because he is crackers and would make the time fly whilst we waited to be rescued

What is your favourite leisure activity?
BBQ with family and friends

Where’s your favourite place visited in the world?
This is a tough one - either Naples in Florida, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, or Cape Town in South Africa.  Or it could be Doubtful Sound.  I just can’t choose one

What’s your biggest achievement in life so far?
Although I have a real fear of heights I managed to get my wings when I was a reservist in the Parachute Regiment.  In total I safely completed 17 jumps but was terrified every time

What would be the most memorable news bulletin you have seen/read?
The attack on the Twin Towers - I was in a process meeting in the Potrooms in Lynemouth when someone told us that there had been a plane crash in New York.  But I remember being totally transfixed when watching the footage of the events at World Trade Centre

What’s your favourite NZ holiday spot & why?
We enjoyed staying in Central Otago when we first came to New Zealand so much that we bought a house in Clyde.  It is only 2½ hours away but the climate, pace of life and scenery make it feel like a different world

What’s your favourite saying/proverb or mantra?
The future starts now

What were your career aspirations when you were a child?
I always wanted to be Army officer in the Intelligence Corps (sort of a poor man’s James Bond)

What was your first job?
Technician in the metallography lab at the Lynemouth smelter in the UK

Who are the Southlanders you most admire and why?
Joc and Scott O’Donnell for their work and investments to improve the city of Invercargill

If you had the power to change one thing in the world, what would it be?
I would love to get rid of drug addiction among our young people and all the social problems it creates

What is your favourite movie?
‘A Bridge Too Far’ - a star-studded cast, epic scenes without computer-generated imagery, a great storyline and true

What is your favourite song?
‘Mr Jones’ by the Counting Crows - this was the signature tune for a trip I made to Quebec with a mate in the mid-90s

Who is your celebrity crush?
I’m a bit old for crushes nowadays but I did have a thing for Belinda Carlisle for many years.  I bought several of her albums even though the music was pretty rubbish

If your life was turned into a movie, what actor would play you and why?
Definitely a young Clint Eastwood from the ‘Dirty Harry’ era - he looks a bit like me

What made you laugh the hardest in your entire life?
When I explained to my then 11-year-old daughter how babies are made.  She refused to believe me and collapsed, arms waving wildly, in a hysterical fit crying out, “no that isn’t true”

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I can’t remember exactly what it was, but it will have been something my step mum cooked - she was no Nadia Lim

If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month, which would you choose and why?
‘Happy Days’ - it would be great to hang out with the Fonz

If you joined the circus, what would you perform?
As I said before I have a fear of heights, so I’d probably be the ice cream vendor

What is your best childhood memory?
Meeting my step mum for the first time when I was 11 years old

How did you meet your wonderful wife?
Debbie worked in the accounts department at Lynemouth smelter and for some reason I used to have terrible problems completing my expense claims.  So, I’d have to go over for her to check I’d done it right.  Eventually she couldn’t resist me any longer and asked me out for lunch

If you could witness any event in the past, present or future, what would it be?
I would love to turn the clock back and be there to see my son scoring a goal against the Newcastle United academy team when he was about 7 years old.  I missed it because I was travelling on business in the US at the time

What would a perfect day look like to you?
Waking early and going for a jog on a beautiful bright sunny morning with massive mountain peaks as a backdrop; a family breakfast at a beachfront café in Florida followed by a hot air balloon flight over the Okavango Delta in Botswana; and finishing with fish and chips for tea in St John, Newfoundland

Happy 145th birthday Rio Tinto

We all know that Rio Tinto (through Pacific Aluminium) is our major shareholder, but have you ever wondered where the name Rio Tinto originated?  The company is named after a river in Spain!

Rio’s first mine in 1873 was on the banks of the Rio Tinto river.  This was the same year that Jules Verne published “Around the world in 80 days”, and Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis patented the first blue jeans with copper rivets – so Rio Tinto is as old as Levi’s!

That particular Spanish mine turned into the world’s leading copper producer of the time.

Turn the clock forward and Rio Tinto has recently celebrated its 145th anniversary – happy birthday!