To provide world-class solutions you have to have world-class people leading the charge. Our team is full of industry professionals that have the know-how, can-do, like no other attitude that helps create bespoke solutions for you.
The leader of the pack, Gareth, CEO has a proven record across senior management roles within the ICT, Manufacturing and horticultural sectors. With multiple experiences being the leader of multinational companies, the manufacturing industry was calling his name and now, CEO of Farra, Gareth is inspired by the depth of talent that the company holds to be a true driver of ongoing development for the company.
Gareth brings a balanced set of skills to the table, with a Masters of Management from MGSM in Australia and an Engineering Degree from Manukau, NZ. In charge of everything people management, he is busy with communicating with the Management team, external stakeholders and ongoing planning of the running of the business. Experience with living in different countries provides Gareth with a wealth of experience in international markets meaning he is a true asset to Farra.
Outside of work you will find Gareth skiing the slopes of New Zealand’s beautiful mountains, or travelling around the world with his family to some of his favourite places, such as France and the Czech Republic.
Sally, the Chief Financial Officer, is a deadline focused, personable team player that puts her communication and analytical skills into play. Her role within Farra is complemented well with her skill set that she brings to the table.
Prior to working at Farra, Sally has had various roles such as business banking and management accounting within diverse organisations around the country from large corporates like Calder Stewart to competitive sports organisations like the Waikato Rugby Union. She has now been at Farra for over a year and has faced many different tasks on a daily basis, from monthly reporting, accounts, project managing and payroll. Her favourite aspect of working within the Farra team is the variety of work and the interaction with different people.
When not in the Farra office, Sally has her hands full with three children, ages 13, 9 and 6. She also loves to go to the gym to unwind after a day full of different jobs.
Meet Andrew. Andrew is a mechanical engineer by trade and has also obtained a Masters in Business Administration to perfectly complement his role at Farra as our Business Development Manager.
In a reasonably new role for the company, Andrew is in charge of everything business related to which point no day is quite the same. Everything from looking for new business opportunities, deepening sales channels, maintaining existing relationships, marketing efforts and much more. Seeing as it is a relatively new role, Andrew is busy developing new resources to aid the role.
Outside of the Farra office you will find Andy scoping out the best waves at local surfing hot spots, and he is a Harley Davidson enthusiast!
Shane is one of Farra’s project engineers in the Engineering Design department. Initially he was an independent contractor draughtsman and he eventually joined the Farra family in 2002. His role is mainly draughting and designing and he loves the fact that all jobs are unique and no two jobs are the same.
One of Shane’s favorite projects was a Pit Maintenance Unit in Canada and he enjoyed seeing the project through from the initial concept to installation. Not only that, he also finds enjoyment in site visitations and meeting new people and engineers.
When Shane is outside of the office, he is a group leader of the Opoho Scouts Group where he spends time with his two children.
Nick was a fresh graduate from Otago Polytech majoring in Mechanical Engineering when he started at Farra Engineering Design as an intern. After six months Nick joined the design team as an Engineering Draughtsman. His role at Farra includes producing 3d CAD models, draughting and preparing technical documents for products as well as aiding in the development and design of engineering solutions.
Nick enjoys the creativity that comes with his work as well as coming up with innovative and creative engineering solutions as all projects are unique and different. This is why the North Shore High-Riser is his favorite project because of the unique solutions implemented on the project.
Nick’s advice is:
Take inspiration from everyone and use people’s experiences to your advantage and be willing to learn from them.
If you can’t find Nick in the office, you will likely see him at the Pomahaka river near Clinton enjoying the great outdoors and hunting.
Nathan has recently joined the engineering design team as a Design Engineer with expertise in design, engineering calculation and simulation. Nathan has a master’s degree in engineering, plus over 10 years of work experience including 6 years of working in the aerospace industry. His daily role in Farra is design, hand calculation and simulation as well as participating in project management.
Nathan enjoys not only the challenges that “no two projects are same” brings but also seeing the concept through to the finish. Nathan believes that know-how from both the practical and theoretical side enables the concepts to be implemented better in the real world.
Outside of work Nathan relishes travelling, dancing and photography.
Andrew has been with Farra Engineering for 23 years and has worked in a variety of roles including from Machining, Fabrication and Design. He started out as an apprentice in Farra Machining for five years and then joined the Fabrication team as a fitter for 11 years. His next role change was to join Engineering Design as a project manager and this is the role he remains in today.
He enjoys the opportunity of being involved in the entire project cycle from the initial concept to the installation. Andrew has worked on projects in the United Kingdom, Papua New Guinea, China and Hong Kong.
Andrew believes in the uniqueness of every individual project and not taking that for granted. He also believes the design concepts for projects must be practical because "there is no real substitute for real world engineering".
Outside of the office, Andrew enjoys trail dirt bike riding and restoring and maintaining his muscle cars.
Murray is our Works Manager in the fabrication division. In charge of logistics, people management and health and safety is no small task and this why Murray is the perfect man for the job!
Having worked at Farra for close to 13 years, Murray started as the fabrication Foreman and moved into the role of Works Manager 8 years later. For Murray, the highlights of the job are having the opportunity to create bespoke products that test the abilities of the team, ultimately showing new potential and also having different work every day as no day is the same.
One of Murray’s favourite jobs was the chimney stack project that got everyone in the workshop involved and allowed the older staff to pass over their experience to younger staff members. Outside of work you will see Murray hanging out with his two beloved labrador dogs.
Neil has been with Farra Engineering for 38 years! He has worked in various roles across all aspects of fabrication, machining and the foundry in its day. His wealth of knowledge and experience is valued by many staff and customers over the years.
Neil expertise is in quoting, technical advice, and managing projects in the workshop and off site.
He enjoys all aspects of fabrication, from the big and unusual jobs, to the small and intriguing jobs. Neil's favourite jobs have been making “big kick-arse cranes”, staircases, chimneys, and dredges, but he also acknowledges that the small jobs can be just as rewarding. Farra offer a variety of work and for Neil, the people you meet along the way and form long lasting relationships with are very important.
Neil’s top tips:
Complacency in your work can lead to problems
AND plan everything, then have a plan B up your sleeve.
Outside of work Neil enjoys gardening, fishing and spending time in the countryside for outdoor R&R.
Meet Mike, affectionately known as the ‘general dogsbody’ in the Machining shop. Mike has been the Manager for 16 years and enjoys the mix of work that the division gets to be involved with.
Prior to Farra, Mike had various different roles within the engineering sector from workshop supervisor to a metal spray engineer. Mikes wealth of experience as a mechanical engineer makes him a real asset to the team at Farra. Mike's favourite projects include the Burrinjuck repairs due to the unique setting that it was located within and the Manapouri repairs. During these projects, the team had to place many different facets together to create a solution that worked for the client as well as doing the job right the first time.
When Mike isn’t playing ‘dogsbody’ he is a massive sports fan, including watching his sons rugby, going with his family to grass kart events and also enjoys water sports.
With an extensive background in management and prior sheet metal roles at Farra, Mark makes for the best fit for the role as the Sheetmetal division manager. With strong skills in staff management, design and sales management, it complements his role perfectly.
Daily tasks for Mark include activities such as sales, HR, quotes - “just a mix of everything really!”. The best aspect about these activities is interacting with customers and staff. One of Marks favourite projects was developing Switchbuild’s new cabinets, the reason being that the team had creative control and had the potential to create something that was new and has never been seen before.
When not in the Farra office or workshop you can find Mark spending time with his family, playing football for Roslyn Wakari AFC, or even being a spectator at rugby games under the roof.
A veteran in the Farra Family, Grant has been with us for 37 years and is one of the longest standing. What started as an apprenticeship in the sheet metal division straight out of school to which point has naturally progressed to become the Stainless division Manager.
Being an organised, methodical and having awesome people skills makes Grant the perfect person to run Stainless. During a typical day, you could find Grant job planning, invoicing, quoting or putting to use his HR skills. His favourite element of the job is that something different is always happening and having new challenges presenting themselves which keeps him on his toes!
In charge of the stainless division, Grant see’s a lot of projects come through the workshop, but to date, his favourite projects include the Brew Tanks for Emerson's brewery, Speights redevelopment and the small brew pubs that he has helped out with over the past 37 years.
Outside of work, you can find Grant watching sport and his son playing football. He also, following on from his favourite projects, enjoys trying new beers!
Meet Nick, equipped with customer relationship management, negotiation and leadership skills. He is a true leader and tackles the role of CEO of Shape NZ with gusto.
With an unexpected journey to where he is now, he began as a teacher and then progressively diverted towards business development, marketing and operation management roles within several large NZ food companies, which lead to him becoming an owner of a large well-recognised national brand.
A true highlight of working at Shape is that no two days are the same. Shape are able to produce products and concepts that other businesses cannot do. As a more tailored business, Shape have a much smaller client base and that allows more interaction. For this reason, the solutions that Shape provide for bombardier transportation and light rail in Australia are among Nicks favourite project’s.
When you can’t find Nick in the office or in Dunedin, you will find him spending time with his 3 daughters, getting involved with their school community, in particular he is a member on the board of trustees at Clearview Primary in Rolleston and keeping fit - “a way to clear my head”.
Shape NZ and Farra have been working together for 6 years and work closely as they share common values, common capabilities but have different markets which made them the perfect combo. Around 18 months ago Farra acquired Shape and the two companies now work as one.
Jenny has been with Farra Engineering for 21 years! She started off as an administrator for a fixed term maternity leave position and has never left. She has worked for all Farra departments over the years but has been with Fabrication department for the majority of her working time here.
Jenny enjoys her variety of work and the people she works with. Farra is very much a “big family” to her. Life is never boring at Farras - there are always interesting projects on the go. Great friendships have been formed over the past 21 years with fellow staff, customers and suppliers.
Outside the Farra office Jenny loves spending time with her Beagle Milly and going for long happy walks with her, Pilates, cooking in her new kitchen and relaxing with her family.
Dave started at Farra from school 37 years ago, straight into an apprenticeship as a Boiler Maker and has never looked back. Now he is a team leader for the fabrication division and steps up as stand-in foreman when the occasion arises.
Dave enjoys the variety of work that comes into the workshop and the sense of achievement when jobs are completed.
Dave’s Top tips:
Never get complacent in your job and double check everything twice!
Make sure you understand drawings and if you don’t – ask for help.
If it works – don’t muck around with it!
The jobs Dave has really enjoyed have been the New Era Barge out in the Harbour and the The BAT (Building Maintenance Unit) on the Auckland Sky Tower. Dave worked entirely on his own on this project which gives him a lot of satisfaction. Dave enjoys the building maintenance unit work, with the unusual designs and shapes bringing case by case challenges.
Out of work Dave enjoys – computers, English soccer, darts, family time and long walks on the beach.
Fu is Farra Engineering Design’s newest team member. His role is a draughtsman and Fu brings with him 7 years of draughting experience. Fu graduated from Otago Polytechnic majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
Fu enjoys learning new experiences with Farra, especially with the different approaches to draughting. Tips from Zhengchu is:
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes even little ones because that’s how you learn.
He enjoys doing all kinds of different projects and enjoys every project he has ever worked on.
During his free time Fu enjoys fishing and spending time with his two children playing table tennis.
Vanessa is our very own Health and Safety Manager. She is new to this role at Farra but brings extensive experience from her time as a Health and Safety advisor in the United Kingdom National Health Services and locally at Esco.
She ensures that the Farra family has a safe working environment and is legally compliant in all aspects in Health & Safety. Vanessa enjoys interacting with people and finds it interesting observing behaviours of people during her work. She runs a safe ship and finds satisfaction when things are run smoothly.
When Vanessa is not at work, she will be by the beach doing volunteer work for the yellow eyed penguins’ nursery by improving their living environment. She also volunteers annually at the Dunedin mid-winter festival ensuring crowd safety.