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!
With a background in Mechanical Engineering and an interest in renewable energy, Thomas was the perfect fit for the project manager role 7 years ago. Now, he is the manager of the Engineering Design team. Thomas puts his creative skills in to play. Having the creative freedom to create new products and bespoke solutions is only one of Thomas’s highlights of working at Farra.
Having a mix of both national and international clients, Thomas gets to travel to inspect, strategize and implement product outcomes. This allows him to see the problem needing a solution first hand and ensures the client relationship is an engaged, informed and happy one. One of his most enjoyable products was the High-Riser solution developed for the re-cladding operation on Spencer on Byron Hotel in Auckland. This allowed the team to rethink maintenance systems and create a world-first innovative solution, which is a Best Awards finalist.
When Thomas isn’t thinking of his next solution to clients problems, you can find him playing squash, out trail riding and diving.
Terry joined the Farra team 19 years ago and is currently a Senior Design Engineer. He has a Bachelor of Engineering and has a background working in consultancy firms, working as a Systems Engineer, working as a Project Manager for Shell Fuel, and he completed a stint with Airbus Industrie.
Terry enjoys being able to test out the finished equipment and see the results from his designs.
Outside of work Terry enjoys outdoor activities, including biking, tramping and camping.
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.
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 is 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's 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.
Jamie started working in fabrication as a Heavy Fabricator/Welder in 2008 and a couple of years later decided he wanted to experience working in the office. Jamie moved to a new role as an Engineer Technician and has found his practical hands-on experience has been a great asset in assisting this transition.
In 2013 Jamie set off on his OE with his girlfriend to the UK for a year and a half where he got more work experience in engineering and landscaping. Jamie did extensive travelling before returning to Dunedin. Farra were happy to have Jamie back on the team and offered him a position as Project Manager with the fabrication division.
Jamie enjoys his job for the varied and interesting projects that come his way. One of his favourite jobs has been project managing the NSR High Riser project, a new product design for Farra that brought with it lots of challenges. Currently the High-Riser, a scaffold alternative product, is nominated in the “Best Design Awards” https://bestawards.co.nz/product/non-consumer/farra-engineering/high-riser/
Jamie’s top tips are:
Never be too comfortable in your job and be ready to always learn new things.
Two hands receive a hospital pass!
Jamie's favourite quirky saying is “tis the way it is Lad!”
Outside of work Jamie enjoys, diving, landscaping, rugby, surfing and relaxing with his family.
Andrew joined the fabrication team just over a year ago after being out of NZ for 30 years. Andrew worked in the engineering business in Australia, Indonesia and Africa but decided he wanted to return home to the South Island.
What Andrew enjoys about working at Farra is that no day in the workshop is ever the same and the variety of work is always interesting and challenging. He especially enjoys the welding work and has a passion for this trade.
Andrews top tips are:
Always visualise what you are actually making in the workshop.
Always ask if you’re not sure - you can never ask too many questions.
The day you die is the day you stop learning.
Outside of work Andrew loves to cook, trying out new wines and travelling.
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.
Mike has been with Farra for five years. When he knocked on Farra Machining's door the first couple of times he was told things were currently quiet. Mike did his Fitter/Turner apprenticeship at Scotts, dabbled at University studying Law and Business, and also laboured for the building industry, then heard things were really busy at Machining. Mike rang Ryan and finally got in. Mike spent four years on the fitting team at Machining then had the opportunity to move into the office as a Production Engineer.
Mike enjoys the daily challenges of Machining and achieving customer goals is key to him. He believes that Machining offer a high standard of service and product that doesn't always come cheap, but if you want quality then Farra Machining is the one stop shop.
If you want something badly enough you've got to work hard to get it, it won't come to you.
Outside of work Mike is an enthusiastic boxer, loves to travel and spend time with his family.
Ryan started at Farra Fabrication seven years ago, moving to Dunedin from Invercargill after doing an apprenticeship as a Fabricator at Wilson Bros Engineering. Ryan took a chance and walked into the Farra Fabrication office and asked the boss for a job – he was successful and hasn’t looked back.
Ryan loves his food and any social occasion so this means lunchtime is a daily highlight! He particularly enjoys the variety of jobs and projects that come his way as a Team Leader. Ryan also enjoys the site work opportunities he has had around NZ and also feels lucky to have travelled overseas with Farra to places like Australia and Dubai.
One of his favourite projects has been Ahuriri Lodge, where all the steel work was fabricated in the workshop including a large curved roof and then the weeks of site work putting it all together – Bindi his dog accompanied him which was rather special.
Out of work Ryan enjoys, surfing the Dunedin beaches, long walks with Bindi and getting prepared for the arrival of his first baby in November.
Adrian started at Farra 18 years ago when he started his apprenticeship as a Fitter Turner. He then left for 18 months and worked at Donaghys as a fitter until he got a call from the Machining Foreman to come back to Farra. Adrian completed his apprenticeship and went on to run the large CNC Borer and was heavily involved in site work, which was hard work, with long hours but always interesting and rewarding, while working with great people.
Adrian suffered a knee injury from motorbiking and found workshop/sitework more and more difficult and it was suggested he should look for a different job. He has been pursued in the past to take the foreman role at Machining and had always resisted, but two years ago this seemed like the best option and he decided to go for it. Adrian enjoys his new role as foreman being responsible for organising the workshop, men, and job flow on a daily basis. Farra Machining use and deal with very expensive machinery which is a huge responsibility in itself to manage.
One of Adrian's memorable work times was the Manapouri Upgrade. He was responsible for machining many parts then being on site underground installing the parts. The project had long days, was hard work, but was a satisfying experience shared with many other onsite workers living in a hostel.
Outside of work Adrian still enjoys motorbiking and spending time with his family.
Glenn joined Farra Fabrication initially after working at Fisher & Paykel for eight years. He did an adult apprenticeship as a Heavy Fabricator and after seven years in Fabrication he decided his calling was more in the Fitting side so transferred to Farra Machining where he did another adult apprenticeship as a General Engineer.
Glenn enjoys the diversity of work that is offered, his workmates company, the opportunities of doing interesting site work, and the challenges that go with that.
Working on the Ravensdown Steam Turbine is a job he remembers well and enjoyed the complete overhaul the project required, the satisfaction of a job well done, and the great bunch of guys he worked with on that project.
More days - More Pay!
Outside of work Glenn likes to spend as much time as he can with Lucy (his AP5 Valiant).
Mike has been with Farra Machining for over 30 years. He did his Fitter and Turner Apprenticeship learning his trade in the workshop and eventually running the workshop before he took on the role as Fitting Foreman which involves full on site work.
Mike enjoys the satisfaction that comes with "fixing BIG stuff", the variation of jobs he runs all over NZ, the people he meets along the way and the everyday challenges.
Mike's most enjoyable job is the Wind Farm at Horseshoe bend. From go to woe Mike refurbished, installed on site and now maintains the project. It was a great job!
You only get out what you put in, do your best and you'll get looked after".
Outside of work Mike likes to spend time with family and friends, and work on his cars.
Merv joined Farra straight from school, just over 40 years ago. He completed his Sheetmetal Apprenticeship and worked his way through the workshop to Sheetmetal Foreman, and then Foreman of Fabrication & Sheetmetal when they were combined. Subsequently Farra Lift Components was born and a workshop was set up on Bachop Street, with Merv becoming the Works Manager for this department.
Merv enjoys the variety of work that is offered at Farra. He enjoys mentoring staff and watching their development, and the relationships he has grown with customers over the years.
His most memorable job was the refurbishment of Parliament House in Wellington. Farra was tasked with building and installing new lifts and Merv was involved in the whole process, from manufacture through to on site installation. The job coincided with Wellington’s 150th anniversary celebrations so the city was a great place to be at the time. Being able to walk around Parliament House freely was very exciting and Merv particularly enjoyed the opportunity to sit in the speaker’s chair!
Merv's top tip:
Take any opportunity that comes your way, including training, so you can advance yourself at every opportunity.
Outside of work Merv enjoys gardening, photography and finding new coffee shops to try out with his wife Jill.
Nick started with Farra just over eight years ago after nine years at Fisher & Paykel where he did Processing and Programming and helped to move the plant to Mexico and train new staff over there.
Nick jumped at the opportunity when offered a job at Farra Sheetmetal and hasn’t looked back.
Nick enjoys the banter and friendships he has made at Farra. He is always ready to assist customers and particularly enjoys doing the stainless cabinets Sheetmetal complete for Switchbuild and the relationship he has built up with them.
Don’t get complacent in your job, strive to keep your job interesting.
Outside of work Nick loves to mow his lawns on his ride-on mower and take his jet ski for a run.
Adrian joined the Farra family just over 21 years ago after doing a few casual jobs here and there. He started off on the shop floor in the days when Stainless, Sheetmetal and Lifts were one and he remembers guillotining 4.5 tonne of 6mm plate. He did many roles in the Sheetmetal shop over the years such as Bender on the press brake, working the turrets, and had a year on nightshift before being asked to do the Computer Programming for the ever-growing Fisher & Paykel workload. His vast experience in the Sheetmetal shop, knowledge of the machines, and how to program and run them lead to his now position of Works Manager.
Play longer–work Less (if you can).
Adrian would say the most enjoyable part of his job is the Designing aspect. He doesn’t get to do as much as he’d like but when he does he gives it his all. One particular project he has fond memories of was doing a sculptured wall of NZ native flowers for an artist which now graces the front wall of Wanaka Pool.
Outside of work Adrian is an avid Golfer and spends as much time as he can playing golf. Also loves to renovate and he and his wife have the “Travel Bug”.
A veteran in the Farra Family, Grant has been with us for 37 years and is one of the longest standing team members. What started as an apprenticeship in the Sheetmetal division straight out of school has naturally progressed to Grant becoming the Stainless division manager.
Being 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 sees 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!
Matt joined the Farra Stainless team 18 months ago after being self-employed in a smaller scale engineering business. A back injury and subsequent back operation made him re-evaluate his physical job. When he heard of an opportunity at Farra Stainless in the office Matt was keen to check it out and was very happy to land a role as a Project Manager, utilising his varied and experienced engineering knowledge and expertise.
Matt enjoys the people of Farra and the change from small scale engineering to the large scale workshop and projects that Stainless offer. Projects that include stainless tanks for Fonterra and breweries all over NZ. Matt is happy to have the best seat in the office next to the TV and heat pump.
Think about what a product could be, not what it is. Innovation is the key.
One great job that Matt recalls being especially enjoyable and challenging was rebuilding an aerial atom chassis for a customer and the great communication with the customer. This included smart thinking and detailed planning to achieve the final product. It was a fun enjoyable project.
Outside of work Matt enjoys all sports (not so much the player anymore though), hanging out with Sarah and wee Blake and planning their upcoming summer wedding.
Justin has been with Farra for 17 years. Justin worked in the workshop and completed his Stainless Fabricator Apprenticeship prior to taking an opportunity to transition to a Project Manager role when the role presented itself. Justin attributes being able to transition into the Project Manager role to his hard work and dedication to the job and company.
Justin enjoys the variety of work that comes his way, and the new people and contacts he has meet as a result of his time at Farra.
Don’t take others for granted or make assumptions. Ask questions and get all the info.
Positive reinforcement goes along way!
Outside of work Justin plays and coaches rugby, and enjoys long walks along the beach.
Russell came to Farra 21 years ago, originally after living a Sales Rep life at Skellerup. His first role at Farra was as Storeman, and this transitioned into a Supervisor and subsequently Manager role in Farra's Lift department. Russell took a 5 year sabbatical to pursue an opportunity in Alexandra, a place he loves. After five years in Alexandra, Russell and his family returned to Dunedin and he was grateful to secure a job back at Farra in the Stainless department where he now works as Workshop Supervisor.
Russell enjoys his role and the challenges it brings. His tasks include organising workshop workflow and dealing with staff and customers, many of which Russell has established long and trusting relationships.
His most memorable period at Farra was working in Lifts at the peak of their business when he would oversee the manufacture of 200 lift cars a year for Schindlers NZ and the Australian market.
Russell’s top tip:
“Enjoy life as who knows what is around the corner”
Out of work Russell enjoys motorbike riding, DYI around his property, and visiting his family crib in Alexandra with his family.
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 time working here.
Jenny enjoys her variety of work and the people she works with as Farra is very much a “big family” to her. Life is never boring at Farra - 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 brought in by the 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.
Tania has been with Farra for 12 years and has spent her time and expertise with Farra Machining running all aspects of the office and keeping her machining men in line. Tania has had many administration positions over the years and came from a payroll position at the University of Otago before she landed her roll at Farra.
She enjoys the variety of work in her day and the "family" environment, flexibility, and support that Farra and its staff offer her.
Laughter. Laughter helps you get through every day.
Outside of work Tania loves to play social volleyball and netball, spend as much time as she can with her two precious grandchildren, travelling, and socialising with friends.
Etienne joined the Farra team a few months ago as an intern while he completes his studies in Management and Accountancy at the Otago Polytechnic. Etienne came from Malaysia so he could advance in his studies and enjoys Dunedin life very much. At Farra he is currently working to assist our CFO in various projects and is very instrumental in the set up and training of our new ERP M1 computer system.
Etienne is enjoying the new experiences and the learning opportunities in the Manufacturing sector which he has never worked in before and providing very valuable experience for Etienne to grow this knowledge.
Outside of work Etienne loves to play sport, archery and hunting are top of the list.
Carolyn can be found in the office at Farra Engineering. She came to Farra after working at the freezing works and Farmers department store in administration roles and has been with Farra for 22 years as an Office Administrator. Carolyn enjoys the challenges and variety that working at Farra offers, as no two days are the same.
Carolyn's top tips are:
Always be open, honest and willing to learn
the biggest mistake to make is to become complacent
Outside of work Carolyn is involved in sports (all kinds of sports) and running around after the kids. She also has a house in Kurow which the family visit as often as possible.
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.
Paula has been with Farra for 12 years, coming from 22 years at Mainland doing various admin and marketing roles before the office was shifted to Christchurch.
She has worked in different parts of Farra including; Stainless, Sheetmetal, Lifts, and Design giving her a varied workload which she enjoys and working with a lot of different people in Farra, which is always fun and enjoyable.
Outside of work Paula is an avid reader, treasurer of the GI Football Club. The key part of her life is family and friends and retreating to their sunny holiday home in Wanaka when they can.