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Peter Wairau - new QRS people and capabilities manager

Peter Wairau Canva

Helping people upskill and succeed has always been Peter Wairau’s calling.

Whether it be enhancing the skills of Ngāi Te Rākatō  iwi, helping a prison inmate achieve academic success, or supporting a labourer to earn licences, Mr Wairau wants everyone to experience the feeling of achievement.

“When a person wants to help themselves the extra focus I can bring is to help them with something tangible so they can feel their own worth. Some people have never passed a course in their whole life so to open that door and help them earn that sense of achievement is my passion.”

Mr Wairau has been appointed people and capability manager at Quality Roading and Services, a position that became available this month after the previous manager, Jeremy Harker was announced as QRS’s new chief executive. 

Mr Harker says he’s thrilled with Mr Wairau’s appointment. “I’ve worked alongside Pete for five years and have always appreciated the way he works with people, and his understanding of the community. Staff at QRS are lucky that they will continue to benefit from having Pete’s measured approach to their own career and personal development. He understands what people want to achieve and how to get the best out of them.”

Mr Wairau has always had a passion for helping people. After completing his carpentry apprenticeship straight out of high school, Mr Wairau, now 56, exchanged his hammer for human resources and has spent most of his career helping train and educate people.

Drawn to Australia in 1999 Mr Wairau was initially a security guard trainer. The large company he worked for recruited and trained 3000 guards in time for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.  Later he worked in Queensland providing health and safety workplace training at large companies servicing the warehousing and mining industries.

Mr Wairau has also worked as a corrections officer at Christchurch Men’s Prison.

Mr Wairau joined QRS in 2016.  “The team was implementing the basics of health and safety. It wasn’t until we started explaining why we were doing it, about saving lives, being compliant, and being able to secure more work for the company, that people started to understand.”

Mr Wairau pays tribute to his health and safety colleagues Jeremy Harker and Paul Eaglesome. He credits their passion and drive for helping the company become a preferred supplier with ISO certifications, and relevant Waka Kotahi NZTA and North Island worksite pre-qualifications.

“It’s a credit to them that the company has developed the competency frameworks we now all work under. We all just want to make sure everyone gets home every day and that we can be the best company we can.”

Image caption: Quality Roading and Services new people and capabilities manager is Peter Wairau. Mr Wairau is a NgāiTe Rākatō Iwi Trust trustee with a passion for helping his iwi thrive. A former sportsman who played rugby in the United States and water polo for New Zealand, outside of work Pete is these days happiest spending time at his marae and home with whānau. Image credit: Brennan Thomas, Strike Photography. 

22 September 2021

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