Sustainability, recycling, looking after the world around you and knowing your turangawaewae – thanks to our great NZKS dads, these values are being passed down from their day at work to the next generation at home.
With Fathers’ Day coming up tomorrow, we thought we’d ask just a few of the many dads who work at NZKS how what they do every day at work influences what they teach their kids.
Mark Preece, Business Development Manager, has worked for NZKS for 22 years and his children Ben, 11 and Emily, 9, have long-since been included in his drive and passion for sustainability, both at work and at home.
Mark has always taught the kids the importance of not putting undue pressure on wild resources, talks to them about making responsible purchasing decisions – just as NZKS does – and tells them about environmental programmes he gets involved with through work. He also passes on the importance of looking after the environment and how that relates to not only his job, but everyday life and the future.
“I like how we work in with the environment and a lot of what we do, even before it was regulated, was making sure we were looking after the environment because it’s that very environment, that very water, that is essentially the lifeblood of our fish and our farms. Without that, there won’t be any salmon farms.”
NZKS Seawater and Aquaculture Production Manager Grant Lovell’s children Jessica, 11 and Nicola, 9, have only known their dad to work at NZKS – and now that they’re older, it’s making for some interesting and educational discussions around the dinner table.
“My eldest, who’s quite smart, can get a bit frustrated around the public commentary around our business,” says Grant, who adds that Nicola even drafted an unpublished letter to the editor outlining what NZKS is doing right.
“They often ask, ‘Dad, is this true,’ and I explain that this is how we do it, and we’re not doing anything bad. It’s really important for us as a company that we know we do everything in a sustainable way.”
Grant talks to them about caring for the environment, always giving any job 100%, and enjoying what you do – values that Grant applies to his work every day.
Although Graeme Aldridge’s daughter lives thousands of miles away, he takes any chance he can to pass onto his deep-seated values around hard work, having a passion to succeed, learning from mistakes and always remembering your turangawaewae – the place you call home.
The NZKS Fish Health and Welfare Operations manager also teaches Arani-Ella Aldridge, 12, who lives in Perth, te reo Maori.
Graeme, who himself enjoyed an idyllic childhood in Tory Channel where his father and grandfather were fishermen and whalers – and where Graeme himself still works on NZKS farms – says he gave Arani the exact same upbringing he had when he was young, “but with better technology”.
“I taught her the importance of mahinga kai (gathering food), but also respecting nature, especially Tangaroa, God of the Sea, as it can be dangerous and have big consequences if you don’t respect the sea,” Graeme says.
“Arani has said, ‘Dad, you have worked there for a long time, that means you must love your job’, and she is 100% correct. So this shows Arani that NZKS has been a big part of our lives, has given us opportunities and provided the means to build a house and her tree hut.”