Interviews with the Team
Kevin Blackley – Managing Director
Kevin is one of the sons of Blackley Construction founder Graeme Blackley. After working in the family business for more than 30 years, he is now co-owner with his wife Nicola Ross, and managing director of the company.
Kevin first began working for the family business in 1980, after completing a fitter and turner apprenticeship. Though he worked primarily as a repairman, keeping Blackley’s range of heavy machinery in operation, Kevin also spent time bulldozing and installing drainage for the company.
Kevin took on the role of managing director in March 2014, and as part of his dedication and commitment to lead the company into the future, he took part in a management development program through The ICEHOUSE to build his business management skills. While he misses working out in the field with his team, Kevin is dedicated to ensuring that Blackley continues to succeed. His vision is for all of his team to have a clear focus and direction for the future.
When not at work, Kevin enjoys spending time car rallying, which he has been involved in since the late 70’s. He continues to be passionate about rally cars and is still heavily involved. He enjoys getting involved with his sons in mini-stock racing and trail bike riding, and spending time with the rest of his family.
Kane Wills: Works Supervisor
Kane has been with Blackley Construction for more than ten years. He joined the company after a stint in the NZ Army where he learned a variety of transferable skills. These included field engineering, mine clearance, demolition, bridge work and vehicle search, along with high levels of discipline and motivation. All pretty handy things in civil and rural construction.
When he started with Blackley’s, Kane was on the shovels labouring. He then moved on to become a foreman in the asphalt reinstatement team on civil and rural projects, including water mains, culverts and the Ultrafast Broadband rollout.
Kane was promoted to a contract administration role for Blackley Construction and learned more skills, for example density testing, compacting testing, GPS and tendering, before being promoted to his current role as Works Supervisor. He relishes the change and the new responsibilities.
While he’s been at Blackley’s Kane has completed NZ National Certificate papers through the modern apprenticeship programme, along with First Line Management courses and is currently working towards Level 4 Supervision.
He’s a strong supporter of the value of training and encourages others to take the opportunities that Blackley’s offer for the personal development and career benefits.
Kane has been involved in some pretty specialised projects while at Blackleys, like the wind farms at Makara, Te Uku, Raglan and Manawatu. They must have been built in the right places though, as Kane said he saw guys almost get blown over in the wind on some of those sites!
With a young family and a keen interest in basketball, fishing and 4-wheel driving, Kane’s life outside of work is pretty full too. But that’s the way he likes it.
Bruce Lambie – Health & Safety Manager
Bruce Lambie, Blackley Construction’s dedicated Health & Safety Manager, started his working life as a builder in Christchurch. He went on to a career spanning more than 25 years with the Department of Labour. From Safety Inspector to National Advisor then back to the coal face as a Construction Inspector for the Manawatu region in 2000. Bruce has a wealth of knowledge which is invaluable to the Blackley’s team.
A passionate exponent of ‘Zero Harm’ goals and best practice in the workplace, Bruce is excited at the prospect of driving positive changes in health and safety for the team at Blackley’s. “Zero harm relates to people, plant, property and the environment,” says Bruce.
“There is a need for a high level of procedures and processes to be documented, but they have to be practical for the workforce to report on in the field.” Bruce adds.
Bruce believes that a business’s expertise in health and safety is a collective effort, not just a management directive. It needs to be an approach embraced right along the line to supervisors and crew members.
“Collectively a good team should have the knowledge and philosophy to look for things that could go wrong and to analyse and correct things appropriately if they do.”
Bruce’s ultimate aim is for people in the construction industry to aspire to work at Blackley’s because of the company’s highly regarded reputation as an employer with a great safety record.
Outside of working hours Bruce, with wife Ingrid, has a passion for roses (with more than 350 in their home garden) and a love of restoration. In particular, renovating their circa 1936 home and restoring a collection of vintage cars. The most prized of which is a 1927 Studebaker Dictator, whose original owner was Bruce’s grandfather, and a 1930 Chrysler Roadster, one of only 15 left in the world.
Tika Rimal – Labourer
Originally from Bhutan, Tika came to New Zealand as a refugee from Nepal. He moved here with his parents, his wife, and his 1 year old son. After spending a short while in Auckland where he and his family learned about the culture, laws, and history of New Zealand, they chose to move to Palmerston North where Tika’s uncle was already living.
While developing his English language skills, Tika enrolled in ‘digger school’ where he obtained his class 2 license and became qualified to operate diggers and other heavy machinery. He first learned about Blackley Construction during his time at digger school, and after a successful interview and job offer he has become a valuable member of the team at Blackley Construction.
Tika works full-time at Blackley operating diggers, trucks and other heavy machinery, and is involved in a lot of drainage and trenching work. He enjoys every opportunity and challenge that the work presents him, and his family has settled in well to life in Palmerston North. He and his family are looking forward to the opportunity to see more of New Zealand in the coming years.
Tika is determined to keep working hard and improving his on-the-job skills and hopes to one day hold the position of foreman at Blackley Construction.