We spoke to three members of our team who have been with us since graduating to find out how their careers at Winstone Aggregates have evolved and what advice they would give to other young adults wanting to get into the industry.


Israel Kopi 


I originally started as an intern back in December 2018. What was supposed to be a three-month internship has now turned into almost three years! Initially, I was a part of the Fletcher Building grad programme which gave me the opportunity to be exposed to the business and its operations. It gave me a sense of direction and structure and helped me to decide what I wanted to do with my career. It also presented a great opportunity to connect with other graduates within the industry who were in a similar stage of their careers.


My first two weeks on the job was a general introduction to the business. I met my team and they took me through their projects. I also visited our various quarry sites and met with a lot of our people. I was then given a small stormwater project to manage and deliver while supporting another larger earthworks project. I spent more time on site watching and learning from the contractors than I did in the office. Most of what I did was related to civil engineering.


I’m currently based in Penrose at the Fletcher Building Head Office. Half of what I do is project management and delivery of capital projects, the other half is technical. This includes land surveying, design and drafting, all within the field of engineering.


A favourite thing of mine about the job is the variety of work, along with the great people. The advice I would give to others wanting to get into the industry would be to not be afraid to make mistakes. If you do, own up, learn from and correct them. Have a go and get stuck in, ask questions and have the courage to say you don’t know something. Build and manage good relationships within and outside of the company. It will work for you in the long run.


John Tomlinson - JT


When I first started at Winstone Aggregates back in May 2012, I went through three graduate programmes within the business. Each programme had a different focus which meant I was exposed to many areas within our business. Overall, I learnt the skills needed to be a Quarry Manager, improve team dynamics and how to engage with stakeholders and presentation skills.


Initially, I started as a Process Engineer at Hunua Quarry. Given I had recently come from an aggregate testing laboratory, it was a good fit for me as I was tasked with looking after the testing and quality of the products we produced. This led me to making tweaks and changes to the plant set-up and stockpile management etc. I took on other responsibilities such as managing our Cement Treated Basecourse plant (CTB) and running trials on an experimental plant and product source. I would also jump on a dump truck or loader sometimes, to help cover for staff who were on breaks.


Recently I’ve taken up the role of Engineering Manager at Winstone Aggregates. This sees me managing a team of awesome engineers. We are responsible for a number of key operations in the business including surveying, fixed plant design and construction, overburden removal and erosion and sediment control, to name just a few. My job allows me to travel the country, but most of my time is spent desk hopping between the Head Office in Penrose, Auckland and Hunua Quarry.


My favourite thing about working here at Winstones is the people. It’s easy to form good relationships and work together to achieve some pretty awesome stuff. The advice that I would give others who might be thinking of starting a career here at Winstone Aggregates is to jump in and give it a go. Take every opportunity you are presented with and run with it, learn as much as you can and be curious. Winstone Aggregates have supported me every step of the way.


Jack Barr

[Image above of Jack was taken back when he was a graduate] 

I first began my career at Winstone Aggregates in April 2013. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to go through the grad programme, it was incredible connecting with all the other grads, including a handful from Rocla (Australia) when I first joined. I  absolutely loved all the training and personal development we received early on in our careers. I know this experience has made a huge impact on where I am today.


When I first started I was working with the Transport Team, building up models in excel for DIFOT reporting, forecasting/budgets and improving how we look at transport pricing. Now I effectively head up all the transport pricing for Winstone Aggregates. I look after the Transport Administration Team - who are incredible, help look after the Napier Transport site (from an administration and H&S standpoint), as well a being involved in various strategic projects across the business to help move the transport side of the business forward in non-operation areas.


Most of my time is spent at Awatoto, Napier, where I have an incredible view to the ocean just a literal stone's throw from the office. My favourite thing about working here at Winstone’s is the people I’m surrounded by and their passion, it is an incredible environment to work in.


The advice that I would give to others who are looking to start a career in the industry would be to get involved in projects that help you push yourself, your skill sets and experience – as well as helping you develop a lot of awesome relationships. All of these will really serve you as you move forward with your career. Additionally, I would encourage everyone to think with an owners mindset.

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