Hands-on em­ployer’s the wheel deal

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

Thirty-six years of fix­ing bikes could make Bruce O’Halloran an award win­ner.

The 53-year-old has been nom­i­nated for Em­ployer of the Year at the At­ti­tude Awards, held tonight to co­in­cide with World Dis­abil­ity Day, for his will­ing­ness to hire peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties.

Other cat­e­gories in the awards, run by dis­abil­ity-fo­cused pro­duc­tion com­pany At­ti­tude TV, in­clude sports­man and woman of the year.

Mr O’Halloran runs Ad­ven­ture Cy­cles in Par­nell, where he’s hired a num­ber of peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, as well as other peo­ple in need.

He says run­ning the busi­ness, which he started 13 years ago af­ter fix­ing bikes as a hobby for more than 20 years, is very re­ward­ing.

“It’s re­ally ex­cit­ing see­ing peo­ple build self con­fi­dence and make a suc­cess of their lives.”

He teaches his em­ploy­ees all the skills in­volved in fix­ing a bike, from chang­ing a pedal to fix­ing a tyre.

Many come to Mr O’Halloran’s busi­ness to work just a few hours a week in prepa­ra­tion for looking for a job else­where.

“There’s a lit­tle bit of ex­tra ef­fort needed, but they of­ten make up for it in their com­mit­ment to do the right thing.”

Mr O’Halloran, who moved to New Zealand 28 years ago from the United States, is pleased the in­dus­try is get­ting some recog­ni­tion through the awards.

“It’s quite ex­cit­ing hav­ing some­one else recog­nise what you do.”

Em­ployee James Taie says the op­por­tu­nity to work at Ad­ven­ture Cy­cles is much more ex­cit­ing than his pre­vi­ous job of pack­ing boxes.

“I get to make up wheel spokes and ser­vice the bikes,” he says.

The 27-year-old Mt Roskill res­i­dent says it took him a while to learn how to fix the bikes, but there’s plenty of help avail­able from Mr O’Halloran and other ex­pe­ri­enced em­ploy­ees.

At­ti­tude TV as­so­ciate pro­ducer Cur­tis Palmer says it was an easy choice to se­lect Mr O’Halloran’s busi­ness as one of the fi­nal­ists for the em­ployer’s award.

“When I was de­sign­ing the cat­e­gory he was one of the first peo­ple I thought of.

“He doesn’t have to do what he does. He goes out of his way to help his em­ploy­ees.”

Other lo­cal nom­i­nees in­clude Suzanne Cowan from Eden Ter­race who is up for the arts award and Mt Al­bert res­i­dent Todd Fernie could come away with the com­mu­nity award.

Kings­land res­i­dent Red Ni­chol­son is a con­tender for the youth award, while Philip Pat­ston from West­mere is nom­i­nated for the en­ter­prise award.


Com­mu­nity-minded: Bruce O’Halloran shows em­ployee James Taie the tricks of the trade when it comes to bike re­pairs be­fore the At­ti­tude Awards, where he is nom­i­nated for em­ployer of the year.

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