Hands-on employer’s the wheel deal
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.