St John’s Queenstown boss takes on regional challenge
Nationwide restructuring of St John has seen Queenstown’s top officer moved into a new regional management role and new bosses installed in Queenstown and Alexandra. Kelvin Perriman returned to the role as Wakatipu manager last year, having also held 10 years earlier. However, a review followed and two weeks ago he started in his new role as territory manager for Central Otago and Southland Lakes with responsibility for eight stations. He will look after logistics, resourcing and staffing for the stations in an area he describes as ‘‘geographically challenging’’ with four skifields and large events approaching, such as Warbirds Over Wanaka, Rhythm and Alps, and events at Highlands Motorsport Park. ‘‘It’s going to be a really exciting job but it’s going to be very busy,’’ he said. He has the backup of intensive care paramedic Craig Downing who has replaced him as the new Queenstown manager. Originally from Christchurch, Mr Downing started medical work with the air force, working in different parts of New Zealand, including a stint as a police officer in the bomb squad, before spending 12 years in Australia and North Queensland. If you get a snake bite, he is your man, he said. He returned to Christchurch after the 2011 earthquake and was looking for management opportunities, with an eye on Queenstown. ‘‘When the opportunity arose to come here I thought I would do whatever it took to get it. The rest just happened.’’ The station now has eight paid staff and about 30 volunteers and he doesn’t see the need to be making great changes. Alexandra St John also has a new manager starting November. Rob Annesley has a navy background and is also an intensive care paramedic. He comes from a role as emergency response manager at Oceania Gold, at the Reefton mine.
READY FOR ACTION: Kelvin Perriman is now the territory manager for St John Central Otago/Southland Lakes while Craig Dowling has replaced him as Queenstown station manager. Photo: Debbie Jamieson 628503748