Ed­die’s job puts on the shine

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By KRIS DANDO

Ed­die Kiri’s face breaks out into a bright smile when you ask him about his job.

‘‘I love it. I’ve got my own car and I keep that clean and tidy, so I can ap­pre­ci­ate how peo­ple want theirs to look good.’’

Mr Kiri, 63, is eight weeks into his new job with Porirua Au­tocrash Re­pairs on Kenepuru Dr.

He is start­ing again, af­ter be­ing made re­dun­dant 14 months ago by Spicers Pa­per in Pe­tone, where he worked for more than 20 years.

It’s the first time he’s worked in Porirua, his home­town, which he says makes it ‘‘ex­tra spe­cial’’.

The fact he is a car groomer, an en­try-level po­si­tion usu­ally given to young peo­ple start­ing out in the in­dus­try, does not faze him.

He hopes he can in­spire older peo­ple to not be afraid to ap­ply for work usu­ally suited to younger job­seek­ers.

As he is the last per­son to touch the re­paired cars be­fore they are picked up by cus­tomers, clean­ing them in­side and out­side im­mac­u­lately, he takes im­mense pride in his work.

‘‘If I didn’t have pride in do­ing the best I can, you would be able to tell.’’

Mr Kiri found out about the job fol­low­ing a seminar in Porirua hosted by Work and In­come.

The great-grand­fa­ther was the old­est in the room by some years.

‘‘They said there was a job go­ing and those who wanted more in­for­ma­tion about it were told to turn right when you went out­side; ev­ery­one else should turn left.

‘‘I was the only one that went right – I couldn’t un­der­stand it.’’

Porirua Au­tocrash co-owner Sue But­ters­field says they had four ap­pli­cants for the car groomer’s role, but Mr Kiri im­pressed them with his sunny out­look and solid work prin­ci­ples. They had no prob­lem tak­ing on some­one in his 60s.

‘‘We de­cided to take some­one who re­ally wanted the job. Ed­die has en­thu­si­asm and we haven’t looked back,’’ says Ms But­ter­field.

‘‘He has life ex­pe­ri­ence and ab­so­lutely the right attitude.

‘‘I can re­mem­ber of­fer­ing him the job on the Thurs­day night and asked if he could be in at 7am the next morn­ing. He walked in like he was six foot and bul­let­proof. It’s a great feel­ing to know you’ve made a dif­fer­ence in some­one’s life and he’s just a great em­ployee, gets on and does the work.’’

Work and In­come re­gional di­rec­tor Blair McKen­zie says Porirua Au­tocrash’s will­ing­ness to take on an older em­ployee is com­mend­able. Mr Kiri was hired with the help of a Work and In­come Skills In­vest­ment sub­sidy.

Mr McKen­zie says Work and In­come have 30 va­can­cies for work on any given day.

Right attitude: Car groomer Ed­die Kiri has the attitude that any job, big or small, should be done prop­erly and he strives to make the five or six cars he cleans ev­ery day spot­less for Porirua Au­tocrash cus­tomers.

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