Kotuku Coombe (KAM Transport)
“I went to jail just before my 21 st birthday. When I was in there, I knew I would never go back, but I just didn’t know where to start until someone gave me a chance.
“Someone from KAM Transport rung my mum one day and asked if one of her sons would be good at heavy lifting. I wanted a job, but then she said I had to be at the gates of Taylor Preston (meat processors) at 2am! I said ok and I’ve never looked back.”
It was Kotuku’s first job and he started as a driver’s assistant, helping load the heavy meat carcasses. He didn’t even have a driver licence, but he’d grown up around trucks and was keen to become a driver.
Five years on, aged 29, he has a Class 4 licence and he’s the driver. He still starts at 2am and transports meat for butchers and supermarkets and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“If you get the opportunity take it. This has been a life changing experience for me. The other drivers teach you – but ask questions, it’s all free knowledge.”