NRC Member Profile

Nigel Winiata is a great advertisement for the little guy made good.

From one small Isuzu 28 years ago doing local deliveries in Palmerston North, he now runs four Scania trucks with four and five axle trailer units doing contract delivery work for Foodstuffs from its southern North Island distribution warehouse in Palmerston North.

In conjunction with brother Andrew, who runs a separate business alongside – also with four trucks – they do daily runs into the Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Kapiti Coast and Wellington.

“We work together and share the work ,” said Nigel. “We swap the runs around to give the drivers a variety of deliveries and destinations instead of having the same routine all the time.”

“We double shift some trucks to meet all the requirements of the contract,” he said.

Nigel grew up in Levin and started his working life as a spray painter labourer for Modern Freighters but left to start a trade apprenticeship in automotive refinishing

He spent six years in the Industry before having to finish up after getting poisoned through excessive exposure to the toxic chemicals and fumes.

As an interim job he started work for Child Freighters as a storeman in Levin and then later their Seaview branch, eventually going on to buy one of the Palmerston North Based owner driver trucks that came up for sale, an Isuzu FTR, making local deliveries.

That work continued for six years under various ownerships and a receivership until the company ended up as part of Hookers.

Then in 1996 his late father Ben helped he and brother Andrew into their own businesses.

“He had been in the industry all his life,” said Nigel. The brothers reckon they had grown up in the back of a Cappers Transport truck in the Horowhenua area when they were growing up in Levin.

“Dad had all the contacts. He was the catalyst for what we created and have today.”

Nigel started with one truck doing the Foodstuffs contract and in the intervening 22 years his fleet has steadily grown to four. He employs the drivers to meet his contract obligations with Foodstuffs.

He joined National Road Carriers Assn (NRC) “about 14 years ago”. Until then Nigel had “boxed along by ourselves.” But as the business grew he found he needed more answers and information he didn’t have at his fingertips.

“I asked around and got advice from other guys in the industry that recommended the NRC, because they thought they had great information systems and back-up support, especially tailored for owner – drivers.”

“The cost models, legal advice put you on the right page.” And he took advantage of NRC’s co-operative buying power for cheaper deals on various goods and services.

Nigel’s operation is based out of Foodstuffs Distribution Centre in Palmerston North as he works 100% exclusively for Food Stuffs North Island and the Scania truck and trailer units are serviced “just over the back fence” at Cable Price.

His fleet includes a spare unit to cover when other trucks are being serviced along with any overflow. “We have a tail lift on an eight-wheeler, which is very uncommon, so we have had to back ourself because when we need one, then we need it, and nobody else has them.”