Among other things that are unique about Mtech Games – one of the leading companies in New Zealand exploring the possibilities for virtual reality in the rehabilitation/medical space and beyond - are curse-words-learning-Fridays. “That's another great advantage of having a multicultural and multilingual team. We now know almost all the swear words in Spanish, Hindi, Chinese, Dutch and Danish. Few weeks back, someone from Scandinavia was visiting us. So the team got to learn some Icelandic swearing too,” quipped Brook Waters, CEO and co-founder of the company, which employs 12 employees from eight different nationalities.
In similar vein to Hellers from Waimakariri [story on page 6], Christchurch-based AuCom Electronics, specialists in fixed speed motor control, which has 110 employees on its role, employs migrants coming from 26 different nationalities.
The population of Waimakariri is changing, with the range of ethnicities and numbers growing as employers have to go further afield to recruit workers. An example is Hellers Ltd in Kaiapoi, which employs 450 people in their state-of-the-art meat processing plant and over 50 are migrant workers.
Peter Townsend is the Chief Executive of the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce (CECC), a position he has held since 1996. In addition, he holds several corporate directorships and is the Honorary Consul for Chile for the South Island. In recognition of his services to businesses and communities, he received the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in the 2014 New Year’s Honours. He is actively engaged in earthquake recovery issues and as such he was appointed to the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Advisory Board on Transition in January 2015. He is also on the Board of Pegasus Health and Ōtākaro Limited - a new Crown company established to deliver key anchor projects and precincts in Christchurch.