Iplex New Zealand has been in operation for some 40 years and Production Data Support Administrator Lindsay Campbell, Die Setter Tex Wilson, Mix Room Technical Tai Loau, and National Technical Manager Frank O'Callaghan have been part of the entire journey.
Collectively they boast 160 years of service but at Iplex NZ, most staff members have clocked up 20, 23, 30, and 35-years service, with those serving 10-15 years, still considered 'juniors'.
"The company looks after us," they say, when asked why they have stayed for such an impressive amount of time. Many of them began their time at Iplex as new dads or fathers-to-be and now they are all grandparents. "I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to stay at Iplex when I started 40 years ago," says Lindsay.
He started, and then left, to work at the local freezing works for around nine months. But he soon returned, feeling that Iplex gave him the job stability he was looking for. "Here I am 40-years later," he says, "I'm glad I made the right decision."
Lindsay started out as an operator on C-shift that he says had some real characters. "I remember years ago, they switched off the 'insultube line' because it used Freon" he explains. "It was such a big deal at the time (switching it off to protect the ozone layer) that TV cameras came to film the event!"
Lindsay has worked in administration for the past 15 years and has recently moved to the main office. He feels blessed that his symptoms of hearing loss allow him to easily navigate office life surrounded by "a lovely team of polite and sweet ladies".
"It really is a great company with great people," says Lindsay, sentiments that are echoed by all his fellow veterans.
Die Setter Tex Wilson chuckles at how a number of his younger co-workers, even those with 15 years under their belts, like to point out that he’s been at Iplex longer than they’ve been on this earth.
"I appreciate how the company has let me look after my family and looks after people particularly during times of bereavement or when they had sick kids," he says.
Tex spent 22 years in injection moulding before moving to die setting. When he started out, he was a father-to-be; now he is a grandfather to 11 grandkids.
Tai Loau says he's enjoyed seeing younger operators come through and as a result of their work at Iplex, "seeing them purchase their own homes and raise their own young families".
For National Technical Manager Frank O'Callaghan, the job has taken him all over New Zealand and around the world, including Asia, Europe, Canada, USA, Central America, and the Pacific Islands, including a two-year stint overseeing pipe installation in Papua New Guinea.
"Everything I've achieved in this business has been thanks to the backing of a solid team and the support of my wife and family," says Frank, who remarks that his 40 years in the business is equally about the enduring quality of all of them over the years.