Home' Otago Southland Farmer : November 2nd 2012 Contents 26
BIRCHWOOD -- Andrew & Diane Chartres, 03 225 5889 COLHOUN -- David Colhoun, 03 221 7269
GREELINE -- Hayden Pater, 03 246 9687
KINRAE -- Grant Campbell, 03 221 7306
MOUNT LINTON -- Hamish Bielski, 03 225 4689
NITHDALE -- Andrew Tripp, 03 205 3588
ROSEDALE -- Don & Brigette Morrison, 03 207 1857
ROSLYN DOWNS -- Chris & Gaynor Miller, 03 230 6144
SHOREFORD -- James & Sophie Pinckney, 03 224 6166
TAMLET -- George & Kathryn Smith, 03 206 4925
THE GATES -- Henry & Olivia Pinckney, 03 315 6433
TWIN FARM -- Andrew, Russell & Pam Welsh, 03 208 5902
WAIKAKA -- Laurie & Sharon Paterson, 03 207 2835
WAIRAKI -- Richard & Trudy Slee, 03 225 8899
WOODLANDS RESEARCH STN -- Kevin Knowler, 03 231 3033
15 Breeders - 24 Flocks - 9750 Ram Lambs Weaned - Top 10% listed on SIL Alpha Webpage - Across Flock Across Breed Records
ROMNEY, COOPWORTH, TEXEL, TEFROM, COOPDALE, ROMTEX, COOPTEX, SUFTEX, GROWBULK, PERENDALE, COMPOSITES
Shearing instructor passes on valuable skills
Chas Tohiariki believes he's got the best of both worlds -- the talented shearer originally wanted to be a school
teacher but says his role with Tectra has enabled him to fulfil that dream.
By CARMEN HALL
You don't need any experience and we take people from the grassroots. We teach
them about the entire procedure from wool handling to gear maintenance, pressing
as well as other elements like health and safety awareness and logistics.'' --- Shearing
instructor Chas Tohiariki.
Milton shearer, Kelvin Bassett performing a
shearing demonstration at Wairaki Station on a
5-day learner shearing course. Kelvin looks after
most of the courses.
Even though his classroom is the
shearing shed and students push a
hand piece instead of a pen.
The Southern Regional training manager
initially started shearing in 1996 but says
it s in his blood.
His parents had a contract run in Tuatapere
and he can remember dragging out sheep
for his dad as a 10-year-old as well as
working through the school holidays.
He says these experiences gave him a good
work ethic, which is an important element
in the shearing shed.
Chas was also a successful, competitive
show shearer and won two prestigious
championships including the senior Golden
Shears and senior Alexandra NZ Merino
Nowadays he still shears occasionally on
the weekends but is putting his skills to
good use helping to train up and coming
A job he is passionate about and has been
his career since 2005.
On average Tectra run 15 to 18 shearing
courses a year that can attract up to 14
The four day course is for advanced
shearers while the five day intensive course
is targeted at learners.
Chas says the courses are concentrated
You don t need any experience and we
take people from the grassroots.
We teach them about the entire
procedure from wool handling to gear
maintenance, pressing as well as other
elements like health and safety awareness
Shearing contractors also play a pivotal
part and Chas says they have built up good
relationships and enjoy their continued
We can set up contractor specific courses
designed especially for bosses who have a
lot of shearers wanting to do the course at
once. It s been really successful because
the shearers get to shear in a shed they are
familiar with plus they get to train
alongside their own work colleagues.
Chas is a firm advocate for industry
training and says farmers expect a
professional, quality job.
It s really important we have experienced
highly trained shearers that have the
confidence of their employer and the
farmers. Livestock is expensive and you
don t want shearers who haven t learnt the
right skills, you want the tits to stay on the
sheep and no cut hamstrings.
At the end of the day he thinks it comes
down to the attitude of the individual.
Shearing can be a fantastic way to earn a
living and it can take you around the globe.
However it s physically demanding and you
have got to put in the hard graft -- you will
definitely get your gym work-out at work.
He says it pays well too and encourages
good, solid team work.
The best part I get out of my job is
watching some young guys walk into the
shed with their tail between their legs and
leave with it up in the air. It s brilliant
watching them improve and grow into good
shearers. At the end of the day the world
can be your oyster, I liken shearing to a
disease once you ve got it, you re hooked.
Benefits to shearers who train:
Feedback gained from contractors through
a research survey conducted by Tectra in
2010 indicated that all trainees, regardless
of level had a marked improvement in
knowledge across five criteria (skills,
animal welfare, teamwork, reliability, and
health and safety) after training. In terms
of shearing throughput the data shows
that, regardless of training level, an
average employee with training will shear
more sheep per day than the same person
without training. On average, a learner with
training would shear 53 more sheep, a
junior with training would shear 67 more
sheep, an intermediate with training would
shear 40 more sheep and a senior with
training would shear 50 more sheep per
The Economic return to shearers:
For shearers - taking an average across all
training levels, a shearer with off job
training combined with on-job follow-up has
the potential to earn an average of $78.50
more per day than the same person
Tectra has over 50 years experience
delivering education and training to people
in New Zealand s Wool Industry and more
recently the wider agricultural industry.
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