Making Driving Safer – Shawn King
"The most important thing I had to learn at VINZ is how to communicate with people on multiple levels. Sometimes it is hard - as you are often telling customers that they are going to have to spend money on their vehicle. In these tough times this can bad news for most customers”. #MakingDrivingSafer
Meet Shawn King one of our Vehicle Inspectors at our Mount Wellington Testing Station who has a wonderful and colourful career history to share.
Leaving high school in 1995 Shawn joined the New Zealand Army as a Heavy Automotive Diesel Technician. “The Army was great”, says Shawn and “I found the physical training as well as the technical very rewarding”.
The Army’s trade training was based in Lower Hutt at the Hutt Valley Polytechnic. Shawn passed his Trade Certificate and Advanced Trade Qualifications at first attempt and was chosen from a class of 36 to be posted to Auckland. “I was the only apprentice in my year to be posted at Auckland” says Shawn, and “I was promoted very quickly at the age of 21, that’s when I decided to leave, to join VINZ”.
Shawn says, “I already knew many of the inspectors, as they were ex-Army friends of mine, so the transition was smooth and painless”. Shawn worked at VINZ Mount Wellington for a couple of years then moved out to the Airport Testing Station.
After a few years with VINZ, Shawn mentioned that he “left VINZ to chase my dreams of being a stuntman and to pursue my love of Boxing and music”.
“I started my own stunt company called Asphalt Assault and performed road bike stunt shows professionally all over the country. I picked up a role as the Red Ranger in the Power Rangers TV franchise and I also moonlighted as the Mascot “TOKI” for the New Zealand Warriors rugby league team for some time. Most recently I have appeared on the West Side TV show doing some stunt work on motorcycles” says Shawn.
Shawn also went on to start up his own gym in 2007. By 2012, Shawn says “I wound up the gym and started a music school for kids called Tone Deff Music School. I still teach children and a few parents on various types of instruments to this day”.
Shawn says “with all of my personal-life goals now ticked off, I came back to VINZ as an older wiser version of the inspector and person that I used to be. Minus a full set of hair and the athletic body I use to have” – he laughs!
“I became a Vehicle Inspector originally because the thought of being able to finish a full day’s work and to be able to go home and switch off without stressing, appealed to me” says Shawn. “The thing I like most about working for VINZ, is that the team is small and very close knit. We strive to carry out the best inspections we can as a Team, and for us safety is paramount as is the standard of inspections between inspectors. Everyone here works well together and you are made to feel like you are a part of a professional family” Shawn mentions.
Shawn says, “The most important thing I had to learn at VINZ is how to communicate with people on multiple levels. Sometimes it is hard – as you are often telling customers that they are going to have to spend money on their vehicle. In these tough times this can bad news for most customers”.
“Our biggest challenge at VINZ is turning this news around into a positive. Explaining to customers that for their families, safety is important, or that their wife and kids would rather see their Dad come home safely after a day at work driving his truck than the alternative” says Shawn.