Testing Stations

VINZ welcomes new managers

Industry veterans step into key positions as company looks to provide extra focus on different parts its business.

Vehicle Inspection New Zealand (VINZ) has created four new positions to look after its testing stations and offsite locations to help formulate business strategies with its key stakeholders.

Robbie Houghton and Grady Stevens have been appointed to the regional operation manager roles for the North and South Islands respectively.

VINZ says the pair are an integral part of the senior management team and will help to grow the company’s brand.

Sean Stevens, chief executive officer, says: “VINZ has carried out structural changes to enhance our regional operations and to provide specific focus on our differing business areas.”

Houghton has an extensive background in the automotive industry and joins VINZ from Ezi Car Rental, where he was fleet procurement manager for more than five years.

He began his career at Turners as an account manager before progressing over the next 18 years to become a branch manager and eventually an auctioneer.

From there he joined GE Capital as remarketing leader of motor vehicles and later worked for Custom Fleet managing the inspection and remarketing process for end-of-lease cars.

Sean Stevens says: “Robbie’s experience in business relationships and management within the automotive industry provides an excellent grounding for his new role.”

Houghton adds: “I have been in and around the motor industry for most of my working life, firstly at Turners Auctions, where I was initially involved in government-surplus auctions.

“I am passionate about ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our people, without which we would have no business.”

Grady Stevens steps into his new role after being regional manager central at VINZ since 2016.

Prior to that he was vehicle services and vehicle inspection manager at the AA for eight years.

He started his career as an apprentice technician in Motueka before holding a number of retail management posts. He has also worked for Ford and Holden dealerships in Nelson.

“My family has always been involved in the motor trade and I have always been interested in all things automotive,” says Stevens.

“I started my career as an apprentice technician and then moved away into business ownership and management roles.”

Sean Stevens notes Grady’s experience in the industry and management made him the “perfect candidate” for the regional manager’s job.
“Grady brings a wealth of inspection industry knowledge to his new role to build on his previous role at VINZ as regional manager central,” he explains.

“He has a natural passion for people leadership and business management.”

Alongside the regional management appointments, Mike Rielly and Billy Green have been appointed as the new compliance service managers for the North Island and South Island.

Mike Rielly has 37 years’ experience in the automotive industry, originally graduating as a technician and moving his way up the corporate ladder to Continental Cars, and then to VTNZ as a branch manager for west Auckland sites. Rilely, joins VINZ from Chucks Restoration Supplies, where he was responsible for importing vehicles, shipping, arriving imports and sales.

Billy Green is taking over the newly created position as compliance manager in the South Island for VINZ.  Billy has 30 years’ experience in the automotive trade industry, having worked on heavy trucks to small two stroke engines and is well respected in the industry, by his customers, colleagues, and the New Zealand Transport Association, which has lead Billy, to the recent appointment of VINZ Compliance Manager for the Southern Region.

Stevens says: “These new positions are integral to the New Zealand automotive industry, and the import procedure changes, I wish all my new colleagues the very best of success”.