Diving into a new adventure at Mount Maunganui
If you want to wake up near the ocean each day, Mount Maunganui is one of the top locations in New Zealand to base yourself. It’s for that reason Barnaby Harris and his wife Katherine chose this iconic beach location to build a new life after leaving the United Kingdom.
“Coming to a new country, starting again and getting my career back to where it was is one thing I’m most proud of. We’ve had two kids since and turned New Zealand into our home. And Edison has been a very supportive part of that journey” Barnaby explains.
Having joined Edison in 2012, Barnaby still remembers his interview “We ended up talking about spear fishing and I got the sense they were a good bunch of like-minded people. I could see myself working there.” As a Senior Project Manager Barnaby mostly works on overhead transmission projects and substation rebuilds. He also takes on roles as an engineer to contract, alongside managing civil site works and construction management. “There’s a lot of variety in my work - no two days are the same. I’ve recently been working on a dive boat repairing an underwater cable, but prior to that I was in a helicopter in the Coromandel checking out site access for pole rebuilding sites.”
Barnaby enjoys the autonomy and flexibility at work. “There has been enough scope and room in the role to make it what I want. You can make things happen and set your own direction. Edison really supports that. They trust you to get on with it.” And there are plenty of development opportunities too “They push professional development if you want it. We all get a training budget each year to use and they’re supportive in terms of the cost but also the time off to study.” He also values the flexibility to pick up or drop the kids off to school a couple of days a week.
At heart, Barnaby’s a lover of the water. He grew up in Cornwall and spent the bulk of his international career on offshore wind farm projects before moving to Mount Maunganui. If he’s not working near water he’s in it - spear fishing, kayaking and enjoying water sports. “Kath and I go out spear fishing and it’s pretty intense. You’re miles offshore, swimming around a reef chasing big fish and free diving.” So the Mount has turned out to be a perfect location to be based. “We’re really into healthy eating so if I’m spear fishing or hunting, it’s a completely ethical and sustainable way to live. There aren’t many places in the world where you have all this in your doorstep but we do.”