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Bruce Peterson

Managing Director

Bruce Is Managing Director and Chief Pilot, and along with wife Helen, owns and operates Aerospread. Bruce kicked off his working life as a musterer in the Central Otago high country and Marlborough districts. If you have time ask him about it – there is many a yarn to come from those early days.

Bruce has become one of New Zealand’s most experienced topdressing pilots, spending many years topdressing in his Cresco in the Gisborne Area, before settling Helen and family in the sunny Hawke’s Bay to start Aerospread Ltd.

Bruce’s constant drive to become a safe, innovative, efficient topdressing company has seen expansion from Aerospread’s humble beginnings. This relentless push towards achieving these goals for the aviation industry and farming community is what makes Bruce, Helen and Aerospread the successful family run business that it is, today.

Bruce’s passion is topdressing and although spending more and more time on special projects that will improve safety and efficiently in the topdressing industry, Bruce loves nothing more than helping his daughter Anya improve her horse riding skills and can often be found at local events in Hawke’s Bay.

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Kent Karangaroa

General Manager

Kent joined Aerospread in early 2016 in the new role of Operations Manager, and in July 2018 became the General Manager.

Born and bred in Pongaroa, a small rural spot in Southern Hawke’s Bay, and as an old boy of Pongaroa Primary, spelling is not Kent’s strength. However being able to skin an eel in under a minute is a pleasure to watch. Kent attended Boarding School in Napier, and then spent many years running a Hawke’s Bay based livestock company. Kent honed and developed his logistic skills over these years, and with wife Kirsty, owns and runs KTL Transport, specialising in keeping fertiliser in front of the Aerospread planes.

Kent likes to spend long summer holidays in Mahia with his family, and with son Ollie, attempting to single handedly deplete the local fish and crayfish stocks. Kirsty often complains about eating endless cans of tuna, but appreciates it when concerned neighbours bring around surplus fish. We’re all told to watch this space for “KTL Rocket Tours“ as the Rocket Lab launches more Rockets from this remote settlement.

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Kathleen Botha

Administration

Kathleen moved to Hawke’s bay from Johannesburg with her husband Thomas and family, 15 Years ago. Kathleen has a perpetual and unwavering upbeat mood, constantly smiling and being very jovial, despite dealing with the testing Aerospread lads.

Kathleen is a one-lady warrior in a male dominated workplace. If you want something done promptly and efficiently, talk to Kathleen – her motto, “consider it done”.

All staff very quickly learnt to never mess with the lady who pays the wages, and also not to forget the GST receipts, as forgetting these simple rule have consequences!

Kathleen and Thomas’ dream of owning their own lifestyle block was recently achieved. Demand from wife and one of their daughters, to own more horses than imaginable, has Thomas learning very fast, the importance of pasture management.

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Warren Smith

Manager – Manawatu based

Warren has lived in The Manawatu all his life and has extensive knowledge of the area. Warren’s knowledge of the farming families, and “who’s who” in Manawatu is second only to the oracle, Hallet Griffin, himself. Warren was Pete’s right hand man and chief loader driver, promoted to Base Manager during the Aerospread take over. Warren has fallen in love with his iPhone, Laptop and love for Google Maps.

Spare time to Warren doesn’t exist. The calling of the 300 cows on the family dairy farm, ensure that he finds something to do at work, so he doesn’t have to milk in the afternoon. However he loves dragging his kids around hills and through creeks searching for the ever elusive Fallow Deer, and is always reminding the team at Aerospread that he needs the first weekend in May off work.

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Shane Carter

Sales Manager

Shane’s origins, as far as anyone knows, started in the Wairarapa area of Pahiatua where he was brought up on farms in his earlier years. The skinny lock forward from the 1989 Wairapara bush under 55 kgs team eventually did fill out and found the love of his life, Christine. 20 years on, 2 teenage boys, and 2 dogs later they now call Hawke’s Bay home. Shane has come from a very successful sales role with a major international brewery and these contacts are still proving very valuable to Aerospread.

Shane also has that rare ability to successfully organise a piss up in a brewery!

Shane is very partial to farm baked goods and home-made quiche. He loves his tea black with a splash of cold water. There is no hesitation in stopping and chatting to every farmer he sees on the road so if you see the Aerospread ute on your road wave him down.

Shane can be found on the Hawke’s Bay coast or boat in his down time, and will often be the first to boast to the team on how his fishing went in the weekend.

If you have any queries or would like Shane to stop by and chat all things top dressing, give him a call.

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Chris Haynes

Operations – Napier based

Chris recently traded in his dogs, whistle, packed lunch and 4WD Ute, for a computer, iPhone, and mocha late, to become Aerospread’s Operations man, based in the new Aerospread office in Napier. Chris has come to Aerospread with an extensive knowledge of the entire lower North Island.

From walking the hills behind dogs on some of Taihape and the East Coast’s biggest farms, to sealing livestock deals as a stock and station agent, Chris has gathered much knowledge over his years involved in the farming industry.

Chris and wife Jo live on their farm on the outskirts of Napier. With adult children having flown the coop, the emphasis has been placed on Jo to keep the lambs , two year old heifers and chooks well fed, so Chris can fulfil his contractional obligations of supplying the Aerospread team with endless supply of lamb, beef and free-range eggs.

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Peter Harding

Pilot – Manawatu based

Known as Pete amongst his peers and friends, Pete was a big Part of Griffin-Ag Air for many years. Over these years Pete has formed a strong bond for his “other wife“, aircraft PWT, only ever separated when she needs a 150-hour check. Pete and “Old Yellow” are a formidable team, and have been keeping the Manawatu growing grass for years, and are looking forward to doing the same on the Eastern side of the Range.

When Pete’s not flying he’s busy helping number one wife Tash with her business, or doing school drop off with the kids. When Tash gives him some free time, Pete can be found lying in the long grass and scrub, shooting deer or other wild life in his other passion, photography. Pete, a long-time supporter of the Manawatu Turbos, is struggling to wear a Magpies jersey given to him, remaining to stay loyal to the Turbos at this stage.

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Steve Johnson

Pilot – Waipukurau based

Steve returned to Hawke’s Bay in May 2014 with his family after living in Northland and Taranaki. He is running Aerospread’s Waipukurau base, which is full circle for Steve, as he was born just down the road at the Waipukarau hospital

A second generation pilot, not only with aviation in his veins if the rumours are to be believed he had Av gas in his baby bottle. He spent almost all of his youth and the following years driving loaders for his father’s two Fletcher aircraft before he qualified to start flying. During his time doing this Steve developed solid mechanical skills and is well versed in how to keep an ailing loader operating.

He’s married to Joyce (who is much younger and very pretty. Go Steve!) and has four children. He’s a serious home handy man and is largely despised by his colleagues who by comparison makes them look completely inept.

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Scott Dunkerley

Pilot – Napier based

Known to every one as Scotty, he and wife Lindsay have recently relocated from the Manawatu. After the initial shock of entering the Napier housing market as home owners, they have settled in fine.

The aim of Scotty’s move to Napier, was to become New Zealand’s newest Agricultural rated Top Dressing Pilot, whilst wife Lindsay’s was to sample every Hawke’s Bay Rosé wine possible. Twelve months in, and both goals have been somewhat achieved – Scotty is topdressing solo, and Lindsay simply can’t move on from the Church Road 2017 vintage.

Scotty’s spare time is fully consumed in the hunt for deer, or at least walking around in bush and scrub for days on end searching. The promise of venison on the barbie to his work colleagues gains him extra time off to do this walking, although their patience is wearing thin, from no return on their investment.

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Alex McHardy

Pilot – Hawke’s Bay Based

Alex was born and bred in Central Hawke’s Bay on the family farm. After a short stint farming, Alex quickly took to the skies. With 26 years commercial flying and 20000 hrs under his belt there is not much Alex has not done when it comes to flying and his passion for aviation certainly shows. Alex spent 10 years Ag flying in Gisborne before chasing other aviation opportunities. On return to Hawke’s Bay, he again took up Ag flying with Aerospread and has been flying from our Hawke’s bay base for the past three years and is certainly here for the long haul.  Alex has also done a fair bit of low level mustering, geophysical surveying, airline and corporate jet flying. Alex has been a massive part of the Aerospread Safety Management System implementation and is continuously improving this.

When Alex is not in the Cresco over someone’s farm block he is usually found supporting his kids sport and activities, and loves to hit the tracks on the mountain bikes. And he is most at piece on the lakeside of Taupo with his kids – that’s if he is not Flying of course.

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Billy Mackay

Chief Loader Driver/Driver Trainer

Billy was one part of the original two man team when Aerospread first started. Unfortunately Billy got pretty banged up a few years ago in a serious accident. At times his outlook was not positive but through the marvels of modern medicine and his strength of character he managed to pull through and late in 2016 returned to work at Aerospread much to everyone’s delight.

Along with his family he immigrated from Scotland about 12 years ago. Initially communicating in English was challenging. Thanks to Google’s brilliant translation tool we can now understand some of what he’s saying.

Living in Scotland he was a farmer and a heavy vehicle trainer. He has been able to apply his training skills and high standards to the Aerospread loader drivers, ensuring the vehicles are driven safely and without causing them damage.

He is a huge fan of Formula One and follows an unpronounceable Scottish football team.

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Joel Bland

Loader Driver – Hawke’s Bay based

Whanganui born and bred, Joel was originally Billy’s apprentice loader driver in Waipukurau. After a quick relocate to Kairanga to be closer to family and friends Joel has transferred to Napier. He tells us his reason was for the climate and numerous opportunities however reading between the lines it might be more to do with the romantic bush walks Hawke’s bay has to offer and the lovely young lady Jess, who he’s due to marry.

Joel spends a lot of his spare time returning back to airstrips to collect the shovel and broom that he’s managed to leave behind. Joel also loves nothing better than adding to his Instagram following with a selfie from the top of a hill that he’s recently conquered.

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Glen Windelev

Loader Driver – Napier based

Glen arrived at Aerospread with a passion for the aviation industry, albeit in Helicopters. Despite no-one at Aerospread being able to pronounce or spell Glen’s surname, we’ve slowly converted him to the ‘fixed wing’ way of thinking.

Mechanically minded, Glen has the ability to get the most out of the loader trucks, and enjoys getting into the bulk trucks also.

The conversion from helicopters to fixed wing has been simple. There has been no such luck in getting him to change his rugby club allegiance though – the Taradale Rugby Club bar take can be down substantially the Friday nights that Glen’s working late. Glen is adamant his change from top level club rugby to golden oldies rugby had nothing to do with his fitness levels, and more to do with wanting to be more involved with his son’s rugby, and to helping his daughter with her commercial pilots licence.

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Trevor Gallagher

Loader Operator – Manawatu Based

Born in Napier and then raised in Lower Hutt, Trevor was privileged enough to attend Nae Nae College. But being a motorcycle enthusiast and loving the power of the wind in his face he very soon settled in Manawatu under the turbines. Before settling here, Trevor and wife Paula had a stint in Brisbane working on designing networks for telecommunication and fibre optics.

Trevor’s kids have all flown the coop and he has been able to get stuck into the deck he has been knocking up for Paula since they moved in. But if there’s a Manfield day on, mostly every weekend, it gets put on the back burner for Trevor’s love of his track bike.

Trevor can now be found sitting on an airstrip hours before the plane is due enjoying what New Zealand has to offer. And he has now familiarised himself with the beloved loaders so well he has names for them.

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Greg Quin

Loader Driver – Everything Guy

Greg is one of the newest Aerospread team members and with a love for all things that fly. Greg has settled into the team with ease. After living in Auckland, Greg made the best decision of his life by marrying a Hawke’s Bay farm girl and moving back to Napier.

Greg took to the loader like a rat up a drainpipe and has managed to skive off every now and then to work with his other passion of flying drones for major projects abroad.

Greg will be an asset to the Aerospread team in the future with this experience and once he stops piling up $1 trade me purchases at the Napier Hanger to hide them from his wife ……….. the better.

With an eye for black and white photography and a passion for old cameras, Greg has no time for the rubbish quality that some of the new smart phones produce.

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Chris Troughton

Chris is originally from Thames but now lives in Raglan with wife Christine for the last 15 years.

Chris is usually on their life style block trying to make the lawn smaller so he can graze one extra beefy.

Chris’ experience with aviation engineering is next level and he has held some very enduring roles over the years right through to management of the PAC Cresco building lines at Pacific Aerospace Ltd. Chris has designed and built so many planes and bits and pieces for our industry it’s far too much to put in this bio, but if you ever get the chance to meet this man have a chat and you will be amazed. Long story short, Chris is the main man behind many of Bruce’s research and development ideas or as Chris puts it “crazy and mad ideas” and designs and builds them into actual real things. On a serious note, Chris and Bruce are continuously working on projects so we stay at the forefront of the Agri Aviation sector.

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Jess Brown

Office Manager

With a massively male dominated team, Jess was against all the odds from the start. But coming from a trucking and logistics company, Jess has shown no chance of slowing down and has mastered all office duties with ease. With some mastery from Kathleen’s training, mainly on gathering GST receipts and expenditure, there’s nothing that slips by.

Jess is a full time mum with 3 kids all about to hit their teens, so is well suited to the constant nagging, winging, moaning, and the need to have food every hour that she gets from the Aerospread office staff.

In Jess’s spare time……. who are we kidding. Being a parent of three there is no spare time however Jess loves the logistical challenges associated in getting them to every sport and activity available in Hawke’s Bay on time.