Meet Tana group
From a small family business with a handful of staff, to a fully-fledged nationwide company that now has the capabilities in offering a variety of services across the construction industry, Tana Group is going from strength to strength all while giving back to the community. Managing Director John Tana (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Whātua) built the business with his wife Debbie and Tana Group General Manager and Director, business partner Jason McCormack.
Tana Group’s core business is its scaffolding service company, building some of New Zealand’s high profile large-scale projects. The group has also grown to become an NZQA training provider in the industry covering high risk training for commercial, industrial, and residential gas and oil projects nationwide. More recently, Tana has partnered with Technocraft Industries in India who have appointed Hi-Scaff NZ Ltd as the exclusive distributor for the full range of scaffolding products from the Technocraft Global company. “We started small in the industry and built the business up from there,” says John.
“As time moved on, we increased our capabilities into the market. One of our key areas we addressed early on was leadership and building a good team around the business. Finding the right people and getting the right scope of work was essential. As we move forward into a huge business demand, not just here in NZ but with a global prospective, we ensure our kaupapa for leadership is to stay humble and focused, making great strategic business plans for now and the future.”
“Partnering with Technocraft has become another feather in the cap as they are a great company that has the vision and the focus to become the largest fully integrated scaffolding manufacturer and distributor in the world.”
Tana Group has branches in Auckland and Wellington, as well as in the central and Far North of the North Island. The company’s training arm is to up-skill not only their own staff, but others within the industry, while also supporting youth into the trade. And there are a variety of courses on offer.
“Working at heights, in confined spaces, forklift, F endorsements (road forklift), low-level scaffolding – they’re all NZQA accredited,” says John. “All those courses are open to the public throughout New Zealand. We’re also working with some of our local schools. “We’re really keen to pass on our skills to the young guys. To all New Zealanders – Māori, Pasifika – we want all Kiwis to come in here and get the right training, so we can give them the skills they need for out there in construction industry. It’s also great for their own staff to build their capacity and skill base within their own career pathways.”
“Training helps us attract a lot of work as well. We can place our most skilled guys out in the field on certain jobs. Our guys are fully trained and have the dual tickets to go with it. They need to perform to be of value to our customers. We’ve assembled an amazing team who provide excellence. Our reputation in the market is now selling itself. That is down to the hard work our team does.”
Health and Safety in construction practices also play a major role at Tana Group. “Clients are big on health and safety. It’s the methodology of the job – it comes right back to structural design, your design process, your execution of the work. We have a full-time scaffolding design team here alongside our operational managers. We have sales reps working with our customers with sales, design, engineering, and with drawing and processing. And we have staff dedicated to health and safety, and compliance,” adds John.
It was John’s experience managing big projects in Western Australia for mining companies that instilled in him high safety standards. “I brought the Australian safety standards back here with me. They’re more strict over there. I implemented their standards into the company right from the outset, even when it was just my
one truck and couple of guys. Back then, not everyone was wearing hard hats, high vis and harnesses, but I implemented that straight away for our team.”
And while the business has grown exponentially, Tana remains a true family business with a global vision to be the best they can be in the industry they love. Debbie runs the office, oversees office staff, admin, accounts and has a lot to do with the financials. Dad Dan does the training, and John’s sister Davina is the yard manager. Two nephews work for the business as well, while brother-in-law Harley is a project manager.
John and Jason have a unique partnership built on trust and whanaungatanga. They work together closely to move and steer the business to be a company providing quality product and service to the wider community, allowing thousands of jobs to be created along the way.
“Being a company that has good roots and a good foundation, is the key. We have always invested back into the business, into the company and back into people. We’re ambitious, strategic, and successful in providing jobs and income for our people, and we have a heart to be the best at what we do.”
Story and photos by Qiane Matata-Sipu. http://www.qiane.co.nz/