Riki Callaghan of New Zealand Couriers
After a chatting session with Riki Callaghan, one can be sure they will depart with sore stomach muscles and facial cheeks. Why? Because the guy is just so much fun. Everything is delivered with an abundance of energy, a contagious laugh and a slightly mischievous smirk. But we trust him 100%. He’s our point of contact at New Zealand Couriers and the man who goes the extra mile for us every time.
Who are you and what do you do?
The job’s title is ‘Business Consultant’ which came about due to the experience I’ve had. I think I just like saying “Business Consultant”. It sounds very important. My job is to go out to find the smartest shipping solutions for companies. I hit 30-years-old and thought do I want to be a courier? My body was tired, starting to get injuries, and the whole job really relies on your body. I just knew I had to have another option. I also knew I could always go back. You can never judge a man for trying or taking a risk! I’d grown my courier run from a medium-sized run, to the biggest run in area. I almost tripled it. When I started this new role, my manager said, “With your experience I can start you somewhere in the middle”, but I said, “No, I want to start at the bottom and work my way up.”
How long have you been working with Storm & India?
Almost a year now. I get really excited about new businesses, everything I can do to help I just throw myself in there.
Now, they call me anytime and it’s sweet as. Our service doesn’t stop at parcels. Anything and everything. We love being hands on.
So how long have you been at New Zealand Couriers?
14 years. I started as a company driver, then a contractor. I had a great time. I was 18-years-old, single, and earning decent money. Here’s a young guy who had grown up in Gisborne, never seen four digits in his account before. I have a lot of great memories - the ones I remember at least! I’ve trained three quarters of our depot. Our manager Pauline took me under her wing and taught me everything I know. I never imagined myself in an office. I used to despise people who worked in offices, “Tell me you had a busy day, ha!” We would pick up around 1500 parcels every day. Delivering about 400-500 parcels. Which is quite a lot if you consider every parcel has a different address. It’s not for everyone. Some guys have walked in, tried to be a courier driver and they’ve lasted half a day. It’s a lot of thinking, and a lot of mental and physical pressure.
You must know Auckland better than a map!
I’m pretty good. I’m no Google maps, but I’ve been down pretty much every road in the whole of Auckland.
So what is it about small business that you're really keen on supporting?
My perspective is from having started on the floor, I understand how our business works from the ground up. I’m still very much a family man, I’m close to my whanau in Gisborne. They keep my grounded. So, when I go into small businesses I can understand their dreams and where they want to go. And when you see them growing, you have the satisfaction of knowing that you helped them along their path. If I can do it, I will. I’ll go the extra mile.
Do you drink tea?
I do now. I’ve got my infuser and my chai. I have to admit, though, I tried poking a hole in this plastic sample packet, and using it as a teabag. (Storm is horrified and everyone is laughing.) I drink my detox tea in the morning. It is amazing. It gets me ready for the day and rid of any stress. I’m finding my routine again, getting back to the gym. I’m going to start dancing – salsa. If Shane Cameron can do it, I’m sure I can pull it off! My sister is a great motivation. She is top of her game in touch rugby, boxing, karate, and netball. There’s a bit of sibling rivalry.
Did you drink tea growing up?
If we did, it was Bell tea. That’s what our Nan’s would have. I’m actually going back down to give my Nan some of this tea and get rid of her little red Bell tea box. I gave Mum some tea too, she fully flipped out.
What are you guys working towards at the moment?
We have everything well established for now. Storm & India have the best courier rate between here and Australia. As their business expands we’re looking for that same service internationally. I catch up with the girls all the time so that I can keep on top of what they’re up to and best serve their needs.
Extra notes on Riki:
“I stood there for ages with this mesh thing (talking about a tea strainer) wondering how to open it. I know. I apologise. I took some to my friend last night, it’s amazing how many people just LOVE tea.”
“How you can tell if a courier van is stolen - if it’s doing the speed limit and driving properly, then you know it’s been stolen straight away.”