Allan McDonald, a valuable and knowledgeable leader

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Tauhei Quarry Manager Allan McDonald is no stranger to the industry. With thirty years of quarrying experience under his belt, he is a valuable and knowledgeable leader to his crew of fifteen.

Allan Macdonald

Allan comes from a farming background and has always had an interest in machinery. He was surprised to discover that he has a family history of mining dating back to the 1800s in Scotland. Allan started his career in 1992 at HG Leach and Co. in the Thames Valley and worked with the company for just over ten years before he moved to Holcim in Bombay. He then moved down to Gisborne where he looked after the mobile crushing covering the East Cape before he shifted to Perrys in 2008. In the early 90s, Allan worked in the Mount Gibson mine located four hours north of Perth in Australia doing blasting but he found the intense heat and flies a bit oppressive so he left after a year. He was the Quarry Manager at Waingaro quarry for 13 years before he was promoted to Tauhei quarry in December 2021.

His involvement in the award-winning wetland and restoration project at Waingaro in 2012 has been a career highlight. “I learnt a lot about the environment and sediment controls during the project, it was good to aim high and take the site above and beyond the minimum rehabilitation requirements,” says Allan.

Allan Sign - Environment
Allan’s involvement in the award-winning wetland and restoration project at Waingaro in 2012 has been a career highlight.

The position of Quarry Manager involves team meetings, admin and end-of-month invoicing. Although Allan doesn’t spend much time on the machines he has an active interest in quarrying and operates the water cart, digger or bulldozer when required. “Allan’s passion and commitment to our industry is highly evident through his strong contribution to the local IOQ branch filling the role of Waikato / BOP branch Chairman for a number of years.

“He holds high standards in quarry development and bench set up, therefore it was a no brainer to move Allan to Tauhei to continue the good work that Dan Topp had started when the opportunity arose back in 2021,” says Regional Manager Rodger Jones.

After three decades in the industry, Allan has seen a lot of changes, “I’ve seen plenty of changes around rules and regulations. Back in the day, I used to light a fuse for blasting and now it is done electronically which is safer. The technology is better and so are the environmental quality practices. He adds, “The machines are much more comfortable than they used to be, we would get wet, cold and dusty on the old ones.”

In his downtime, Allan enjoys driving his digger and helping out on the family farm. He says, “I like that the farm is a different environment to work in from the quarry, my brother enjoys the cheap labour too.” Allan is also a keen fisherman with his favourite spots located in the Coromandel and the Far North. He does a little bit of hunting and is an avid clay target shooter.

Allan’s advice to anyone thinking about a career in quarrying is that you have to be prepared to give it a good shot. “You have to be willing to listen and want to learn as much as you can about the job. There are opportunities to gain qualifications while you work so you don’t have to have a student loan,” says Allan.