Career switch signals new direction

Staff & Operators

Metlink’s newest train driver had never dreamed of a career on the tracks, but after nine intensive months of training, Rose Taikato says there’s no looking back.

Rose applied for the role after a tough few years with the tragic loss of some family members and close friends, which made her realise “life’s too short” and she wanted to make some major changes.

“I wish I’d found this job 10 years ago. It’s nice to get a good job with good pay, and even be able to help others out,” Rose says.

After 17 years living in the small town of Patea, raising four children and working with local Iwi as a Kaumatua Programme Coordinator, Rose started to search further afield for a new career.

“When I started I was impressed by the number of staff who have worked here for 30, 40, even 50 years, which is proof that it must be a great role and place to work. There are lots of great people here including the trainers and tutors.

“Each time I had a new tutor I would be nervous that they would be really tough, but each tutor made me feel comfortable within the first hour, and each one taught me something different.”

Rose says her children, who have now all moved out of home, are proud of her for taking the leap of faith. “My oldest daughter is now keen to take steps to become a driver over in Australia where she lives.”

Rose encourages anyone looking for a new job to apply, particularly Māori, female and those living in small towns who might not typically think to apply.

“You can do anything you put your mind to. I hadn’t even dreamed of becoming a train driver, but now here I am qualified and driving hundreds of rail passengers.”

Transdev, who operate services on behalf of Metlink, have welcomed Rose to the team. “It’s great to have an enthusiastic new driver on board. Our trainers, tutors and team leaders have nothing but good things to say about Rose. We hope she has a long and satisfying driving career in Wellington, like so many who have come before her,” Transdev Managing Director Ian Ladd says.