From Oxford to Auckland City: Meet Adam

One great thing about having a diverse team of block layers is the different skills they bring to each site. That’s why we like having Adam on board, whose experience laying blocks and bricks in the UK brings a fresh perspective to our projects. 

Originally hailing from Oxford, about an hour and a half out of London, Adam picked up brick and block laying as a young lad and couldn’t put it down.

“At school, I tried a bit of brick laying. I was about 15, 16 at the time and there was a one-day-a-week sort of course at my secondary school.” 

He immediately knew he’d found the right fit. “I just liked it,” he says. “I was never one for sitting at a desk. I’m a block layer, and I’m really happy to do that.”

Adam went straight into an apprenticeship and has been honing his skills since then, working across England. After meeting his partner in Melbourne, they returned back to her home country of Ireland where Adam continued to practice block laying. They were both clearly bitten by the travel bug, and went travelling across Asia before arriving in New Zealand in early 2017. Seeing New Zealand as a great place to call home, he started looking for a job and reached out to Phil McKay at Quality Masonry. According to Adam, “That was that!”

Adam fit right in. With half a lifetime of block laying experience, Adam’s expertise in the UK was a great foundation for block laying here, but there was still a lot to learn. 

“There are some big differences between the UK and NZ. There, it’s more traditional and more cosmetic, and a lot more hollow work. Here it’s more structural; there’s more concrete and reinforcement here. There’s also little things like how every country trowels differently. I’ve liked learning the different processes.”

Adam enjoys being part of our team, and values the support he receives from the rest of the team and especially from Phil.

“I like working with Phil and him being around. A lot of bosses don’t like getting stuck in, but Phil’s hardworking. There’s not many bosses out there like him that like being a team player.”

With Phil and the rest of the Quality Masonry team backing him, Adam’s been able to showcase his skills and share his knowledge, laying blocks across Auckland to our usual high standard.

“I like being outdoors, and getting to see different parts of Auckland every day. Last week we were on two jobs in Ponsonby, and working a huge project in South Auckland that’s over 10,000 blocks.”

We’re chuffed Adam’s part of our team. He’s really found himself at home here, taking his campervan around on weekends and seeing what New Zealand has to offer. He’s often out on hikes, at music gigs or enjoying some local craft beers.

“We’re spoiled for choice here,” he laughs.

That variety – both on and off-site – make a big difference. Since no two days are quite the same, or in the same part of the city, Adam’s getting to know Auckland one job (and one beer) at a time.

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