Video transcript: Trevor Makanza

Transcript for a video featuring Supervising Senior Trevor Makanza talking about working at Audit New Zealand.

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Trevor Makanza (Supervising Senior):

So I originally emigrated from Zimbabwe, so I came over to New Zealand when I was about 19, and I started my undergrad at Lincoln University.

While I was still doing my final year I got an internship position here at Audit New Zealand. So I actually had a job before I finished my degree, which was very helpful and pleasant and was one of the key reasons why I ended up staying in New Zealand.

I really enjoyed it, I got to learn a lot, I got a feel of what my job was actually going to be because most people don’t have a context or an understanding. They have an idea or a university understanding of what the job might be, but I got to get my hands dirty, as they say, and I actually got to do some field work.

I got to meet the people I was going to work with which was a key thing, I think, in a job. The work is the same usually, wherever you go, but what makes the experience different is the people you work with. So there’s a great team of people. The office isn’t large, so I think maybe about 30 audit staff members, so you get to know everyone and you get an opportunity to work with everyone.

I love living in Christchurch. So I’ve travelled around New Zealand, been to various cities, Wellington, Auckland, and I would still pick – if I had an option – it would be Christchurch. And I like Christchurch because of its size. It’s not a small city and it’s not a big city, so you kind of get the best of both worlds. So again you don’t get the big city traffic, but you also get the big city experience in that you still have shops, you still have the main attractions that you would get.

And another key thing with Christchurch at this moment is with the earthquakes, I really enjoy watching it develop and grow. Every other week at this stage there’s a new restaurant opening, there’s a new building being completed. So it’s just an exciting time to be in Christchurch really.

I have a young daughter, which, she just turned one, and we’ve just found that it’s such a good place to raise a kid. It’s called the Garden City, so there’s a lot of places to take my daughter, and it’s all free.

When you come to New Zealand you really get a feeling of acceptance and interaction and cohesiveness, and I find that flows into the workplace. It makes you comfortable, even when I came as an intern, and I progressed through, I can have a conversation with my Director, or with a new grad, and there’s that same level of respect and understanding.

About three years ago I got the opportunity to become a mentor for a grad who was starting, and I think that’s been a very enriching aspect of my job. Just watching them develop, and given the opportunity to guide them through their progression has been beneficial to myself in actually having to think through about how they’re experiencing their progression from being a grad.

Because I think, once you move on it’s easy to forget how it is. And having that relationship with a younger or more junior staff member, you kind of get to relive that through, and it makes you appreciate, when I’m supervising, I know the stuff they’re going through.

I suppose there might be a fear that when you’re coming here everything is going to be completely different in terms of doing the job and accounting, but what I’ve found interacting with other people who’ve immigrated and moved here is that there’s quite a lot of similarities.

And I think with the standard changes going to IFRS and everything being kind of internationally consistent, that most people who’ve immigrated have actually found that it is just the same. A debtor is a debtor, a creditor’s a creditor, and for the most part that’s not the biggest challenge. Accounting is accounting. All it is is just learning, and enjoying the growth and learning of new sectors in a different country.

New Zealand is such a unique and amazing place and I would definitely recommend coming here. I usually speak to my friends, and even people in New Zealand, that they don’t know how lucky they have it, because everything just works and everything is efficient and works, and people take it for granted. But if there was an example of a utopia New Zealand’s probably getting close to it.                    

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