When Jacky Zhou came to New Zealand looking for a better education and opportunities, he didn’t expect to find a new “mother” as well.
But when he went to work for Tim and Travena Howard, at Hibiscus Coast Service Centre, Whangaparaoa, two-and-a-half years ago, that’s what happened.
Jacky recently bought the business, but Tim and Travena will be staying on in the immediate future to ensure a smooth handover.
Tim, an auto electrician, mechanic and motorcycle specialist, will continue in the workshop and Travena will help with the administration.
“We’ve been working a long time and just felt it was time to handover the responsibilities that come with running a business,” Travena says. “We’re ready to take life a little easier.”
Originally from Beijing, Jacky went to Wentworth College before his love of cars drew him to the automotive industry. He did an automotive engineering course at Unitec (Level 7) and later joined the team at Hibiscus Coast Service Centre.
The workshop is a member of the Motor Trades Association and offers a range of mechanical and electrical repair services for motorcycles, cars, utes, 4WDs and light trucks, whether they are petrol or diesel. It also does warrant of fitness checks and tyres.
Jacky is keen to put his stamp on the business and is stocking top quality oil and parts, with plans to eventually do wheel alignments.
“I’d like to move towards being a very professional service with a clean and tidy workshop,” Jacky says.
“I also plan to expand our range of tyres and become a specialist tyre supplier.”
Jacky says he loves the NZ lifestyle with fewer people and stress, and especially the opportunity to go off-roading. But he does miss his mother’s cooking.
“The family atmosphere at work is something I hope to retain,” he says.