Fijians lift their crane in Napier

Port crane operators from Fiji are refining their skills on a crane simulator in Napier.

Napier Port bought the $750,000 simulator 2 years ago and has started training Fijian operators.

The training is so good, the Fijian Ports chief executive calls it “inspiring”.

Hasthika Dela says, “the partnership has increased productivity, and that’s a direct benefit to the economy.”
Mr Dela says the drivers can do more in a day and do it safer than before.

This boosts Fiji’s reputation with shipping companies.

The Fijian crane drivers who took part were already of a good standard. The training in Napier helped to cut out some of their “little mistakes” too.

Valuable training

Fijian Ports says there was a huge difference when the drivers returned from training in Napier.

“Their productivity has gone up but also the damages that we were encountering previously have reduced,” Mr Dela says.

A Napier Port manager, Viv Bull, says his port passed on more than technical training to the Fijians.

“It’s not just technical training the crane operators are getting in the simulator … they are immersed in our culture and how we do things.”

The drivers take those lessons back Fiji.

While training in New Zealand, the Fijians had also formed great links with the Hawke’s Bay Fijian community.

The simulator has turned out to be a good recruitment tool too because it can assess the potential of people and who will make a good crane operator.

As the Fijians have learned on the simulator, it’s very forgiving as a trainer and not as expensive as a similar error on a real crane.

Buoyed by the success of the Fiji partnership, the port may now train drivers from other countries.


Image credit:

  • Hawke’s Bay Today



News category: Asia Pacific.