Off the scale

Name: Kyall Boonen

Age: 29

Job: Fishery officer for MPI

City/town: Chatham Islands

What does your job entail? Ensuring people abide by the rules and regulations that support a sustainable fishery, by way of education and/or enforcement.

How long have you been doing it? Four years.

What attracted you to this line of work? I have always had a passion for the ocean, fishing and diving. I wanted to ensure future generations enjoy the same activities I have. This job ensures people stick to the rules so the New Zealand fishery survives and any fishing pressures on our resources are sustainable.

What training was involved? On-the-job learning about legislation, education and enforcement. I have a Bachelor of Science, majoring in marine biology. This wasn’t essential but it’s helped.

What do you love most about your job? The variety. I’ve been at sea near Tonga for a month with the New Zealand Navy boarding foreign tuna vessels. Now I’m seconded 850 kilometres to the east of New Zealand on the Chatham Islands as a fishery officer for two and a half years helping to promote and encourage compliance with New Zealand’s fishing rules and regulations, while being part of a great community.

And what are the worst bits? Sometimes conflict with some people can be testing, but I believe it comes down to treating people firmly but fairly.

What motivates you in your work? The satisfaction of knowing the work I do is making a difference.

What are your career goals? As the only fishery officer here, I’m responsible for several commercial fishing operators. The various learning curves and challenges mean I have to think on my feet and go with my gut. This will develop my career and teaches me leadership and management skills.

Do you have any key mentors or people who have influenced you? I have a vision and part of that is filling my life with work that I enjoy and is beneficial to others.

Where did you grow up and what was it like? I grew up in Gisborne and went to Gisborne Boys’ High School. My childhood was full of pristine beaches and outdoor activities. Gizzy people have a good pace of life. They’re not too caught up in the consumer world. I plan to go back to Gisborne to raise my son.

 

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