First Impressions Count

Journalist Ken Strugnell talks to Papanui High School Executive Officer Gaye Parlane.

As first impressions go Papanui High School ranks at the top of the game. Through the main gates, the well tended gardens by caretaker Phil Walker present a wonderful environment that Gaye has received numerous compliments about. “They’re also conducive to learning” she says. “After the earthquakes we deferred maintenance on our buildings for four years as we worked through the many issues that the disaster thrust upon the whole district.

Just under a year ago in consultation with Principal Jeff Smith the decision was made to repaint the entire school. Not only that we also thought we’d change the colours. So we brought in a colour consultant who gave us a new palette that you see today. As Exec Officer I get to meet the contractors and company people that provide the services we need. One of those people was Wilson Jones Canterbury Account Manager for National Decorators. He just kept calling to see me and we’d share a coffee as he chatted about what his company does.DJI00355-397-515-481So I asked him for a quote to do the work to the plan we already had. I also got another quote and though they were similar I gave the job to National Decorators as I had complete trust in Wilson who took over all the responsibility of getting the job done. He brought in tradesman, not labourers and no request was too difficult. The team did nearly half the job during the Christmas holidays and continued during the summer term. They worked with minimal disruption and the only issue we had was some overspray on a windy day drifted onto a schoolboy’s blazer, which was replaced immediately by Wilson.

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"The confidence I built up with Wilson over the year he called on me before we undertook the work has morphed into complete confidence in him and National Decorators." Gaye Parlane

Papanui High School, ChristchurchThe confidence I built up with Wilson over the year he called on me before we undertook the work has morphed into complete confidence in him and National Decorators. The school has been transformed and the buildings now compliment the grounds. I look forward to working with them in the future. I also enjoy telling the other School Execs at our regular meetings just how good my school looks thanks to Wilson who just kept calling in with those wonderful coffees!!

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Richard Waite

Richard Waite

Richard has been the General Manager of National Decorators for the past 5 years developing the company in the property and construction markets. Working off the base of a 100+ year old legacy, he has refined the company from a family business to be the leading painting company in the country. Some key developments have been in the integration of significant IT systems to increase the customer experience and enhance efficiency. Another big focus was reshaping the culture of the onsite teams to reflect the company in the best possible way.
Richard also leads a sales and marketing team of 7 staff, pushing into new markets and developing new services for our customers. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife Jenny and 2 young girls, as well as joining in community events.
Richard Waite

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