Aratere Chief Cook joins the recovery effort in Hawke's Bay
Chief Cook Paul Shipp loves his work keeping our passengers and crew fed as Aratere crosses Te Moana-o-Raukawa Cook Strait – but he also finds time to help those that need it most.
12 April 2023
Chief Cook on Aratere, Paul Shipp, has had an adventurous career in Cookery from a young age, starting as a Chef in the New Zealand Army after graduating from Whitireia and WelTec. He then worked in hotels and restaurants for most of his life – where he was based mainly in Wellington, Auckland and Australia. Paul moved to Interislander 16 years ago and has never looked back; becoming another family member of the Shipp clan to work in the railways and transport industry.
“All my family, like my father, worked straight across the road at the diesel depot. One of my brothers worked at the unit depot, and another is now out at the Hutt Workshops – Andrew Shipp”.
He didn’t join Interislander for just the sole reason of family connections, citing the flexibility of the role as a significant advantage, compared to being a Chef on shore.
“As a Chef, working in the transport industry can be a real advantage because the hours are a bit different and we work seven days on, seven days off, which means you only work half of it. It’s a dedicated choice because I can have a bit of time to myself and chase my hobbies”.
He says he thoroughly enjoys working at Interislander, and with no day being the same, he has the opportunity to experience a lot more than those who work in an office. “I love to take videos on my phone of dolphins, tugboats in Picton, or just the stunning views of the Marlborough Sounds, and send them to my family. Not a lot of people get to experience that every day like I do. I also love the sea and do a lot of kayaking, so to have the ocean view from ‘my office’ means a lot to me”.
When asked about his career goals, he says he is now using all his experience to ensure his team feel confident and prepared whilst onboard. “I’m at the stage where I’m training the younger guys now and helping keen chefs aspire to growing through the ranks. That’s my main goal and purpose, and I get a lot of pleasure in doing it”.
The advantages of his work schedule being seven days on and seven days off, isn’t just utilised for chasing his hobbies, as he found himself in the middle of the complete and utter devastation caused by Cyclone Gabrielle in the Hawke’s Bay last month.
Paul gets real satisfaction out of helping people and says it’s always a great feeling giving back to his community. He doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
“I could see that people were devastated, and you want to give them a shoulder to cry on, and to give them a hand – which eases the burden a bit”.
He volunteers as part of the group ‘Clean Up Hawke’s Bay’ but says there’s many organisations up there looking for volunteers to help, so make sure you put your hand up if you can!”