We take great pride in building and further developing the skillsets of our team at Kilmarnock. However, alongside learning new skills, we must have the confidence to use them. Therefore, supporting our team to grow their confidence is one of the most impactful things we can offer at Kilmarnock.

When Tristan joined Kilmarnock in 2019, he was a reserved young man, his supervisors noting that it was a challenge to receive any response from him. For the most part, Tristan was a closed book and was unable to engage confidently with those around him.

Over two years have passed since Tristan joined Kilmarnock, and he is now completely unrecognisable from his former self. Tristan has become a bold and engaged member of the Kilmarnock whānau and a meticulous worker. We believe that Tristan’s new-found confidence can be attributed to, in large part, Kilmarnock’s model of encouraging skill-building through trial and error in a safe and supportive environment. Our model supports our team to feel competent and trust their judgement.

We were delighted to receive an email last year from Tristan’s mother describing an experience highlighting how significantly Tristan’s confidence has grown.

Tristan’s mother wrote that while out for lunch, Tristan spotted a co-worker from Kilmarnock and leapt up to greet him. Tristan’s mother was taken aback and said she could not recall Tristan ever voluntarily engaging in public like this, preferring to avoid eye contact and ignore others. Her email concluded with a thank you, attributing the growth in Tristan’s confidence to his time spent at Kilmarnock.

Tristan’s transformation is incredible, and we are proud to have been a partner in building his confidence. We look forward to seeing all that an empowered and confident Tristan will achieve.  

Allie and Todd Quested began their journeys at Kilmarnock as young people in 1984 and 1985, respectively. A lot has changed since they both started at Kilmarnock; they’ve seen employees come and go, the adoption of a new social enterprise model and our shift to a modern new facility in Wigram.

The most significant change, however, is the love that has blossomed between Allie and Todd. Celebrating seventeen years married in 2022, Allie and Todd have much to be proud of. Together they have built a family and grown a community around them, with meaningful lifelong friendships at Kilmarnock and beyond.

Allie and Todd have what everyone wants, someone to love and be loved by. At Kilmarnock, we are proud to create an environment that empowers people with intellectual disabilities to thrive and build the lives they want to lead.

Watch below to hear Allie and Todd’s story in their own words.

Mark James is the epitome of a Kilmarnock success story.
While he faced challenges and felt misunderstood in his youth, joining Kilmarnock gave Mark access to the support and opportunities he needed to take control and choose his path in life.

Mark started at Kilmarnock at age seventeen, following a turbulent and challenging time in secondary school. At Kilmarnock, Mark has worked hard developing technical skills through work in our factory. In 2019, he took a leap of faith, giving studying a second chance, participating in the Kura course at the Kilmarnock Academy. Through the Kura course, Mark flourished, transforming himself into a confident and considered leader. Despite his new outlook, Mark remains connected to his past challenges, empowering others around him to set their targets high and achieve incredible things.

Once convinced that his only path in life led to incarceration,
Mark has chosen his own path at Kilmarnock.

Listen to Mark discuss his journey in his own words below.


Every year Kilmarnock and Terra Cat save 6 Tonnes of plastic from New Zealand landfills through our cleaning and recycling partnership.

Terra Cat – a large New Zealand machinery supplier, uses plastic canisters to test machine oil samples in their Christchurch lab. Once these samples have been tested, the used canisters are sent to the Kilmarnock Basecamp in Wigram, Christchurch. The Kilmarnock team then clean and refurbish the canisters to be used again in the Terra Cat network. Through our partnership 20,000 canisters and 200,000 lids are cleaned and recycled each year, equivalent to 6 tonnes, or the weight of an adult African Elephant!

Our more than twelve-year relationship with Terra Cat has not only created great work for our team, it also supported our wider expansion into waste diversion and sustainability-focused work for a wide range of organisations. As of the date of writing, 1/3 of Kilmarnock’s income is created from work associated with landfill diversion and recycling, we are incredibly proud to be doing our bit to support a broad range of sustainability initiatives.

Check out how we clean and refurbish canisters for Terra Cat below!