Unfiltered Access - Meet the team: Ash Whitehouse

Ash Whitehouse is the Manager of our Wellington Distribution Centre.  Anyone who has met Ash or visited the SafesSmart Wellington yard in Grenada North will know that Ash is a meticulous master of order.  Wellington could be considered our “pin-up” branch, where nothing is out of place. The phrase, “ship-shape” comes to mind, and perhaps a military background is where this discipline came from.   

Ash left school just after his 15th birthday and became a kitchen hand and prep cook at Novotel Tainui in Hamilton. When he was old enough, Ash completed the recruitment process required to be accepted to join the Army. On the 23rd of January 2005 he hopped on a bus and went off to become a Soldier. While in the Military, Ash held various Job roles and titles. Among the many, was Rifleman to the VIP Steward for the Chief of Defence Force & Governor General of NZ. 

While in the NZ Army Ash gained qualifications including in Adult Education, Business Management and a Diploma in Hospitality from London City and Guilds.  Those customers who have attended our monthly Pie Days at SafeSmart’s Wellington yard will attest to Ash’s hospitality skills, and he masters the Nespresso machine with more style than George Clooney! 

Ash travelled extensively while in the Army.  “My best experience while in the army was ironically while onboard the Navy’s HMNZS Canterbury as the Army Galley Manager”.  While on the Canterbury Ash sailed around the globe, visiting places like the Solomon Islands, Rarotonga, Samoa, Singapore and more.   

“The most memorable time of my military career was when we docked in Littleton Harbour after the second Christchurch earthquake”

In addition to being highly disciplined, Ash has a compassionate nature which would have been a comfort to people of Christchurch when he contributed to the aide relief for many people affected by the quakes. 

Earnest Member of SafeSmart

“My Mother is the strongest person I know.  My Father passed away when I was very young, and my mum raised us on her own” says Ash.  It was his Mum, Thresa that taught him valuable long-standing life lessons. “She has never given up to anything and she just keeps going”. Ash recalls a lesson learned while growing up: “A good day’s work for a good day’s pay”. This adage is evident within Ash’s work ethic at SafeSmart Access. 

“I love that I see lots of different people throughout my day and being involved in a range of projects. No two days are the same”

What Ash is most proud of is his two beautiful daughters, eight-year-old Isabelle and younger sister Aria who is five.

“They are best friends and then sometimes worst enemies, often both within the same 10mins. They can drive me crazy, but I still love them.  At the end of the day, there is nothing like coming home from work and just sitting with them for a while, having a cuddle on the couch and hearing about their days.”


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