Meet Peter: Wakeboarding grandad and Technical Property Assessor

With a background in carpentry, Peter lends an expert eye when assessing damage around the country - and a kind ear, too.

Meet Peter - a Waikato family man with a passion for kayaking and wakeboarding. You wouldn't guess it, considering his skills on a wakeboard, but Peter's also a grandfather.

"Unfortunately, seeing them all has been a bit erratic with the lockdowns," he says. "They're out of town, in Wellington and Taranaki, so we see them as often as we can."


Chasing storms

When Peter's not being a grandad, he's chasing storms as part of AMI's claims team. It's part of his job to attend major weather events around the country, assess damage, and then report back to AMI to help customers get back on their feet as quickly as possible.

Before that, he worked in carpentry for over 30 years; experience which helps him in his current role.

"It's good to be able to impart that knowledge around what you're actually looking at and what the damage is, and what sort of repairs may be required," he says.

Aside from his interest in building, Peter enjoys what he does for one simple reason:

"I enjoy getting out there and meeting people and helping them. I will always spend more time with a customer who just wants to talk, whether or not it's required for the claim."


Repairing Edgecumbe

Peter has attended most of New Zealand's major weather events and disasters of the last six years, but the one that had the biggest effect on him was Edgecumbe, a small dairy farming town in the Bay of Plenty.

"Virtually the whole town got flooded and, in some cases, you could see the water stains at eye level on the outside of the houses," he recalls. "Almost all of the properties directly in line with the river got knocked over as well."

Peter stayed in the town for several weeks, helping its residents make claims and sticking around for a chat.

"Some people just want to feel like they've got someone to talk to that is happy to listen. They just need a sympathetic ear. I'm always happy to do that."

"Sometimes it's obvious that the stress of the whole situation is getting to them, and you can reassure the...and leave them with an understanding of what's happening so they're happy."


Beyond claims

He would never let on, but Peter's generosity and willingness to go the extra mile has earned him some stellar feedback. Here's a customer's comment from a recent claim regarding a heavily flooded home damaged after a recent storm.

"At every step of the way, you were there, seemingly understanding where we were coming from, nothing was a problem, making the process as easy as possible. We felt like we had someone on our side..."

For Peter, what he does is more than just a job. It's all about doing a bit extra to help people out of a tough situation.

"It's about actually helping the customer through that whole process and doing what we can."