Plan to draw women to trucking
Kylie Winiata gets quizzed all the time on whether she was the one who backed the 18-wheeler big rig into supermarket depots.
"Everyone always asks: 'Woah, are you driving that?' and I just say: 'Yup, last time I looked there was no-one else with me in the cab'."
The 25-year-old mother-of-two is one of 760 women among the 23,000 heavy truck drivers in New Zealand - and she loves her job.
The Road Transport Forum has launched an action plan aimed at attracting more women to the sector, a move Winiata welcomes.
"There's no point in letting the guys talk you out of it, women can do the job just as well, if not better, and I tell my boys that," she said.
"Sure, you get the old-schoolers who say it's not a woman's job, but they're coming around [to the idea] that we can do it, because we can."
Winiata ended up in the industry after returning from Camp America in 2007. Her father had her sweeping decks and prepping loads for the family-run business before she was allowed to sit her heavy truck licence.
Three generations of the Winiata family have spent time behind the wheel of a big rig.
Her dad, Andrew, owns A&P Trucking and has a team of six drivers working three trucks to deliver dry goods around the lower North Island for Foodstuffs. Her uncle, Nigel, owns Winiata Distribution, with four trucks.
Her grandfather was long-time truck driver Benjamin Winiata, 67, who died in a truck crash in 2008.
"That made me want to do it more," Winiata said. "Koro always supported me, helped me and taught me how to drive.
"I've been brought up around trucks since day dot and I enjoy getting out and meeting people; every day is doing something different."
Benjamin Winiata's work with trucks was recognised with the national King of the Road title in 1975 - a competitive title which had him complete various tests in a range of vehicles.
"I think it's about time for a Queen of the Road title," Winiata said. "That'd be cool."
The action plan tackles how to lift the profile of women in the industry, addressing stereotypes, providing better support and steps to retain women in the industry.
It also includes a "diversity toolkit" which covers topics such as flexible work-time guidelines, career pathways, shared facilities and safety equipment.
"[It's working on] strategies to recruit, retain and support more women into roles where they are currently underrepresented," Women's Affairs Minister Jo Goodhew said.