Martin Andrews is sure that Princess Diana waved to him when he was a young boy in Petone, but he hasn’t let the fame go to his head. A combat sports enthusiast whose love for humanity led him to leave his corporate day job and head on to brighter and bolder things, Martin now splits his time between his role as Operations Manager at Kaibosh Food Rescue and building a career in music. Here, he imparts some inspiring words about being brave, living life to its fullest and the universality of music.
Prior to Kaibosh I mostly worked in the private sector, until there came a moment when I realised that wasn’t the right choice for me. The companies I had worked for had no objective other than to accumulate financial wealth; I clashed with that ideology on many levels.
My early life was shaped most significantly by being raised in a single parent family in a low socioeconomic area. When I was 19 I decided to pay my way to Seattle and play for a rugby club for six months. While I was there I had a ‘light bulb’ moment involving music, which led to me acquiring my first guitar when I returned home to New Zealand. That started the journey I continue to travel today.
I’m very passionate about people being brave enough to follow their own path, and music was mine. But I still needed a part-time job; one that meant I could work for my community and that aligned with my personal values. Kaibosh ticked those boxes. I had been volunteering when a paid part-time role came up as a driver, and then later as Operations Manager. I’ve been in that role ever since.
One of the most challenging aspects of my job is trying to fit everything I need to do into a 25-hour work week! As Operations Manager I’m responsible for the day-to-day running of Kaibosh. I have to ensure that our drivers, donors and recipient charities are all being treated respectfully and that their needs are being met. I’m also a donor through One Percent Collective. I like the fact that once my 1% is added to the pool it becomes a large chunk of money to be distributed out, back into my own community.
Working at Kaibosh has had a huge impact on my life. I meet inspiring people on a daily basis. The type of people that keep communities running, the unrecognised people who help those that society allows to fall through the cracks. These people inspire me one thousand times more than any privately owned company head ever could.
Every day is a surprise. Today, for example, my boss gave me a book of haiku poetry – how many people are lucky enough to say that sentence? I feel blessed and grateful every day for where I have landed.
The fact that I am able to dedicate time to working on music is something that I am thankful for. I get to break music down to its nuts and bolts and manipulate it in interesting ways, and when I see other people doing the same thing it fascinates me. I find it endlessly inspiring.
Music is the real international language, a truly human experience that we all share. You don’t need to understand the language or genre for the music to move you. Music inspires a generosity of spirit. When times are difficult I can always find a piece of music to change my mood, or to empathise with how I’m feeling. For me, music is a constant during trying times.
Get your give on at www.kaibosh.org.nz
Photography by Pat Shepherd. Words by Jd Nodder