Eye on corporate law in sector

Meat Industry Association scholarship recipient Tully Paterson, of Invercargill, is chasing a...
Meat Industry Association scholarship recipient Tully Paterson, of Invercargill, is chasing a career in corporate law in the red meat sector. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Southern students considering careers in the red meat processing and exporting sector were among the Meat Industry Association scholarship recipients for 2021. In a series, reporter Shawn McAvinue asks them about their study and their plans. This week, he speaks to Auckland University student Tully Paterson (19), of Invercargill.

Tully Paterson is targeting a career in the red meat sector because New Zealand produces the "best cuts of meat in the world".

Born and raised in central Invercargill, her interest in the red meat sector was sparked by her father working in Alliance Group’s corporate office at its Lorneville plant.

After finishing her final year at James Hargest College in 2019, she worked a fortnight packing meat at the plant.

She began undergraduate study in law and arts at Auckland University last year.

Now in her second year, she was planning to major in law, politics and anthropology.

Auckland was an expensive city so the $5000 scholarship was helping her pay for study and living costs, she said.

The attraction of Auckland was the chance to have new experiences, meet new people and gain more independence by being away from home.

Her dream was to one day return to her Southern roots and work in corporate law in the red meat sector.

The sector was appealing because it would give her the chance to do a job that supported the work of farmers.

The future for the sector was bright, she said.

"We have the best cuts of meat in the world so there will always be demand for that."

The scholarship included mentoring and provided chances to network.

"It’s a massive opportunity ... I’m so thankful I got it."

In the past summer, she returned to Invercargill and worked in Alliance’s payroll department, helping sort backpay for "donning and doffing".

Donning and doffing was the time meat workers spent dressing and undressing on either side of their breaks.

The New Zealand Meat Workers Union reached a settlement with meat works, including Alliance, on backpay for the activity.

She helped sort backpay for past and present Alliance staff.

"It’s a lot of work."

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