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Jenny Chin, Sample machinist

 All photos by Brendan Kitto

All photos by Brendan Kitto

"This has been my job for a long, long time. Maybe I can’t do another thing, because all my life I’ve been sewing. It’s not that hard, this is my job, easy."

I’m from Malaysia. I came to New Zealand in 1990. The first time, it was for a holiday, and then I thought, this is a nice place with nice people here. So I thought I would see what will happen.

I am a sample machinist. The first thing I do on my day, anything urgent, whatever the manager says. I’ve been here from 95-99 and then I worked for a costume department for 9 years with Power Rangers. I came back here because it’s nice, the other place was quite stressful.

Here is good, I came back at 2007. I feel here, it’s so comfortable, not many people here.

I meet the Chinese community by doing Tai Chi every friday. I work 4 days a week. T'ai Chi Ch'üan, I’ve been doing it for more than 15 years, but still learning, I do it to stay healthy.

I started working when I was 17. My sister in law owned a shop, after that I owned my own shop for six years. A very small shop. My dad did tailoring, my mum before I was born did finishing. My brother, sister, also did tailoring. All my family is now doing different things.

I found the job here from Esther. I go back to Malaysia once a year. My mum is still there. She is getting older.

I just enjoy the job. This has been my job for a long, long time. Maybe I can’t do another thing, because all my life I’ve been sewing. It’s not that hard, this is my job, easy.

I tell people I work for Zambesi, top brand, everyone knows. The young people know it because it’s fashion show every year. My friends say Zambesi is very nice. It’s lasted 40 years, it’s still very good, a fashion show every year. Top quality.

I will miss Esther, she will come back, we work together, we talk the same language.

Irina Kouzakova, Sample machinist