Mac Tatana attended secondary school in Levin for only five months until he turned 15 and then he left to enter the 'School of Hard Knocks' to work for his older brother for 5 years.
His first job - September 1964 - he used a borrowed car, hired trailer, a concrete mixer and boxing from his older brother Alec to do curbing and channeling work for a subdivision in Kings Drive, Levin. For the next several years Mac did curb, channel and footpaths mainly for the Levin Borough Council. Essentially he was wielding a shovel. Then he got his first excavator with a very expensive loan.
Life was tough in the early days, Mac had to work six days a week to survive. As a result of his work load Mac in his younger years missed valuable time with his own children but is now able to spend time enjoying his grandchildren. A great achievement of which Mac is very proud is that he was a prime mover in getting Matau Marae rebuilt after the original one was destroyed in the Wahine storm. The new Marae was opened on the 26th November 1985 and is a beautiful asset in the Horowhenua. Mac is also a life member of the Cosmopolitan Club, honored because of his years of service.
Tatana Contracting is now a family affair, based in Cambridge Street, Levin. He originally had one helper, today he employs over 30 in the workforce with 3 office staff and 3 professional engineers. Tatana Contracting undertakes work on a regional basis, contracting throughout the lower North Island and undertaking a wide range of civil engineering projects.
The Hall of Fame provides public and enduring recognition to the exceptional business leaders of the Kapiti and Horowhenua districts. These individuals are our business’ All Blacks’ and ‘Silver Ferns’. Business Kapiti Horowhenua Inc.
Each year, two living individuals are inducted into the Hall of Fame – one from Kapiti and one from Horowhenua. Exceptionally, there may be two from one District, but there are never more than three in total. These people are selected by a panel of prominent business people chaired by the Mayor of each District. Business Kapiti Horowhenua Inc. convenes and organises the panels and these awards and the recipients are known as ‘laureates’ and their names are recorded on their website, and on the Business Hall of Fame boards kept in each District’s library on public display.
Purpose of the Hall of Fame - To recognise living individual business people resident in the Kapiti or Horowhenua Districts whose exceptional efforts in business and the community have had a positive impact on economic growth and business success.
From Left to Right - Bernard, Johnston Mac (Papa), Muigi (Ming) and Darryl.
Karina, Liat, Deon, Quentin, Ming, Papa, Darryl and Bernard.