A mother and her child at home

An Update During The Lockdown

17 April 2020

We’re well into the third week of lockdown, so thought it would be a great time to touch base. See below for a message from our Managing Director, plus an opportunity to meet some of our management team.

Hello South Canterbury

These certainly are unprecedented times. Who would have thought we’d ever see something like this unfold? I’m exceptionally proud of the South Canterbury community, our local businesses, and how we’ve all stuck to the restrictions in a bid to save lives in this great nation we live in.

As a local business ourselves, we’re planning for post-lockdown recovery. Being a part of an industry already decimated by the hailstorm, and now this lengthy shutdown, we can only look ahead. As a community, we need to embrace and support each other to get our amazing district back on its feet.

It’s more important than ever to support and shop local. We need to stand behind the business community, keep our southern Cantabrians in work, and our micro-economy healthy. It’s not only important that we, as local businesses, plan our own recovery, but also that we continue to help other local businesses to recover. You can help by supporting your community and shopping locally – keep it local.

This is a time for solidarity, for a true sense of community, and for South Canterbury to come together.

It’s as much up to you to get behind the speedy recovery of South Canterbury as it has been to stay at home and save lives.

If there’s anything the team and I can help you with, please reach out. As support for your business or for you as individuals, we are sincerely and wholeheartedly here for you.

You are sensational, South Canterbury.

#StayHomeNZ #SaveLives

Chris Churchward

Chris Churchward
Managing Director

Chris Churchward


I was born and bred here in Timaru, attended Craighead Diocesan School and then went on to work for Hubbard Churcher and Co.

Being a people person I soon realised I needed customer interaction and decided to enter the banking industry. After 13 wonderful years in the Banking Sector I had gained a wealth of knowledge in many areas but I was ready for a new challenge. That new challenge presented itself in the form of establishing a new Finance & Insurance Division here at Autoworld. After 12 months, this department had exceeded all expectations and I was promoted to General Manager of Autoworld.

In amongst that I have also found time to raise two small children. They are the light of my life and are my reason each and every day I go to work.

It’s important for me to be able to show them what a woman in a typically male dominated industry can achieve.

Being a role model to my girls, a mentor and a positive influence to other young females and showing that girls can do anything is something I hold dear to my heart. This makes me a better mum and a more driven professional.

As I reflect on the last two years at Autoworld, I couldn’t be more proud of who we are and the positive culture we have. We have an exceptional team of people who are incredibly engaged and love their work. Our customers reap the rewards of that and that’s why they keep coming back. We don’t call it our Autoworld family for no reason.

There have been several changes, particularly over the last 8 months, at Autoworld. But with these changes have come a more engaged group of people who have added to the culture of the business and the outstanding continued success of who we are today.

Renae McClenaghan
General Manager

Renae McClenaghan


My family and I moved to Timaru when I was one. As a teenager with a passion for cars, I decided to follow the automotive trade. Starting my career as an apprentice, I soon qualified as a technician at a local Toyota dealership. Once qualified, I had the opportunity to move to Autoworld and assisted in setting up the workshop as a new business.

After five years on the tools in an ever-changing workplace, I was presented with the opportunity to become Service Manager. I have learnt heaps about the industry in the past three years, from customer interactions to handling staff, all with the focus of creating a great place to work and an awesome department to do business with.

During my time as Service Manager, our business has grown over 400% in volume. I’ve led the department to greatly develop skills and experiences.

I am passionate about my staff and their continued development and growth, which reflects on the quality of service we provide our customers.

I love my role and how it constantly challenges me every day.

In my spare time, I am involved in local motorsport as a mechanic, and I enjoy road trips on my motorbike.

Warrick Thompson
Service Manager

Warrick Thompson


With an interest in modified vehicles, my journey within the automotive industry began with selling aftermarket parts at the age of 19. This eventually led to the challenge of working within a dealership and learning about genuine parts and vehicle servicing. An opportunity soon arose to further my knowledge within the forever-evolving dealership, Autoworld Timaru.

Since starting at Autoworld, I have progressed from being on the Frontline Service team through to the Parts department as the Parts Manager. It’s unusual to see a female as a Parts Manager in this industry, but I have relished the challenge during the past 12 months in this role. I’ve turned an under-performing department to one of the most well-organised Parts Departments throughout the automotive industry in South Canterbury.

Our success is based on our ability to look outside the box and working hard to meet demand.

My focus is to provide the best possible experience to all of our customers. We do this by continually developing our internal coordination with our Service team to complete required repairs, and by focusing on supplying the correct parts to our local trade and panel customers, which has been a rapidly growing side to the business after the recent hailstorm.

Working alongside my working family has been a blast! It’s rewarding to be able to supply genuine parts to our new and loyal customers every day. If you’re looking for a team of straight shooters who don’t muck around and who simply get the job done, we’ve got your back.

Kate Le Lierve
Parts Manager

Kate Le Lierve
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