Our Story

First Contact was established in April 2002 by Stefanie and Darryl Stonnell.

It is a family business and proudly 100% New Zealand owned and operated.

First Contact’s core values are;

  1. Educated staff

  2. Accountability to our clients

Educated staff feel safer, more valued, and confident to explore their potential.

Utilising the latest technology, First Contact provides a transparent and real-time service to our clients.

First Contact developed a software program to ensure accurate briefings and compliance with health & safety, industry, and legislative requirements.

This commitment has seen First Contact receive multiple awards for staff and technical development at the New Zealand Security Awards.


Our Team


Our Mission


Continuously develop and support every staff member in achieving their personal and professional goals.


Creating a safe, challenging, and enjoyable working environment,

 we will deliver a level of

Excellence to our clients they can rely on, from educated, valued, and reliable personnel.

Our Vision

To consistently create excellent service standards our clients can rely on, delivered by educated and valued personnel.


Darryl Stonnell


Darryl has been involved with the security industry for over 30 years.

His passion has always been centered around providing a safe and challenging environment for staff, whilst providing a measurable level of accountability to clients.

Since starting First Contact, Darryl developed a specialist training program that was used as the framework to develop an NZQA Unit Standard. He has been actively involved with the Skills Organisation during the re-development of the security industry qualification, and has been engaged by city councils throughout New Zealand to deliver specialised training.


Saani Weitenberg


Saani manages the day to day operations including working closely with the directors to ensure staffing requirements are being met.

She assists with the recruitment and rostering of staff, whilst being the first point of contact for people reaching out to the main office.


Malcolm Mashingaidze


With over a decade’s experience working in a range of security environments, Malcolm delivers a wealth of knowledge to his students.

He hold a Level 3 National Certificate in Security, and is currently completing the training requirements to become an NZQA certified assessor.

No-one in Malcolm’s class gets to sit quietly in the background, as he ensures everyone is participating and understanding the material being taught.


Leonard Dench


Leonard has been with First Contact for almost 2 years.

With a career in the corporate environment, he knows what our clients are looking for and how to get the best out of our staff.

Leonard is someone who can be placed in a new environment and use his knowledge, training, and experience to deliver the desired outcomes for all parties involved.


Rachna Pillay


Rachna is new to First Contact, however her experience in human resources, good common sense, and eagerness to take on more challenges has seen her move into the compliance role.

She interacts well with all staff and doesn’t hesitate to take on any role she is offered.


Stefanie Stonnell


Prior to starting First Contact, Stefanie’s experience was in accounting and customer services roles.

In addition to managing the accounts and pay-role for the business, Stef has overseen the on-going training for every staff member that works for the company.

Stef has developed a large portion of the systems we use to ensure every staff member is actively working towards their Level 3 National Certificate in Security, (the minimum standard we set for our staff).

It was due to Stef’s efforts that First Contact was awarded the Gold Certificate for excellence in staff development by the industry’s ITO, the Skills Organisation. Only one other company has achieved this qualification.


Lu Pua


Lu has been with First Contact since the start, over 17 years ago.

He brings the highest standards to our clients and demands the best from his teams.

With experience that covers corporate, event, and licensed premises security, Lu is able to deliver exactly what our clients are looking for every time.

Josh C.png

Josh Cleary


Josh has been our primary instructor for the past 5 years. Holding unit standard 4098, he is in the process of gaining his NZQA assessors certification.

Josh has worked in the event and hospitality industry since 2004, and can apply a real world perspective to the material he is delivering.

His presentation style leaves little to the imagination, as staff trust him and feel at ease, so can seek clarification on any matter.

In 2019, Just was nominated as a finalist in the New Zealand Security Awards for Trainer of the Year.


Lisa Fink


Lisa has been with First Contact for just over 9 years,

She is an excellent team leader who utilises her experience in the military to make educated calls when faced with a difficult situation.

Lisa sets a high standard for staff, however provides an environment that helps them achieve both their own and the company’s expectations.