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Thumbs up for environmental efforts

Thumbs up for environmental efforts
GBC Winstone’s Belmont Quarry manager, Shane Hagai, left, receiving the award from Mimico’s Rex Davis.

The recent line up of winners of the 2017 Mimico Environmental Awards shows that quarries of all sizes are doing good things, says Aggregate and Quarry Association of New Zealand (AQA) chair Brian Roche.

Winners included big players but also a smaller quarry with a bronze award going to new entrant Simcox Construction for its Barracks Road quarry in Marlborough for beyond the quarry engagement.

Dr Morgan Williams, a former Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment who was judging his 10th Mimico Awards, told the awards dinner attended by 400 people in Auckland that pursuing environmental outcomes often provides very valuable links with communities and develops trust.

He also highlighted the link between looking after the environment and the positive effect this can have on people – “such as people on corrective detention doing planting for Isaacs, young teenagers engaging with nature for the first time in the gecko recovery programme at GBC Winstone’s Belmont quarry, and a whole local community engaged by Simcox Construction in Marlborough”.

“The people restoration components of quarry restorations are often a core result of the whole effort – and a part that really makes a difference in wider society’s impressions of the industry and thus its social licence to operate,” he said.

This year GBC Winstone Aggregates Belmont Quarry near Lower Hutt won a gold award for its gecko population restoration and relationship building with iwi, community and DOC.

Silver went to Isaac Construction at McLeans Island, Christchurch, for a restoration programme which saw 47,000 native plants put in the ground to create a community asset, mostly planted by people from Corrections which he said helped restore them as well.

Fulton Hogan’s Poplar Lane quarry, Te Puke, also won Silver for managing water flows in decommissioning a clean water pond and developing another, while ensuring healthy fish in challenging conditions.

Brian Roche says that he would like to see a larger number of entries to the competition next year, particularly from smaller operations.

“I get to talk to a lot of people in my role and to see what they are doing and there is lots of good stuff happening out there.

“But being a humble bunch of ‘behind the scenes’ practical people I think people don’t often like to be seen as blowing their own trumpet,” says Brian.

“There is excellence being achieved out there so we encourage people to showcase that and put themselves forward next year.”

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