Award reflects ‘amazing culture’
Winning the ACC Workplace safety award at the 2017 South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards has demonstrated that High Country Contracting is right on track in this aspect, says company director Khan Adam.
“Health and safety isn’t about a big document that sits on the shelf gathering dust, or a shiny framed policy that hangs on the wall, or even a fancy accreditation followed by a heap of numbers,” he says.
“It’s about the culture. To be recognised in a category with some big-name finalists (Fonterra was one) has been an honour.”
The award involved a detailed written entry followed by a site visit from Accident Compensation Commission and external auditors. The auditors interviewed staff and looked into the company’s systems and processes.
Khan says the business has robust systems as the cornerstone of its health-and-safety policy. This is communicated clearly to staff and led by example from the top.
He says this is important to clients in the rural community who need to know contractors coming on to their properties are operating safely.
Based in the South Canterbury town of Pleasant Point, High Country Contracting works across Canterbury, the Mackenzie Basin, and North and Central Otago.
He says it has modern, well-maintained vehicles that have been built and are fit for purpose. These range from off-road machines to lightweight, twowheel bikes.
A GIS system allows the company to provide accurate data managem ent, detailed mapping, and comprehensive post operational reporting.
The business provides control of animal and plant pests.
Animal-pest services include control of wallabies, rabbits, possums, feral pigs, goats and mustelids. Plant-pest services deal with the likes of wilding pines, gorse, broom and weeds.
Khan says wilding pines have been recognised by government as one of New Zealand’s major pest problems, and funding has been allocated to assist farmers deal with them.
He says High Country Contracting’s experience in all types of plant pest control, along with its use of modern methods, sets the company apart.
It can set up operational plans to tackle a problem using techniques such as spot spraying, aerial control, ring barking and brush cutting.
“Combining years of experience in the industry with the latest techniques, we tailor each method to suit the situation and farming practices.”
The company has worked with regional councils and agencies such as Environment Canterbury and the Department of Conservation on pest-control projects such as protection of the long-tailed bat population found from the Peel Forest area to the Tengawai and Opihi rivers area in South Canterbury. Such projects are particularly rewarding, he says.
“We have the capability to undertake the smallest operations, from urban pest control right through to the extensive 80,000-hectare, possum ground-control operation in the Mackenzie high country.”