Three new awards for environmentally sensitive earthworks projects in Waikato reflect a need to recognise the improved effort the industry has put into protecting water quality from the effects of sediment.
The awards were presented at a ceremony at Waikato Regional Council’s Hamilton offices today.
The winners are:
Small site - Downey Designer Homes Limited for its huge improvements in relation to sediment control on house building sites within the Hamilton City area.
Medium site - Holden Earthmoving Limited for consistently showing a high standard of workmanship in the construction of erosion and sediment controls, particularly the works undertaken on the Otorohanga stopbanks upgrade.
Large site - Base Civil Limited for outstanding work controls on earthworks undertaken to establish a campground at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints site at Tuhikaramea Road.
Forestry - The forestry sector award went to Wood Marketing Services Limited for rehabilitation of roading earthworks at the Vela Forest site near Te Uku.
Council chairperson Paula Southgate, who presented the awards, said: “While Waikato Regional Council makes the rules, we can’t achieve anything without the industry behind us. As an industry, you’re helping us protect our water quality and the productivity of our soils.”
The council had previously introduced a Site of the Year award to highlight and promote environmental best practice and innovation on earthworks projects.
The council’s rules are designed to prevent sediment from such projects from running off into waterways as it can seriously affect aquatic life and water clarity.
This year the awards were expanded to four categories covering small, medium and large sites, as well as forestry-related developments.
“There’s been a greater effort recently across the board by the earthworks industry to carry out projects in an environmentally sensitive way,” said land and soil programme manager Grant Blackie.
“In the last financial year we issued earthworks operators with about half the number of fines and abatement notices that we did the previous year, even though overall consented earthworks activity increased.
“We believe there’s a range of reasons for this better performance including our education programmes and work with the industry.
“For example, over the past decade we’ve had hundreds of people through our earthworks workshops. And over the past 12 months there has been a focused programme within the earthworks and building industries to ensure that adequate erosion and sediment controls are installed and maintained throughout the duration of works on any development site.
“So, by expanding our awards to cover four categories, we’re able to publicly recognise more of our high performers in the region and the better effort going in generally.”
Mr Blackie said that all nominated sites were ones which consistently strived to achieve outstanding levels of compliance for earthworks.
“All award winners and nominees have made a fantastic effort to exceed compliance expectations in implementing best practice erosion and sediment controls for earthworks.”