Local contractors benefit from tree felling contracts
The Tararua District Recovery Plan has identified the need to develop initiatives which stimulate our local economy.
One of the initiative’s council has been developing since Covid-19 is a review of council’s procurement framework to increase the use of local contractors and $500,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund has allowed the Tararua Alliance to contract out the felling of roadside and dangerous trees on Route 52 to businesses within our district.
“Our primary focus is on creating jobs and the opportunity for locals to have work,” Cameron McKay, Council’s Recovery Manager, said.
Applicants went through a procurement process and McKay said while Council’s recovery plan is all about jobs, there is also an element of social benefit procurement.
“Council would have gone out to locals for the contracts anyway, but it would have been a much longer timeframe because we would have had to find the money,” he said.
“I’m really happy for the opportunity to provide a significant number of jobs for our community and securing an outcome
Council has been wanting to achieve for a long time.”
Seven contractors put their names forward, with six successful. Those six are Trevor Beale, Ernie Christison, AL Management (Dave Froggart), HSF Ltd (Grant Richards), Out on a Limb (Clarke Harris) and Tree Scape Ltd (Kevin Birdsall).
Clarke Harris of Out on a Limb is pleased Council has taken this initiative.
“It’s good they’re giving local businesses a shot and it’s a good opportunity to pick up extra work, especially in the winter,” he said.
Seven workers attended and successfully completed their traffic controllers course on Monday, July 20 to be able to participate in the contracts, Project Manager, Sarah Walshe, said.
The Route 52 trees need to be felled for road safety, powerline safety and to protect the resilience of key routes on council’s roading network from falling trees in storms and also the damage done to roads by tree roots, McKay said.
Raj Suppiah, Council’s Chief Financial Officer, said Council wanted to stretch the $500,000 and to grow the district, ensuring everyone gets a slice of the pie.
Council have put forward an additional application to the Provincial Growth Fund for a further $500,000 for more tree removal work, McKay said, but he is aware the fund could be over-subscribed.
Progress updates and maps showing the sections of Route 52 where this work will take place are available on the Council website here.
Photo: Hands-on traffic management training for local contractors