Earthmoving contractor Kevin Jones says he prefers working with companies that share his vision of respect for the environment and the earliest inhabitants of te Tairāwhiti.
“What I see now are leaders taking on board everyone’s point of view before they move forward. That’s important to me personally and to me as a business.”
Jones, of Rongowhakaata, is director of Jquip and specialises in earthmoving, cartage, house and rural sites, paddock contouring, tree and section clearing, and drainage work. He grew his business on the back of the region’s strength in sheep, beef, and grain farming, as well as horticulture and forestry. Over the past four years Jquip has grown from two staff and a single digger to seven staff and a diverse fleet of excavators, tip trucks, rollers, trucks, and a bobcat.
To manage growth the father-of-one sticks to his business principles of keeping the customer experience a priority, using a mentor, and treading lightly and respectfully in the region.
“I will do a karakia on the property before I start digging and if there is a native tree we will always look after it. Being culturally sensitive is important to me. It’s the way I was brought up.
“We don’t take shortcuts with the environment.”
One of Jquip’s earlier contracts was to create a new coastal track at the base of Titirangi Kaiti Hill. The track was created through a project sponsored by Eastland Port as part of the Titirangi Restoration Project managed by Gisborne District Council.
“That’s one we were proud to be part of. I actually biked it again recently, it’s awesome,” says Jones.
Jones added that he is pleased Eastland Port is developing greater log capacity and adapting to allow more containerisation. He says the next generation of industry leaders are helping grow the region and doing it in a way that he feels proud to be part of.
Eastland Port’s decision to significantly refine and improve its original wharf 7 design has earned his respect. The port’s design means that marine life in the awa and moana, including the rua koura, are protected.
“It’s great to see more elected and private sector leaders are geared towards awareness and respect for the environment and everyone in the community.”