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Selwyn District Council Wetlands 2013
The Selwyn District Councils winning wetlands, created by Grant Hood Contracting
It is the second year that small Mid Canterbury earthmoving business Grant Hood Contracting has beaten far larger businesses across Canterbury to take home a regional environmental award, but that doesn’t mean it was an easy win for the local contractors.
Up against around 30 other Canterbury projects, including multi-million dollar projects such as the construction of the Christchurch Southern Motorway, the Ashburton-based business impressed the New Zealand Contractors Federation judges with their work constructing wetlands in Lincoln.
Simply completing the Selwyn District Council wetlands project was a triumph for the local contractors, who had to tackle bad weather, a tight timeframe and strict consents to finish the project last year.
For owners Grant and Carolyn Hood and the 12 employees of the business, taking home the New Zealand Contractors Federation regional environment award was simply the icing on the cake.
The project was a challenging one, constructing 16 hectares of wetlands in Lincoln, designed to retain storm water in the district.
It involved building a weir and structures to control water flow, managing earthworks and building access roads and footpaths through the area.
Working with waterways that fed Lake Ellesmere, they had to carefully monitor water quality and control sediment so as not to disturb the aquatic environment and passage of fish through the waterways.
If that wasn’t challenging enough, the company had just nine weeks to complete all the earthworks and construction, before Winter set in and all work around the waterways had to stop.
Grant Hood operations manager Michael Chivers said that the company did a lot more than simply move earth around.
“When Grant Hood do earthworks today, we’re thinking about our grandchildren tomorrow.”
He said that on complicated projects it was worth going the extra mile to get it right at the start and keep it right.
The win has qualified the local business to enter the NZ Contractors Federation national awards next year, but he said that a decision on whether or not to enter was yet to be made.
By Gabrielle Stuart, Ashburton Guardian.