Excuse the pun, but for Drainways a lot of their existing work was lost down the drain after the cyclone hit.
“The impact on our business was massive in so many ways. All of our contract works stopped for more than a month,” says managing director Mark Currie.
“We returned back to work six days after the cyclone and only just managed to have enough work for one day so we went out and hunted for more work and just managed to get enough for the next day. This went on for more than two weeks and then we started getting a little bit more work in front of us.”
However, selflessly, the team quickly turned to helping out where they could, becoming a regular feature outside the Hawke’s Bay Emergency Management Centre in Hastings, taking on tasks such as finding generators and getting them to where they were most needed.
“We were busy from supplying food and water and generators to supplying an excavator and truck to help clear the path to one of the Vodafone towers so they could restore power and get Wifi back on again. We also used all our machinery to help clear driveways and provide access to properties.”
Drainways was also instrumental in pulling together a convoy of diesel trailers that ran 24hrs for to keep the Hastings water treatment plant and the Clive sewer plant operational for the first few days after the cyclone.
“We managed to source diesel from one area of town that had power but it meant having a team of up to 10 utes constantly running tanker trailers. This included having to take them through flooded roads that were closed to public.
Our team rallied to the task and, along with the help of Apatu Farms giving up their diesel trailers the city was able to have a constant water supply as well as the sewer infrastructure.”
Mark says he will never underestimate mother nature again and will look to strengthen the resilience of their business, the wellbeing of its staff, while also jumping in to helping out in the community.
“Drainways has a team that’s very adaptable and willing to do whatever it takes. We’re helping with silt clean up right now but longer term we’d be looking to repair and build retaining walls and help in the building of smaller bridges to get the community back to some sort of normal as soon as possible.”
Going forward Mark sees a new work pipeline emerge as well as new employment for those that have lost their jobs.
“The cyclone has caused much damage but it has also brought a lot of work and employment to the region. It’s going to be a long time before it gets back on its feet again but that alone is an opportunity for so many people.”