Waratah staff dig deep for com­mu­nity

South Waikato News - - Motoring - LUKE KIRKEBY

Toko­roa’s Waratah fac­tory was a lonely place when the ma­jor­ity of staff didn’t show up on site re­cently.

The fac­tory, which de­signs and builds forestry harvesting and pro­cess­ing heads, was shut down for the day so 95 of its 100 staff mem­bers could take part in a day of giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity.

Hu­man re­sources man­ager Rachael Trim­ble said staff took part in com­mu­nity projects at St John Toko­roa, Cougar Moun­tain Bike Park, Jim Bar­nett Re­serve, Whaka­maru Re­serve, and at the house of a col­league with long term health is­sues.

"Our com­mu­nity day is an an­nual event and this is the fifth year we have done it," she said.

"We close down pro­duc­tion for the day and ev­ery­one par­tic­i­pates."

"Ev­ery­one loves it, the whole or­gan­i­sa­tion looks for­ward to it, and if you haven’t given them in­for­ma­tion about what’s hap­pen­ing early enough they are like "what’s go­ing on, what team am I on?" she laughed.

Trim­ble said the staff took part in a range of ac­tiv­i­ties.

"At St John there was this old manky con­crete block out the front which has now been made into a seat with cor­ru­gated iron on the out­side and wooden planks on top," she said.

"They also put some cor­ru­gated iron pan­el­ing near the front door to match it and painted a back wall. It looks mag­nif­i­cent."

"At Cougar Park we moved two ta­bles which were in an over­grown area no one used and cleared de­bris left be­hind by forestry work­ers."

"At Jim Bar­nett we took down a tem­po­rary fence put up when they first did the park to keep peo­ple out of an en­vi­ron­men­tal area, chip barked around the hut area, re­moved an old hut, and met­aled one of the tracks."

"At Lake Whaka­maru there was 21km of track that needed to be cleared and at one of our em­ploy­ees houses we cleared trees and put down metal for park­ing," she said.

She said the day was once again a suc­cess.

"Ev­ery­one works to­gether and rolls up their sleeves and ev­ery­one has smiles on their faces the whole day even though it is blim­min’ hard work," she said.

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