We care about our people and our environment
Responsible sustainable construction begins with building from within the communities we live. Staff training is a core objective for Wharehine and is regarded as a key facet of our operation. Every endeavor is made, from initial employment onwards, to assess and implement the training needs of all staff. We train staff to be industry leaders by supporting them into industry qualifications and certifications where appropriate. We also fund staff entries into the NZ National & Regional Excavator Championship.
Our programme includes:
• Having a comprehensive training and competency register which is reviewed every 6 months.
• Wharehine sets and implements a large training budget for an extensive training program each year in its commitment to the industry and to ensure a safe and trained working environment.
• Signed on to the Auckland Mayoral Pledge for Youth Employment and Training.
• We employ and sponsor youth and support them into tertiary studies to trade qualifications.
Wharehine work with the local Rodney College in Wellsford offering work experience to Year 12/13 Students who are curious about civil infrastructure and construction and want to be at the ground level learning different facets of the business. If students demonstrate a passion and hunger for this industry we have and continue to offer apprenticeship programmes with the company. We currently have three apprenticeships, each at different stages of their programme but working hard to push through. Our apprenticeships are not just in civil but also building and mechanical engineering. We support them with their online submissions, ensuring they are getting their practical and theory work delivered on time and with any other questions/training required as they go.
We also celebrate with our apprentices once they become fully qualified in their trade, we believe it is important as a team culture to uplift mahi pai.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
We have noticed a huge increase in the importance of building awareness across the construction industry when it comes to mental health and wellbeing. Wharehine believes in building workplace communities and increasing the capability of the workforce to look out for each other on site. We encourage the questioning of the stigma that currently surrounds the topic of suicide and mental illness within the construction industry across New Zealand. With the increasing demands on the construction sector to build more houses and infrastructure faster, our health and safety, sensitivity, general practices and culture and performance must improve. At Wharehine we are taking the time to enhance our health and safety programmes to ensure the complacency of attitude towards mental health does not go unrecognised. Our Senior Leadership team continue to support and build on existing health and safety initiatives including the CHASNZ client leadership programme. The SLT will also ensure health and safety is considered throughout the lifecycle of all their projects, and support and promote the adoption of a mental health action plan within our organisation and encourage our project partners and consultants to do the same.
OUR WORK WITH LOCAL TRUSTS
Putting words into action
One of the trusts that Wharehine are proud to support is The Forest Bridge Trust. A key programme that we have had the pleasure of being a part of is the Hubs Project. In 2018, the Trust created a new model for focusing their predator control and fencing activities to better achieve the goal of a connected landscape. They searched for local reserves that local people had identified as worth protecting. The Trust developed an approach to help these communities to grow their local precious places into ‘hubs’ of ecological protection. Wharehine staff have been committed to the pest control project by setting and checking trap lines at our Whangaripo and Matakana quarries adjacent to Mt Tamahunga. This project is showing great success and in October 2023 a wild kiwi chick was born on Mt Tamahunga following the release of mature kiwi the previous March. theforestbridgetrust.org.nz/ or tamahungatrappers.org.nz
Another community project that Wharehine have been heavily involved in is CUE Haven, a former dairy farm that is being restored into a native forest reserve for the community to use and enjoy into perpetuity. CUE Haven is owned by the CUE Haven Community Trust. Since the restoration program began in 2008, the community has worked together to plant over 170,000 native trees and construct walking tracks and boardwalks. Wharehine provide assistance by donating gravel to maintain over 6km of roads and walking tracks at CUE Haven. Wharehine also provided significant assistance for the construction of Te Rite o Taranaki - the viewing platform at CUE Haven that overlooks the Kaipara Harbour. Additionally, Wharehine staff regularly support CUE Haven by volunteering time outside of their work hours to provide assistance with a variety of other projects. CUE Haven is a fantastic example of the amazing things that can be achieved when individuals, the public and private sectors all work together for the common good. For more information check out www.cuehaven.com