McKay Contracting is part of the Dunedin Housing Maintenance Contractors Performance Based Maintenance Contract (PBMC) with Housing New Zealand.
As a subbie the McKay team works closely with Housing New Zealand to maintain 259 properties in Hokitika and Greymouth, an area locals fondly call ‘the coast’.
In this edition of Contractor Connect we hear from McKay Contracting about their response to two recent bad weather events that hit the West Coast as a result of Cyclones Fehi and Gita.
When asked to explain their response, owner Ken McKay says the first thing they did was discuss health and safety, what they could expect with the incoming bad weather and what they should do to ensure Housing New Zealand tenants were kept safe and dry.
“For Cyclone Fehi the team did a drive around Cobden, a suburb in Greymouth, where there are a number of Housing New Zealand properties. We wanted to see the extent of the damage to Housing New Zealand properties in the area.”
The strong relationship they’ve developed with tenants on the coast made a big difference when they identified damage they needed to repair urgently, Ken says.
“Having this good relationship with tenants meant the team was able to door knock and get the go ahead to carry out urgent repairs on the spot.”
Ken says there is no doubt Cyclone Fehi was a very serious weather threat, as a state of emergency was subsequently called and all roads closed in and out of the coast. It also highlights just how isolated the coast is at times like this. Luckily it was only fences and roofs that were damaged, and no one was hurt, Ken says.
And just when we all thought things were about back to normal, the Met Service said a new cyclone, called “Gita”, was expected to hit the coast on Tuesday 22 February.
After receiving this weather update and before Gita was due, Ken and the team went out again checking Housing New Zealand homes to see if there was anything that needed securing before the storm hit.
The following day and after Gita had moved through, Ken and the team were back on the road checking for damage and ensuring any urgent repairs to roofs, fences and trees were taken care of.
Looking back at these two significant weather events, Ken says they highlight the importance of a strong partnership with Housing New Zealand.
“Throughout Fehi and Gita, both teams remained in close contact. We phoned in jobs and Housing New Zealand worked hard behind the scenes to log jobs and generate work orders.”
“We’ve always worked in partnership with Housing New Zealand and for an area like the coast that is so isolated we think this is really important,” Ken says.
We do too, so thank you again Ken and the McKay Contracting team. We appreciate all your hard work, dedication and commitment to ensure our tenants were kept safe and dry during these bouts of extreme weather.