August 2022 Newsletter

Thank you for your continued support in what has been a challenging and wild winter so far!

This weather has been great for the ski industry, but not so great for processing or transporting stone. We’ve had delays caused by flooded roads and trucks stuck in mud. Our container shelter at Poolburn nearly blew away on THAT DAY of high winds earlier this month. We’re hoping for a more settled spring!

Definitely call ahead before driving out to either quarry as the road conditions have been very changeable.

Below is a photo of the bridge over the Lindis River heading into Cluden Stone Quarry after the early August rain. This rain event closed the Lindis and Waitaki Valley roads for days. 

Results of customer survey

Thank you to all these who completed our customer survey at the start of the year. The results were overwhelmingly positive and really gave us (and the team) a great wee boost.

You scored us an impressive 9.6/10 when asked how likely you were to recommend us to friends and family. 

This is a fantastic endorsement of what we do, and we appreciate the confidence in our service and products that this shows. We got some great constructive feedback, around some of our systems and processes and have taken onboard the comments. We are steadily modernising and moving towards more automation of our systems.  

Increasing costs

We are seeing surges in costs in all aspects of life, and we are sorry to say we have to pass these on.  

We have worked to minimise increases, with mostly a $20/tonne increase for most products. There are a few items with slightly greater increases to account for the specific increases in cost of production. 

The crushed schist gravel hasn’t changed and will remain the same until we complete our next crushing and screening campaign over summer. 

Please get in touch with Lucy for an updated price list.

Continuing investment in our people and equipment 

This summer we installed a container shelter roof over our guillotines at Cluden Stone Quarry. This was primarily to provide shade in the hotter months, but it also created an upgraded smoko room where we now have power to run a heater and toastie pie maker on cold days. We also installed heaters and lights over the top of the guillotines to provide warmth outside on the -11 mornings and to make sure everyone can see safely before the sun comes up.

The container load of new equipment we ordered last year – including two manipulators for Cluden and a new conveyor for Poolburn – finally arrived from Italy after long shipping delays. 

The manipulators (hydraulic arms) at Cluden move the stones onto the guillotine by remote control and take a lot of the heavy lifting out of our work. This reduces the risk of repetitive strain and crush injuries on our team. We are excited to be the only quarries in New Zealand to have these manipulators installed, but expect to see others following when they realise how amazing they are!

The new conveyor will reduce our unplanned down time at Poolburn and we expect to see an increase in production as a result.

We have also introduced a wellbeing allowance for our permanent staff to help with the costs of supporting their physical and mental health. We will share more details about this on the Jobs page of our website.

Planning ahead

We are still experiencing longer lead times than we have in the past. It pays to plan ahead by around 6 months at the moment for guillotined stone. We are doing everything we can to reduce this lead time but demand continues to be high and orders are coming in as fast as we can clear them.

We aim to always have Naturals in stock at Poolburn in two sizes: up to 180 mm and up to 250 mm. In addition we can supply retaining wall and crushed schist gravels at short notice.


School Visit June 2022

We had a fantastic day hosting a group of children from Take Karara school in Wanaka. They came to select stones for their new naturalistic playground being built by OuterSpace Landscaping. The kids had a blast attempting to smash all the frozen puddles in the quarry and did a fine job of selecting stones to a specification. We look forward to seeing them enjoy the finished playground.

We are hiring

We are looking for another team member. They could be either casual over summer or more permanent. Please recommend us to anyone who enjoys working outdoors in a great team. We have a strong record in safety and supporting staff wellbeing and are happy to sponsor visas for great candidates. Check out our Jobs page on the website for more information. 

Recommended Posts