“I’ve had quite a bit to do with earthquakes and fires (in Canterbury) but when it comes to water, I haven’t seen anything like this before,” Southland Contracting Divisional Manager Richard Horn says.

As the head maintenance contractor for the Gore District Council, Fulton Hogan is on stand-by for emergencies on behalf of the GDC. In the case of this week’s Southland floods, the three waters/drainage team was on the front-line – GDC’s message was ‘do what you can to protect homes from the worst of the flooding’.

“We certainly had the A Team in there, and they did an amazing job,” Richard says.

“In addition to manning the pumps, they brought detailed understanding of the water infrastructure – where the sumps are, the threats of cross-contamination and things like that – which is invaluable at times like this.”

He says Fulton Hogan’s subcontractors, Abernethy Contracting and K2 Contractors played a key role.

“Their extensive knowledge of the network is essential. We’re only ever as successful as they are – and vice versa.”

Richard says the experience also showed how important clear lines of communication are.

“The teams’ communication with the Gore District Council has been second to none, and I’m proud of what they achieved with the minimum of fuss under difficult circumstances.”