Welcome to the official website of the Aggregate and Quarry Association of New Zealand. It is specifically for people who would like to find out more about quarrying and the role it has to play in our society. The quarrying industry provides essential materials to meet the demands of New Zealand’s growth and infrastructure. We hope the information in this site outlines the importance of what we do, and in particular the high priority we place on environmental issues within the industry.

News

2013-2014 Chair's Report to Members

You can download a read the AQA Chair, Andrea Cave's reports for the past year here.

MIMICO Environmental Excellence Awards 2014                              

 Congratulations to our four award winners 2014:

Gold             Higgin’s Baldwin Quarry, Waikato

Silver           Winstone Aggregate’s  Hunua Quarry, Papakura.

Bronze        Holcim’s Bombay Quarry, Pokeno

Bronze        Winstone Aggregate’s Pukekawa  Quarry, Pukekawa

All four entries illustrated proactive environmental management that demonstrated the value of being a good neighbour and operating a challenging business in an environmentally sustainable way.  They were also weaving their environmental management matters into the fabric of their business practices along with health and safety, community and tangata whenua relations, energy efficiency and so on.

Gold Award:         Higgins, Baldwin Quarry, Falls Road, Waikato

Entrant: Kerry Reilly, Operations manager

The main objective of this voluntary initiative was to improve the quality of water discharged from the quarry prior to its release into the Whangamarino Heritage Wetland – one of only six Ramsar (internationally recognised) wetlands in NZ. 

This wetlands innovative design is attracting wider attention from other land users and public agencies. Diary NZ used it to demonstrate to a large contingent of local farm managers, overseas visitors and district and regional council representatives, the value of such systems and working in collaboration with other businesses and community.

To date over 15,000 indigenous trees and shrubs have been planted with funding assistance ($35,000) from Waikato Ecological Enhancement Trust. An excellent wild life habitat is emerging and there is a range of species already in residence.

“This is a truly outstanding initiative that will be an ecological asset for the quarry, the Buckley farm, Iwi, and the wider community, far into the future,” said the MIMICO Environmental Excellence Awards judge, Dr Morgan Williams when he presented the awards at the QuarryNZ Conference in Whangarei this month.

Kerry Reilly, the quarry owner when the project was initiated, was the champion. He conceived the design, ‘sold’ the proposition to his neighbour, farmer Peter Buckley, all outside any specific legislative directive from councils.

Working with his neighbour, he sought support from local Iwi, Department of Conservation, Fish and Game and local district and regional councils.  Peter Buckley donated several hectares of pasture and wetland land on his property for the project. 

The wetland design was innovative - a combined effort between Kerry Reilly, Peter Buckley and a University of Waikato wetland professional. Instead of digging into the low-lying terrain they built the wetland by creating a connected series of ponds on top of the landscape thus minimising disturbance. 

The design incorporated roadways on top of containment bunds, the creation of a central hill to help increase the length of working wetland and a viewing area, and extensive raised areas for revegetation. Full provision for public access is an important feature.

The wetland was a major investment, approximately $500,000 by Baldwin’s Quarry and $100,000 by Peter Buckley and family.

Silver Award: Winstone Aggregates, Hunua Quarry, Papakura.
Entrant: Keith Barber, National Biodiversity Coordinator

Winstone Aggregate’s Hunua Quarry in Papakura obtained resource consents in 2008 for a new area to be opened up. The consent contained many conditions including that resident Auckland Green Geckos, an at risk species, be located and transferred to other adjacent habitats that are well-maintained and protected from weeds and pests for the next 35 years. The consenting process, and subsequent consultation with local Iwi, highlighted that Iwi consider the green gecko (and other native skinks) taonga.

Geckos were very hard to locate in the dense indigenous scrubland that dominated the site. To meet this challenge, and Iwi requirements, Keith Barber and his team initiated some innovative approaches to locating the gecko and put major effort into ensuring the survival of the relocated geckos – another consent condition. This included initial retention in cages followed by release into a gecko-proof enclosure in the new habitat and radio tracking of some of those released. This latter part of the project was undertaken by a Massey University Masters student and is an excellent example of embedding a formal research programme into the project. This Masters research is ongoing with the thesis to be completed by the end of 2015.

This recovery work has highlighted many gaps in what is known about green geckos, their life cycles, habitat preferences etc. Attempts are being made to attract longer-term green gecko research effort to the Hunua quarry site to help expand understanding of the species and ultimately its long-term survival.

The gecko work is linked to an extensive revegetation programme throughout the quarry site – one that is supplied from an onsite nursery that sources seed locally. Local contractors assist with the replanting work and there is regular liaison with adjacent landowners regarding the planting programme and associated pest and weed control.

Bronze Award: Holcim, Bombay Quarry, Pokeno

Entrant: Kurt Hine, Operations Manager

The major objective of the project was to reduce the blasting vibration levels felt by neighbouring property owners as the working area of the quarry moved closer to the boundary and larger blast sizes were used. Overburden rehabilitation and a community grant programme were also included.

The Holicm Bombay Quarry is the company’s largest aggregate quarry and has been operating since 1998. It is a basalt resource located 45 km south of central Auckland. The site straddles the Waikato Regional Council/Auckland Council boundary and contains two pits, one in each council area. The Waikato pit is nearing exhaustion while the Auckland pit was opened in 2011 and now provides most of the quarry’s production.

The Auckland pit is near the quarry boundary and close to a number residences  This necessitates reducing the levels of blast vibrations recordable at these residences – not just to consented limits (5 metres per second for the Auckland pit) but much lower given the sensitivity of neighbours to vibrations.  To achieve this a specialist blasting company was engaged to research the rock characteristics and design blast charge regimes that would reduce vibration levels at adjacent properties.  This has involved extensive experimentation and monitoring which has resulted in blast vibration levels being reduced to below the self-imposed target level of three meters per second (a 40% reduction) at adjacent properties. 

Bronze Award: Winstone Aggregates, Pukekawa Quarry, Pukekawa

Entrant: Ross Twidle, Quarry Manager

The project’s objective was to reduce, or eliminate, water takes and discharges back to the Waikato River during the processing of sand from a dredging operation. The objective was made possible by the relocation of the sand dredging operation to alongside the Pukekawa Quarry – allowing the development of a pond based water retention and recycling process.

The project has a leader who has a deep commitment to the care of the Waikato river that has long been part of his life.  There is a very strong relationship with local Iwi – one that is clearly valued by both parties.

While Winstone Aggregates has the water take and discharge consents for the sand dredging operations, discharges require extensive treatment of sand processing waters to remove the silt load. To achieve this discharge waters were treated with large quantities of coagulants.

The relocation of sand dredging to the Pukekawa quarry site, from a site further downstream, enabled two improvements to water use. The first was plant redesign to improve the efficacy of water use across washing screens. The second was the development of a multiple pond water processing and recycling system. Together these enabled a reduction in overall water use and the elimination of discharges back to the river.

The benefits of the redesign are environmental, economic and improved Iwi relations. Total operating costs for the new systems are similar or less than the former operation, the risk of siltation in the river is eliminated and a relationship with local Mana Whenua (eight hapu through a ‘Kaitiaki’ group) has been greatly enhanced.  Maori have seen the water management changes as an indication of greater respect for the river, by Winstone Aggregates, and an ongoing willingness to ensure Maori interests are fully acknowledged.

The AQA thanks MIMICO for ongoing sponsorship of the award. It continues to provide an excellent incentive for the industry to address, achieve and celebrate sustainable management of their part of the NZ environment.

Extractives Industry Advisory Group appointed

WorkSafe New Zealand has announced the Extractives Industry Advisory Group’s terms of reference and group members.  The AQA is represented by Board member Tony Hunter.  The following statement was made by WorkSafe:

A highly experienced group of extractives industry experts has been appointed to provide advice to the WorkSafe New Zealand Board on the implementation of the new regulatory framework for mining and tunnelling.

WorkSafe NZ Board Chair, Professor Gregor Coster said new mining health and safety regulations and a number of amendments to the Health and Safety in Employment Act came into force in December last year and together they create a new regulatory framework for health and safety in the extractives industry.

“The WorkSafe New Zealand Act mandates the establishment of advisory bodies, and this was a priority sector for us.

“The Board wants a way of independently overseeing the effectiveness of the regulatory framework and WorkSafe NZ operations to ensure that what we believe is right is actually meeting the terms of the regulatory environment and just as importantly, theneeds of the sector,” he said.

“The Extractives Industry Advisory Group will be tasked with advising the Board on the effectiveness of the new regulatory environment, the effectiveness of WorkSafe NZ in administering and enforcing the regulations and their governing Act and to be a conduit between WorkSafe NZ and the industry,” Professor Coster said.

The Extractives Industry Advisory Group will be chaired by Gavin Taylor, who was seconded to the former Department of Labour from the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines to assist in the setting up of New Zealand’s High Hazards Unit. He is currently consulting to his former employer in Queensland.

Working with Mr Taylor will be 11 other industry experts including operators, academics and union representatives.

“This is a very experienced and strong group and they will provide valuable insights for the Board as we strive to bring down the terrible death and injury toll in this country by 25% or more by 2020,” Professor Coster said.

See the Terms of Reference

Read biographies of the advisory group members

MITO update

During 2013, representatives from the mining and quarrying industries worked with MITO to develop five proposed New Zealand Certificates and Diplomas, to replace the current National Certificates and Diplomas in 2016. Designed by industry, for industry, and developed in line with the Pike River Implementation Plan, the proposed qualifications have been submitted to NZQA for their approval.

There are currently 20 National Certificates and Diplomas for the extractives industry. The five proposed qualifications are to replace 19 of these—the additional qualification, the Certificate in Underground Mines Rescue, is being reviewed at the moment, and we hope to consult on this later in the year.

For more information about the project or current extractives qualifications, please visit www.mito.org.nz/extractives/extractive. If you would like to provide feedback on the proposed qualifications, be involved in the review, or simply have questions, please email Samantha McNaughton on samantha.mcnaughton@mito.org.nz.

 

 

 

 

Membership

To become a member please complete the Application for Membership form or contact us for further information and a membership pack.

Health and Safety

WorkSafe have recently issued Best Practice Guidelines for Safe Use of Machinery file:///C:/Users/Temp/Downloads/safe-use-of-machinery-guidelines.pdf.  It outlines the hazards that come with using machinery in the workplace, potential injuries and how best to control these hazards. It gives duty holders advice on how to use machinery safely and meet their duties under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 (HSE Act) and the Health and Safety in Regulations 1995 (HSE Regulations). When using this guideline, consider the unique demands of your workplace and industry; there may be other hazards and risks not covered in this guideline.

 Aggregate News

-  see the latest edition here

The Tyranny of Distance

the real cost of transporting aggregates click here