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Rangitukia’s Rewi Haulage wins Maori Agribusiness Award

RANGITUKIA-based log trucking company Rewi Haulage Limited won the Maori Agribusiness Award in the Primary Industries’ Good Employer Awards this week.

Chubb Rewi, director of Rewi Haulage Limited (RHL) said the award, though a surprise, was a recognition of the way the company runs its business.

“The way we do things is orientated to our wider whanau and to help build stronger local communities and businesses which we need. It’s less about individuals.”

RHL is a Maori family-owned log transport company. Directors Chubby and Agnes Rewi took a risk and incorporated the business in 2014 starting with one logging truck Chubby operated with no initial contracts of his own.

Now RHL owns nine units, has direct forest contracts with six different forest managers and subcontracts with eight companies.

Beyond its direct employees, this business network provides employment to a further 18 people in the region, all of whom have strong ties to Ngati Porou and whakapapa to the land.

RHL directly employs 19 local Ngati Porou staff consisting of transport operators, administrative and executive staff.

Post Covid-19, RHL realised the need to expand other avenues of business. One area that the company focused on was their own logistics department. This now has contracts to dispatch several other transport companies in the region.

Other diversifications include a tyre-fitting and servicing workshop, a mechanical call-out unit, a slash recovery unit which provides the local mill in Ruatoria with slash that is converted to fence batons, and the recent addition of a licensing and driver training programme which has graduated two drivers into full-time employment. This has increased employment and development opportunities to staff so they can expand their career goals.

Forest Owners Association vice- president Grant Dodson says many people still thought the land-based industries were only about food production.

“But we have companies and individuals in our forest industry who are equally proud of the work they do. It’s great to see them recognised through these Ministry for Primary Industry Good Employee Awards.”

“They are representative of many other individuals and companies who are working to high professional standards in our industry.”

CELEBRATION: It was a whanau affair for Rewi Haulage at the Good Employers Awards this week. From left are Ali Rewi, Lana Ratahi, Chubb Rewi, son-in-law Matri Kururangi, Chubb’s mother Yvonne Rewi, Chubb’s daughter Hoana Rewi, Chubb’s wife Agnes Rewi, Kura Moeahu, a senior adviser at New Zealand Parliament and his wife Alishia Moeahu, and Chubb’s brother Poia Rewi, chief executive of Te Matawai, the agency that promotes the use of te reo Maori. Picture by Lance Lawson Photography