Good News – Great Business Stories #2 27.04.22

Drilling into Te Tai Tokerau business success

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It was a pleasant surprise when North Drill – a true blue Northland success story – was announced deserving winner of the ACC Workplace Safety category in the Covid-delayed 2021 NorthChamber Northland Business Excellence Awards in early 2022.

As an entry into the Business Excellence Awards large business category, North Drill received some excellent feedback from the judges who were impressed with their business model, however it was in the Specialist ACC Workplace Safety category that they achieved the big win for their outstanding efforts in workplace wellbeing and health and safety.

Directors Ida Jean and Bronson Murray are quick to praise the influence of Northpower on their company’s success since they began contracting to the company seven years ago.

“We had to step up from day one when we began working for Northpower and we have continued to mirror that level of competency and attitude to taking staff on that same journey to zero harm and acting as one,” says Ida Jean.

With just one minor Lost Time Injury (LTI) in seven years – a thumb nail injury at that – Ida Jean attributes the clean record to having to meet Northpower and Northpower Fibre’s exceptionally high standards, procedures and processors in and around H & S.

“The near miss reporting we do is triple compared to many other companies and it works because it prevents accidents. We tell our team to report everything and since day one of working with Northpower we have focussed on critical risks to the individual – everyday.  “When you are working around electricity, traffic, underground services and people there are so many risks everywhere and it is critical we identify hazards all the time. It is down to the individual and their behaviours.”

Because North Drill is a whanau business, the team are humble, community-minded people with a kaupapa deeply rooted in Te Ao Maori. Tikanga, whanaungatanga and manaakitanga runs through everything they do

“We are a Triple Bottom Line based business. Outcomes are not just measured by profit but also the social and environmental outcomes of what we do, how we conduct ourselves and our customer service. So we invest heavily in our people and the other things take care of themselves. We have 52 staff and I know every single one of their partners and children and every one of them can say the same.”

This ethos reflects strongly in the judge’s summary statement – “North Drill Ltd.’s Kaupapa Māori and whānau approach allows employees at all levels to actively engage and contribute to Health & Safety practices in their business. Health, Wealth and Better- Self is one guiding statement used to develop their people. This holistic approach provides everyone the opportunity to be the best version of themselves.”

Ida Jean says the whole process of the NorthChamber Northland Business Excellence Awards was great and she says the ACC award has given the business the confidence they are doing the right thing with H & S.

“We are a purpose driven business and that is what drives us.   While Covid has created challenges in recent months it has given us the chance to work on our business and our processes and our operational mapping. I fully expect our business landscape to return to normal at the back end of this year.

“We entered the medium business category in the awards a couple of years back and had no luck. One cool thing about the process is the feedback you get during and after the awards. The learnings along the way are great and you get your ‘work-on’s to focus on.”

Ida Jean strongly encourages other Northland businesses to enter the 2022 NorthChamber Northland Business Excellence Awards.

“As far as I am concerned you should keep on entering until you win.”

So don’t be surprised if one day you see North Drill announced as the Supreme Winner. Watch this space!

Meantime, Ida Jean and Bronson plan to continue having fun in life and enjoying their four children, colleagues, friends and whanau.

North Drill was also the winner of the 2021 Northland Maori Business Awards and a Deloittes Fast 50 Award.

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