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Hawke’s Bay expertise helping Canterbury rivers

Weed boat testing

Hawke’s Bay expertise will be helping to keep Canterbury rivers weed-free very soon.

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s Works Group has designed and constructed a purpose-built weed boat and trailer for Environment Canterbury, modelled off similar weed boats used in Hawke’s Bay rivers.

The boats are mainly used in drains and slow flowing rivers. They have a cutter bar on the front to cut the weed. It has a small motor which powers hydraulics which drive the paddle wheels and the cutter bar.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Works Group Business Development Manager Paul Atkins says they were commissioned to build the boat by Environment Canterbury (ECan).

“ECan already have a large weed boat, but they needed a smaller one. We spoke to the team at a field trip in Bay of Plenty a couple of years ago and after discussions they came and took a look at our boat, liked it so they ordered one,” says Mr Atkins.

He says credit must go to Bernie Galbraith and his team in the Works Group workshop.

“They have a real eye for detail and are always looking at ways to improve the specialist equipment the team uses to maintain rivers and parks around the region.”

Matt Gautrey from the Works Group heads to Canterbury today with the new weed boat to complete the handover and train Environment Canterbury staff in how to operate the boat.

Mr Atkins says the Works Group encourages innovation and initiative within the team.

“Along with the purpose-built weed boat we have also specifically designed hydraulic spray application booms and made significant modifications to improve long reach mowers,” says Mr Atkins.

4 November 2016

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