Tom Stapleton is the owner/operator of Dungate Drains - a small but growing drainage company in Ashburton. The company provides drain laying services...
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Tom Stapleton is the owner/operator of Dungate Drains - a small but growing drainage company in Ashburton. The company provides drain laying services for both rural and urban customers. Its services include installing septic tanks, stormwater and drainage for farms (including dairy farm conversions), general industrial, residential subdivisions, and residential alterations. They also do some work for the Ashburton Regional Council, which they hope to get more of in the future. The company currently employs thirteen full-time staff: four qualified drainlayers (one of whom is the foreman/supervisor), three apprentice drainlayers, three machinery operators/digger drivers, two general labourers, and a receptionist/administrator who also looks after the payroll. Occasionally they hire casual staff from local labour-hire agencies when they have additional work or urgent deadlines to meet. The staff work in teams called 'crew', each usually made up of one qualified drainlayer, one apprentice, one machinery operator, and a labourer. They normally run four crew but are a few staff short at the moment. For the last few months', they have had to hire some labourers from a local recruitment agency, but they really need a few more permanent workers - ideally another apprentice and another machine operator - who know what they're doing and are committed to the the industry. As a stop-gap measure, workers sometimes rotate between crew to help out on other jobs. The guys have also been working some really long days, sometimes up to ten or eleven hours, since November to try and get through the backlog of work. During lockdown from March to May, all non- essential work had to go on hold, but work has gone crazy since July and they are struggling to keep Up.

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