Wielding a cutting device right next to a power line is just the sort of dangerous activity that calls for an experienced hand – and they don’t come more experienced than Asplundh New Zealand. It’s part of the US-based, family-owned Asplundh Tree Expert Co., which has been providing vegetation management since its founders started trimming trees away from power lines and telephone wires in Philadelphia in 1929. Asplundh has been providing a vegetation management services for New Zealand utilities for 27 years.

This long pedigree doesn’t allow for any complacency, though. “It’s very competitive,” says Managing Director Kevin Burt.  With 29 utility networks servicing only 4.5 million people, and some of the networks providing their own services in-house, Asplundh can’t rest on its laurels. “We have to be more than just a cutting company to our clients,” says Burt. 

What Burt has seen changing is the client’s role in setting and enforcing health and safety standards. “Our clients are stepping up. They are understanding their vital role in health and safety and understanding the first principle that we have to take reasonable steps to ensure any risk to our employees is mitigated. The thinking is changing for the positive, I believe.”

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