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Billy Hebberd

Hebberd and Mckay Partnership

It was a stunning afternoon when we visited Billy in Spring Creek, Marlborough, as he was running out wires in a vineyard. He had three to four more days of this before moving onto the irrigation work.

Hebberd and Mckay Partnership was formed in 2010 between Billy and his partner, focusing heavily on wire and irrigation work for big companies including Constellation, Indevin and Delegat.

Originally from Marlborough Sounds, Billy grew up in Onahau Bay, a 20-minute boat ride from Picton, where he lived until he was 21 before moving into town. “I worked in at the freezing works for about nine years, but I’m more of an outdoors person so it was like being in a concrete jungle. So yeah, I prefer working out here,” he said.

A local guy called Mike Adams initially taught Billy the tricks of the trade and everything he needed to know about working with wire; the industry was booming during this time. The vineyard development went quiet around 2005, so Billy focused on other jobs until the rise in wire and irrigation work started back up again.

It’s currently a busy period for vineyard development, which lasts around three to four months. In the off-season, Billy spends his time pulling out vineyards that are around 20 to 30 years old, if not older, to start up the development process again. “There’s about a tonne per hectare of wire in a vineyard. This past season, we pulled out 120 hectares, so that’s around 120 tonnes of wire, which then goes to scrap metal.”

Billy has made his own devices that are useful for him and his wiring work. We hope you like his tip on running out of wire in a vineyard.

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