Neil Robertson: Fensin Ltd
Since we last visited Neil, he’s completed miles of fencing on big and small projects across the Waikato region. Recently, he has been working on a 2,000-post job in Taupō and has also been helping to rebuild and repair bridges in Hawke’s Bay after significant storm damage.
We recently visited him on site as he was working on rebuilding a cattle yard on a 20-hectare block near their Waitetuna-based home in the Waikato. The lifestyle property runs cattle and a small number of sheep.
Neil and his wife, Debbie, also help train students who are part of the Growing Future Farmers initiative. Neil is very impressed with their drive and determination, which comprises a 50/50 split of girls and boys within the programme. “We go to another person’s farm that the students are based on, and I ask them whether they’ve got a bit of work they want done rather than putting up a temporary fence. We did some riparian fencing in one place, which helps them understand more about riparian planting plus how to construct the fence,” Neil said.
“We’ve also repaired a holding yard that was damaged at the back of a farm. The students all came together, where we stripped out a fence and put up a brand new one. They were very proud of what they achieved and were very interested in what they were doing; they all worked well together.”
Neil has been working in the industry for around 40 years and wants to continue fencing for as long as he can, as he still really enjoys what he does and wants to instil that passion in the younger generation. Over the years, machinery has made fencing work a lot easier. When Neil first started out, he would only use a spade, a rammer and an axe.
“With FCANZ, the development has been good enough to lift the standard overall. As fencing contractors, we’d get together over a beer and talk about the work that we’re doing, and that’s how we’d share good ideas, and if you need a hand, you can bring someone in to help,” he said.