Wairarapa infrastructure construction contractor Ollie Paterson won the Matariki round of the EPIC Photo Competition with a stunning photo of a rainbow over an excavator, taken during construction of a farm track.
Ollie says while the photo is remarkable, it’s not uncommon to see amazing sights on the job when working as an excavator operator.
“I was doing a bit of track work that day. It was just another day, but it’s a farm that provides those sorts of views. We see a few of them in the Wairarapa hill country, and sometimes you’ve just gotta take a moment to appreciate your office, the views and the things you get to see on the job.”
A fourth-generation civil contractor, Ollie recently founded his own earthmoving and civil construction business ‘Mr Dig’.
He was working as a sub-contractor for his father Geoff at the time he took the photo, and the fact he had the skills to start his own business comes down to family.
Ollie’s father Geoff Paterson and grandfather Peter Paterson before him worked as contractors in the community, something that inspires him to take up the tools of the trade when thinking of the difference they have made for the Wairarapa through their work, he says.
“Hearing stories from the local farmers about my dad and grandparents and what they did on the machinery, it gives me inspiration to be like them.
“My dad taught me from a young age. I grew up playing on the digger as a young fella. I think I’m very lucky. I don’t think there’s many people that can say they get to work with their family every day and have it work well.”
Ollie says he enjoys the work and the variety it offers immensely, working in the back country one day constructing farm tracks or access to lifestyle blocks, and the next in town working on driveways or other infrastructure.
He has been working in civil construction for six years now. He says he loves the work and is in it for the long term. While the ‘hard work’ lifestyle may not be for everyone, he recommends it to people that find it rewarding to get a difficult job done, as well as those who like being in the great outdoors and getting hands-on.
EPIC Careers in Infrastructure ran the Matariki round of the EPIC Photo Competition over the winter months of 2022 in partnership with Contractor Magazine, recognising Matariki as a time to reflect and think about the year gone by, family, those we work with and those who came before.
For his prize, Ollie Paterson wins an EPIC jacket, an EPIC t-shirt, a scale model of some of the amazing equipment used in infrastructure construction from TDX and a $300 gift voucher from Z Energy.
Dan Lane of Taylors Contracting is runner-up in this round of the competition for his amazing photo that captured the first light of the day, working to construct a forestry road near Nelson. He wins a $50 gift card from Z Energy, a scale model of a HAMM H7i compacting roller from Wirtgen Group and an EPIC jacket.