How a roofing company is helping in the kea conservation effort - Building NZ
How a roofing company is helping in the kea conservation effort

How a roofing company is helping in the kea conservation effort

Last month, Dimond Roofing partnered with the Kea Conservation Trust (KCT) — a charity dedicated to protecting and preserving kea in their natural habitats, with an aim to remove potentially harmful materials from roofs which many kea often interact with.

Words by Nick Forrester

As sustainability becomes an increasingly coveted value and shared goal in the construction and architecture industries, there is an equally large number of avenues to go down to achieve it.

Companies dealing with concrete may look to make its manufacturing less carbon heavy, while an architecture firm may transition its petrol car fleet to an EV one. Of course, it’s not just about decarbonisation: there are other ways to prioritise sustainability in business.

Conservation, for example, is a significant cornerstone of New Zealand’s cultural identity, but is commonly overlooked as a means of achieving sustainability, especially when compared to emissions. But our biodiversity is more important than ever, as the health of our surrounding natural ecosystems is an excellent bellwether of the health of the planet.

For Dimond Roofing, a leading supplier of quality roofing products to the New Zealand construction industry, this reasoning resonated — and the company decided to lend a hand towards the conservation efforts surrounding one of Aotearoa’s most beloved native birds: the kea, the world’s only alpine parrot.

The Kea Conservation Trust (KCT) is a charity dedicated to protecting and preserving kea in their natural habitats.

Partnering with the KCT

This month, Dimond Roofing partnered with the Kea Conservation Trust (KCT) — a charity dedicated to protecting and preserving kea in their natural habitats. The parrot is currently designated as a nationally endangered species, the second-highest threat level in New Zealand, with only around 7,000 birds remaining in the wild.

But what’s Dimond Roofing’s role in protecting kea? Shane Pratt, a senior product manager at the company, says it’s all about removing potentially harmful materials from roofs, which many kea often interact with.

“Working with KCT fitted well with our environmental focus, but also because the work that they're doing fitted well with what Dimond could help with,” says Shane.

“Our work is in the lead reduction programme — removing lead flashings and nail-heads from the roofs of buildings in areas where it’s accessible to kea and replacing these with safe, non-toxic alternatives.”

The programme is focussed on existing buildings throughout the alpine Queenstown-Lakes District, at front country sites which are known hotspots for lead poisoning in kea and will be a free service to landowners.

“A lot of the accessories used on roofing in the past have lead components that are dangerous to kea, because if they ingest the lead they’ll become very sick,” says Shane. “Kea tend to live in more remote areas, but the buildings that they do interact with are often quite old, which can have significant quantities of these kinds of lead components.”

Dimond Roofing will work with its preferred installers to help reduce lead from roofing products.

A roofing solution that benefits the environment

The partnership with KCT includes contributing to the material costs of the project, as well as the actual lead-reduction process. This part of the collaboration will be carried out by Dimond’s preferred installers of architectural products, the RoofingSmiths.

Shane says the seamless partnership with both KCT and RoofingSmiths makes it possible to play a key part in the conservation effort, and such seamlessness is partly due to the convergence of values in the companies.

“We are all about roofing that benefits the environment, rather than taking away from it,” says Shane. “We are working hard to grow our environmental accreditations, and this includes having GreenTag certification.

“KCT is about helping kea survive and thrive, and they do this by promoting a greener environment — and this fits very well with our values.”

After kicking off their partnership with KCT earlier this month, Dimond Roofing has also just announced a slew of activities to celebrate the alliance — with the goal to spread awareness about the partnership internally and externally to their customers and to the wider public, thereby getting more people thinking about kea conservation.

These will include signage at Dimond's South Island branches and on Dimond Trucks, limited-edition merchandise along with a few fun campaigns to raise funds for the KCT, including a competition where the winner will get to experience the KCT’s work.

“We’re so happy and proud to be partnered with such an amazing organisation that’s doing such important work,” says Shane. “And we’re excited to see where it goes from here!”

Learn more about Dimond Roofing and its offerings.

Recommended reading