J Unahi Contracting Limited is a local business providing an efficient and cost effective logging service to the rural sector in South Otago.
Jade began working in the bush, gaining forestry qualifications along the way. This was an obvious career path having been brought up around forestry, with several of his whānau working and operating businesses within the industry. He took a break for a few years to work in other agricultural fields, including farm work and silage harvesting, gaining extensive knowledge and experience. He was soon able to turn his hand to many different trades.
After getting married to Carolyn in 2009, and wanting to start a family soon after, thoughts were raised of how best they could provide for their growing family, and be good role models to their future tamariki. They decided to start their own business and with the help of Te Puni Kokiri and the Māori Business Facilitation Service in conjunction with Polson Higgs Business Advisors, Jade started his own contracting business. This was mostly based in Southland doing digger contract work through one of his uncles in 2013.
In September 2013 they welcomed their first son Anaru. At that time, Jade was doing a logging contract on Carolyn’s parents’ farm where an opportunity was presented to start a small ground-based logging crew. This was to be based in South Otago, harvesting small-farm forestry blocks for Venture Forestry. Operations commenced in January 2014, with Jade and one staff member out on the job and Carolyn taking care of the administration. They were very grateful for the further help they received from the Māori Business Facilitation Service, as well as Poutama Trust for helping with the purchase of a skidder for the business.
Since then they have welcomed their second son Jack, and have grown to employ three full-time staff members. They have created a strong professional team with a wide variety of skills, gaining a good reputation in the industry. Their focus is on harvesting trees efficiently, with staff operating chainsaws, the digger, skidder, bulldozer and delimber safely and professionally. Technology is an important part of the day-to-day running of the business and is used for recording Health and Safety policies, operating procedures, daily load summaries and general office administration. They are loving the challenge of staying up to date with the latest innovations in the industry and constantly upskilling.
Jade and Carolyn are very proud to be an owned and operated family business and proving what hard work, passion, risk, and whānau support can achieve.
Balclutha – South Otago