Keeping the rail corridor looking spic and span and doing it safely has won KiwiRail Operational Safety Advisor Isaac Adams a 2023 Keep New Zealand Beautiful Tidy Kiwi award.
The Lower Hutt man was nominated by Hutt Valley Beautiful earlier this year and won the March Tidy Kiwi Volunteer of the Month Award, which put him in the running for a Beautiful Award.
The award recognises his work supporting the volunteers who pick up rubbish, clean dump sites, remove graffiti, paint murals, create green spaces and care for endangered native plants.
“It was a proud moment for me and my family attending the awards dinner at Parliament’s Banquet Hall,” he says.
Creating a safe working environment in the rail corridor, Isaac is the go-to guy for planning and organising shutdowns for community groups, mural artists and contractors.
“We have to do it safely; we can't afford to have our volunteers in the field without any planned protection in place. So, I can plan that into our block of line work (scheduled track closure).”
Not only does Isaac plan the shutdown, but he also gets stuck in with the volunteers and it’s a part of the job that he loves.
“Nothing beats returning to our safe place, and it makes you feel so proud when you look back at the rail corridor and it’s spotless.”
A keen recycler, something he says he learnt from his grandparents, Isaac is always looking for an opportunity to repurpose items considered rubbish.
“We had some old concrete sleepers which were recently pulled out and I reused them as a garden border on one of our projects.”
After more than 40 years working for KiwiRail, Isaac is now using his knowledge to help the environment.
“I’m transferring all those strengths from the past to help our community.”
Run annually since 1972, Beautiful Awards are New Zealand’s longest-running sustainability awards and provide a benchmark for environmental excellence.
The awards recognise and acknowledge those individuals, schools, community groups, towns and cities working passionately to Keep New Zealand Beautiful.