[28 May/The Country]

More than 70 workers at Oceania Dairy’s South Canterbury dairy plant have been using a free bus service commuting between Timaru and Oamaru provided to their workers. The initiative started this month on a trial basis and to date has run without a hitch according to the company. Oceania’s milk tanker provider Hilton Haulage owns and operates the buses. The buses run for both the 6am and 6pm shifts and help to minimise health and safety risks, reducing the company’s carbon footprint and attract good employees. UHT Process Controller Kevin McCloy said he would usually spend around $90 to run his car to and from work for two days, so the bus is saving him a lot of money each week. Oceania was acquired in 2013 by Inner Mongolia Yili Industrial Group. The company says it has plans to build another ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk processing line, canning and blending line, and new laboratory. This is meant to raise employee numbers from 300 to 400 by the end of the year.