Beehive Premier Meats managing director in self-isolation. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

KAREN COLTMAN
karen.coltman@age.co.nz

Just under 200 Premier Beehive staff are working in shifts in Carterton to ensure people can continue to bring home the bacon.

Premier Beehive managing director Dene McKay said the company had shut down some production lines so staff could keep social distancing.

The ham and bacon factory employs 210 staff and just under 200 are working in shifts.

At normal times staff work closely on a production line to keep up with the flow of meat.

McKay has his staff working in a thoroughly hygienic environment and going from work to home and back in their two bubbles.

The company has been treating its staff to some meat packs and last week provided individual light lunches for the team during the lockdown.

McKay has been in self-isolation at home in Auckland for over a week now and said like everyone else it is a challenge.

He said while his dog was delighted to have him home, his wife wasn’t used to have him in her working space.

“I tried to make comments about the kitchen area and my wife said back to me that it was her office and I shouldn’t be commenting as she didn’t comment about the state of my office,” McKay said.

He said it was new for many families to have both parents home and the children on school holidays.

But it is important the Wairarapa community obeyed the rules.

“The longer we adhere to the rules the more chance I have of keeping jobs going at the factory for Wairarapa families.”

Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern opened the $13 million expansion of the plant on November 7, 2019.