Aqualinc announces sale of neutron probe business to staff

Leading water and land management consultancy Aqualinc is selling its neutron probe business in the North Island and in North Canterbury to two of its Irrigation Management Area Managers.

Neutron probes are radiation-based devices using very low levels of radiation to determine soil moisture content. Readings are usually taken weekly, with the results and irrigation recommendations sent to the grower.

Melanie Smith (Aqualinc’s Irrigation Management North Island Area Manager) is purchasing the neutron probe business across the North Island and Hamish Maxwell (Aqualinc’s Irrigation Management North Canterbury Area Manager) is buying the North Canterbury business.

Melanie Smith, North Island
Hamish Maxwell, North Canterbury

The change follows an Aqualinc review of all its services, which concluded that the neutron probe service no longer formed part of the company’s core business.

“We are really pleased to be able to turn this decision into an opportunity for two of our staff to become owner operators,” says Jim Herbison, Aqualinc General Manager.

“Melanie and Hamish will ensure all existing clients have uninterrupted access to the service when the change takes effect at the end of July (North Island) and the end of June (North Canterbury). They are also keen to expand their client base.

“We’re very sorry to lose them, but we are delighted to be able to help two team members to move into business ownership. We’ll still work closely with them — referring clients to them and providing their clients with additional services.

“It’s a win-win situation, we get to focus on our core business, Melanie and Hamish get to buy a business that they already know inside out, and their clients get a familiar face and a service they know and trust,” says Jim Herbison.

Melanie Smith says this is something she has been wanting for a number of years and is excited to be taking this step. “I feel privileged to have learnt from the best, Tony Davoren under HydroServices and know he would be proud of Hamish and I with these business purchases. I look forward to continuing to work with our clients under Tipu Services Ltd.”

Hamish Maxwell says he is thrilled to be taking over the neutron probe business. “It’s a great progression opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to continuing the service in the same business as usual manner.”

Aqualinc’s neutron probe clients in Mid and South Canterbury and in Central Otago have already been offered the opportunity to switch to Aqualinc’s telemetered soil moisture probe service.

The Aqualinc sale leaves the company free to focus on its resource consultancy, consenting and telemetry work with farmers, irrigation schemes, central and local government, as well as its applied water and soil research for clients.

“We use our water and soil research combined with our knowledge of what happens on farms to help government agencies develop good water and land management policies. Then we help the water users to operate within the rules while running a profitable business,” says Jim Herbison.

For more information

Christchurch: +64 3 964 6521
Ashburton: +64 3 307 6680
Hastings: +64 6 873 404
Cromwell: +64 27 457 0415

© 2004 - 2022 Aqualinc Research Limited