March 16 was a significant date for Abseil Access workers clearing earthquake slips along the closed State Highway One north of Kaikoura. That date according to Abseil Access CMO (chief mathematics officer), Donald Matheson, was the day Abseil workers shifted their one-millionth rock. “Though,” says Matheson, “if we included bits of dirt and small pebbles, the number would be in the trillions, but our millionth rock calculation has been based on rocks bigger than a legally sized paua – which most of them, substantially, are.”
The calculation has been made based on the fact Abseil Access workers have been working clearing slips above the scarred highway since 16 November. An average of at least 20 skilled workers are on site(s) each day, and each worker shifts an average of 485 legally sized rocks per day. Abseil Access CAO (chief accuracy officer), Martin Wilson, says, “The figures are all legitimate and accurate. I know for a fact that DJ’s abacus never lies. As well, realistically I think most rocks shifted are actually bigger than really big balls”.
Abseil workers had expected to shift their one millionth rock on March 14, coincidentally, four month’s since the Kaikoura earthquake, but torrential rain and strong winds delayed the shift until the, extremely coincidental, four month (March 16) anniversary of Abseil starting work on the slope clearing.
For live footage of some previous rock clearing, shot by Richard Phillips of Tonkin+Taylor – Click here! Can you count how many are legally sized rocks?