PRESS RELEASE: Energy industry’s rising stars & top trainers recognised

Chloe Energy

Pictured: Line mechanic team award winners Mainpower Rangiora

Mainpower Rangiora took out the line mechanic team award at last night’s Connexis Annual Connection Excellence Awards in Christchurch with Joe Mills, Meridian Energy Twizel winning overall trainee of the year.

They were among New Zealand’s rising stars and top trainers in the energy industry who were recognised at the awards, which followed three days of intense competition by linesmen and cable jointers from around the country in a series of events held in a field adjacent to the Air Force Museum in Wigram.

Annual Connection is also a driver to attract more people to the electricity supply industry, which is short of skilled workers nationwide.  It’s predicted that about 9,000 more staff will be required over the next five years.

This year nine teams competed at Annual Connection 2018 in the line mechanic competitions, with events including a pole top rescue, team building and first aid competitions. Ten individuals competed in the cable jointer competitions.

Annual Connection is organised by Infrastructure Industry Training Organisation (ITO) Connexis.  Group Manager Customer Engagement Kaarin Gaukrodger says, “The competition days were mentally and physically challenging testing team work, communication, technical skills and knowledge along with health and safety practices from power companies around the country.

“This was followed by the Excellence Awards that recognised some of the industry’s emerging talent and top trainers, a fitting closure to this prestigious event.”

Connexis Annual Connection 2018 Excellence Awards winners:

Distribution Trainee of the Year
Luke Perkins, Electrix Auckland

Telecommunications Trainee
Jonathan Welch, Downer Christchurch

Generation Trainee of the Year
Joe Mills, Meridian Energy Twizel

Advanced Trainee of the Year
Elliot McKinnon, WEL Networks Waikato

Investing in Youth Training and Development
Joseph Reti, PowerNet Invercargill

Overall Trainee of the Year
Joe Mills, Meridian Energy Twizel

Competition Awards

Cable Jointer Competition
Kirk McDonald, Mainpower Rangiora

Line Mechanic Competition
Mainpower Rangiora

Outstanding Leader in the 2018 Line Mechanic Competition
Paul Innes, Independent Line Services, Christchurch

Ross Archer Memorial Line Mechanic Safety Award
Connie Wallace, Netcon Timaru