It’s a wrap! Annual Connection and Excellence Awards

Martin Svehla Energy, eNews, News

September once again saw our incredible people in the Electrical Supply and Telecommunications sector showcase their skills and expertise at Annual Connections. Each year that event closes with the annual Excellence Awards celebrating the country’s top electrical and telecommunications trainees.

Congratulations to Alex Chandler, of Connetics in Christchurch, who was named the winner of the cable jointer competition at Annual Connection, held in Invercargill on 19-21 September.

Congratulations also to The Lines Company, in Te Kuiti who took out the line mechanic crew competition which was this year hosted in Invercargill by PowerNet.

Annual Connection, now in its 21st year, put together annually by Connexis l Te Pūkenga in partnership with the Electrical Supply Industry, involves a series of skills-based competitions for line mechanic crews and cable jointers.

PowerNet hosted an extremely successful event, with 12 teams and 12 cable jointers competing from Auckland, Te Kuiti, Te Awamutu, Hamilton Hawke’s Bay, Levin, Christchurch, Dunedin, Timaru, Ashburton, and Invercargill.

Connexis | Te Pūkenga director Kaarin Gaukrodger says Annual Connection offers a chance to show off industry best practice as well as celebrate the skills and talent of the future leaders of New Zealand’s infrastructure workforce.

“It’s important to showcase the skills and success of these trainees and tradespeople. It not only recognises the effort and commitment they’ve put in, but it also helps shine a light on the importance of vocational training and what the infrastructure sector can offer in terms of a successful career path.”
The Lines Company and Waipā Networks have been announced as co-hosts of the event for 2024. Dates and a venue for next year’s event will be announced soon via the Annual Connection website.

Excellence Awards
Abbey Meiritz Reid, also from Connetics in Christchurch, was named overall Trainee of the Year, and Distribution Trainee of the Year at the Connexis l Te Pūkenga Excellence Awards held on the last night of Annual Connection.

In nominating Abbey, who has been a trainee electrical fitter for Connetics since 2022, for the Excellence Awards, Connetics General Manager – Canterbury Operations Graham Fairbrass described her as “an exceptional young woman with a passion for the electrical industry rarely seen in someone so young”.

Other Excellence Awards winners included: Generation Trainee of the Year Ela Jones, from Genesis Energy Lake Tekapo; Transmission Trainee of the Year Joshua Cox from Omexom in Otematata; and Telecommunications Trainee of the Year, Valantina Adam from Downer in Wellington. The award for Contribution to Investing in Youth Trainees went to Robbie Skerten from MainPower Rangiora.