PRESS RELEASE: Energy Industry celebrates top achievers

benstevens Energy, News, Telco

The top trainees and trainers in New Zealand’s electricity and telecommunications industry have been recognised at the Connexis Annual Connection Excellence Awards in Hamilton last night.

The awards evening was the final event in the annual weeklong showcase of the best and brightest within New Zealand’s electricity supply industry. The seven winners were chosen from 13 finalists in several categories representing the electricity and telecommunications industry around the country.

Chief Executive Peter Benfell for Connexis, the Industry Training Organisation for the electricity supply and telecommunications industry which hosts the event, says the awards celebrate the achievements of the best talent in the industry that keeps New Zealand powered and connected.

“The trainees recognised are rising stars and will be the future leaders in our industry. They’ve all shown great commitment to their chosen career path having a great attitude to work and education as they progress through their industry qualifications and it’s fantastic to be able to reward them for that.

“The same goes for the top trainers. These are the men and women who are investing their time in growing the next generation and ensuring this vital industry is well served with skilled staff as it continues to grow and develop with new technologies and challenges,” he says.

“Not only are the awards a chance to reward those who have worked so hard, but also provide inspiration to others in the industry to push for their goals.”

Peter adds that nominating trainees for the awards is a great way for employers to demonstrate their company’s commitment to training.

The full list of winners for the 2017 Connexis Annual Connection Excellence Awards is:
Overall Trainee of the Year: Narelle Phillips, WEL Networks, Hamilton
Distribution Trainee of the Year: Narelle Phillips, WEL Networks Hamilton
Distribution Trainee of the Year runner up: Tony Anapu, Unison Rotorua
Telecommunications Trainee of the Year: Brandon Gardner, Downer Timaru
Telecommunications Trainee of the Year runner up: Nathan Daley, Downer Masterton
Advanced Trainee of the Year: Glenn Earley, Electrix Invercargill
Advanced Trainee of the Year runner up: Joshua Ashton, Connetics Christchurch
Business Support/Retail Trainee of the Year: Laura Knight, Powerco New Plymouth
Contribution to Industry Training: Darran Mumford, Electrix Auckland
Contribution to Industry Training runner up: James Aranui, Unison Hastings

Competition Awards:
Cable Jointers –
Winner – Ruan Naude, Electrix Albany
Second place – Peter Scholl, Connetics Christchurch
Third place – Hayden Smith, Electrix Albany

Line mechanic teams –
Winner – Electrix Albany
Second place – Unison Rotorua
Third place – Downer Mount Maunganui
• Leadership award: Riki Waru, Unison Rotorua
• Ross Archer (best trainee award): Andre Sapiatzer, Electrix Albany


Connexis is the Industry Training Organisation (ITO) for the infrastructure industry.

Kaarin Gaukrodger
Head of Marketing and Industry Standards
021 658 836

Tracey Mehrtens
Accento Communications
021 430 606