Trusting his instincts in health and safety has paid off for this excellence awards finalist

benstevens Excellence Awards Finalist

Wiremu Te Tawhero  

Distribution Trainee of the Year 

When Wiremu Te Tawhero started as a trainee line mechanic with The Lines Company (TLC) in May 2020, he brought with him several years of experience in ‘high-risk’ industries that have helped him launch a successful new career. 

Prior to becoming a trainee at The Lines Company’s Taumarunui depot, Wiremu worked in the scaffolding sector and the timber industry, managing a sawmill in Taupo. Jason Blackmore, Southern Team Leader of Line Mechanics for The Lines Company, says that experience, particularly in areas of safety and having a practical mindset have really benefited Wiremu in his training. 

“Wiremu has an instinctive understanding of the safety risk presented in the distribution industry,” says Jason. “His practical background also means he has a sound understanding of civil and construction works, ultimately aiding his understanding of working in the electricity sector. These aspects see him well advanced on the level of experience and understanding TLC would typically see in a trainee who has been with us for 15 months.” 

Jason has nominated Wiremu in the Orion-sponsored Distribution Trainee of the Year category of the Connexis Industry Excellence Awards for 2021. 

Out on site, Wiremu makes safety and improving the teamwork of his co-workers his priorities, says Jason, adding that he sets a high standard and encourages his co-workers to do the same. He is also always looking for opportunities to improve his knowledge and understanding. 

Wiremu’s previous work experience also makes him a natural leader both on site and off, says Jason. Not only does he take ownership of issues or work on the job, particularly around health and safety, but he also led some of his co-workers in a “biggest loser’ weight loss competition, challenging himself and his mates to make healthier choices. “Wiremu is highly passionate about the work he does and the team he works with. His enthusiasm, self-confidence, people skills, and willingness to learn and grow are key characteristics helping him to excel as a member of the TLC team.” 

The Connexis Industry Excellence Awards are a recognition of the hard work, dedication, and expertise it takes to succeed in the industry. They will be held online on Monday 6 December from 7pm. They will include a keynote speech by Minister for Infrastructure and Deputy Prime Minister Hon Grant Robertson and will be hosted by broadcaster Jason Pine.