Sparking Competition to Support Energy Sector
Annual Connection is an iconic event and a highlight of the energy industry’s calendar, showcasing the talents of its brightest stars.
The event features three days of intense cable jointer and line mechanic competitions, with teams from all around New Zealand battling it out. Events include a pole top rescue, team building and first aid competitions, as well as a pit rescue and spike gun event.
Gough Palfinger was on-hand during the three-days as the leading knuckle boom crane supplier, a long-time industry supporter and a proud sponsor of the line mechanic competition.
This year the event was held in a field next to the Air Force Museum in the Christchurch suburb of Wigram in October.
The event was open to the public and is also a driver to attract more people to the electricity supply industry, which is short of skilled workers nationwide. It’s predicted about 9000 more staff will be required over the next five years.
Annual Connection is organised by Infrastructure Industry Training Organisation (ITO) Connexis, says Group Manager Customer Engagement Kaarin Gaukrodger.
“The event is a valuable industry event and demonstrates the skills and expertise of these workers, who keep New Zealand’s power supply up and running.
“People take it for granted that their lights will work and that they have power to heat their home and cook meals but sometimes due to storms, snow, floods or even car accidents taking out power poles the power is temporarily cut off.
“This is where these power crews swing into full action, keeping New Zealand on the grid and up and operating.”
This year, congratulations go to MainPower who won both the Line Mechanics Teams event and the Cable Jointers individual event through Kirk McDonald. PowerNet, Independent Line Services and Electrix were among those to place in the major awards, with a lot to admire in the professional standards shown by all involved.
Helicopters and skilled pilots play a crucial role in keeping the country plugged into the electrical grid, so it was great to have Richie McCaw from Christchurch Helicopters officially open the event.
Annual Connection also featured a large supplier expo, before culminating with the industry’s Excellence Awards on the Thursday night, where Canterbury sporting legend Super Rugby Coach Scott ‘Razor’ Robertson, was the keynote speaker.
Also on-hand was Jock, Hire Frankton's massive Palfinger PK200002L SH kuckle boom crane with owner Ross McFaul undertaking pole lifting and man cage demonstrations.
Gough Palfinger New Zealand provides the energy industry with the strength of a global leader, with Palfinger’s full range of lifting equipment available across New Zealand.