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Photo: (L-R) Shogun Haami, Mike Fox, Matthew Tamaira, Wiremu Te Tawhero, Dion Adams, Brayden Crown, Tony Gannon, Carl Botha, Jared Murrell.

TLC crew take home multiple awards at the Annual Connection

6 October 2022

The Lines Company’s (TLC) four-person line mechanic squad has won multiple awards at this year’s Connexis Annual Connection.

The team picked up three coveted awards:

  • Line Mechanic Build (TLC)
  • Colin (Bear) McKay Memorial Trophy for Line Mechanic Dismantle (TLC)
  • Ross Archer Memorial Line Mechanic Safety Award (Wiremu Te Tawhero)

After a two year hiatus due to COVID, distribution company Electra and industry training partner Connexis hosted the 2022 Connexis Annual Connection in Levin during late September. The annual showcase event, the only of its kind in New Zealand, provides a platform for members of the electricity infrastructure sector to display their skills and connect with other members from around the motu.

The event spanned three days with teams from across the country competing against one another in a variety of challenges. Tasks were designed to replicate a semi-usual workday for competitors with challenges varying from cable installation to simulated pole top rescues, testing the skills of each team member.

TLCs five-person team, consisting of Dion Adams, Matthew Tamaira, Brayden Crown, trainee Wiremu Te Tawhero and Coach-Manager, Tony Gannon, represented TLC and the greater King Country, Ruapehu, and Central Plateau region at the competition.

TLC Acting Manager Service Delivery, Jared Murrell says, “Our team had their talent and sportsmanship on full display throughout the week, delivering a high level of workmanship throughout the competition and displaying great support for others during the event.

“It was really positive to see how the guys conducted themselves and their team spirit. We’ve received some really encouraging feedback from others who attended the event.”

The weather played a leading role in testing crews, as sunny periods at the beginning of the event provided hot competition, whilst heavy showers later forced teams to don their wet weather gear.

Safety was a key theme of the event, with competing teams beginning each day with a full Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) check. Every day a competitor was selected to conduct the PPE check. Participants would gather around the designated member and check their safety equipment before heading to their stations to begin their first challenge of the day. 2021 Distribution Trainee of the Year, TLC’s Wiremu Te Tawhero ran the check on the second day.

TLC Chief Executive, Mike Fox says, “The competition provides a great opportunity to connect with others within the industry and provides a fantastic platform to celebrate the overall excellence of the workforce, which plays such an essential role in keeping power on for Kiwis across New Zealand.

“Due to COVID, this is the first time teams have been able to gather and compete since 2019. It’s great to see the event back up and running.

“It shines a spotlight on the skills, training, and knowledge of staff within the industry, recognises the work they do each day and rewards their expertise.

“The Annual Connection also helps to grow the industry by attracting those who may want to join.” The awards ceremony was held on the last day of the competition, with an array of awards up for grabs for both line mechanics and cable jointers. TLC came away from the evening with three awards, Line Mechanic Build, the Colin (Bear) McKay Memorial Trophy for Line Mechanic Dismantle, and Wiremu Te Tawhero won the Ross Archer Memorial Line Mechanic Safety Award.

“The awards are a true testament to the skillset, training, and mahi the crew put into their trade. The prizes were also a reflection of the leadership and support from our wider team,” says Mike Fox.

Line mechanics, cable jointers, and industry stakeholders from around the country will look to make the trip down south as PowerNet is hosting the 2023 Annual Connection in Invercargill.


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