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Country’s top excavator operators gear up

Media Release – for immediate release

28 February 2013

Country’s top excavator operators gear up for gruelling competition.

New Zealand’s top excavator operators are heading for the Manawatu for two days of gruelling challenges to decide the winner of the National Excavator Operator Competition title.

The event, organised by the New Zealand Contractors’ Federation, will be held at Central Districts Field Days in Feilding from March 7-9.

Eleven regional champions – from Bay of Plenty, Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Manawatu, Wellington, Canterbury, Otago, Nelson/Marlborough and Taranaki - plus defending national Blair Duncan from Wanaka, will pit their skills against one another.

This year’s final also includes two previous national winners, Brian “the Hoff” Hoffmann from Auckland and Matthew Hareb from Taranaki, and Palmerston North police constable Sam Scott who was runner up last year.

The competition is famous for its surprise challenges including contestants having to perform delicate tasks using the buckets of 12-tonne Hitachi machines provided by major sponsor CablePrice.

In recent years these have ranged from lifting a teapot to pour a cup to tea to popping a champagne cork and, last year, flipping sausages on a barbecue.

However, the rest of the competition is deadly serious, with contestants undergoing two days of rigorous construction, planning and loading challenges designed to test their operator skills and industry knowledge to the limit.

The Federation’s Executive Officer Malcolm Abernethy said that it was good to see a mixture of seasoned competitors and newcomers reaching the national final.

“Excavator operating is a highly skilled profession. Operators need to be prepared to deal with a huge range of routine and unexpected situations,” he said.

“It’s a very fulfilling career, where you can have real input into developing New Zealand’s vital infrastructure. Not only is the competition a very popular and hugely entertaining audience spectacle, it’s a way to highlight the career opportunities for young people.

“The national finalists are at the top of their game but we work very hard to make sure we come up with challenges which put their operating skills and ability to deal with difficult and complex situations to the utmost test.”

The National Excavator Operator Competition is sponsored by: CablePrice; Hirepool; Humes; Z Energy; Vector, Chorus and Dial B 4 U Dig.


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