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Iconic Electricity Supply Event a Chance to Recognise Essential Workers

Wellington, 16 September 2021: Plans to bring Annual Connection back in 2021 continue, despite the latest Covid lockdowns, with new dates announced and a stronger conviction than ever from our competitors and stakeholders of the need to recognise electricity workers and celebrate the industry in 2021.

Annual Connection is a celebration of the people who are out there working to keep our lights on, our laptops charged and our houses warm, including during extreme weather and lockdowns, when many of us are working from home.

Developed by the Electricity Supply Industry and now a joint initiative between Connexis, the infrastructure industry training body, and industry, this three-day event is the highlight of the electricity supply calendar.

It comprises competitions between line mechanics and cable jointers, a supplier exhibition, engagement with local high schools, the Annual Connection Awards ceremony, and closes off with the Energy and Telecommunications Industry Excellence Awards to recognise the best and brightest workers in their fields.

Originally planned for late September, the latest Covid outbreak caused organisers to reschedule it for 2-4 November. Covid caused the cancellation of the event in 2020.

Connexis Director Kaarin Gaukrodger is excited to see the return of Annual Connection this year.

“People who work in electricity supply are often the unsung heroes of our communities. Their jobs are highly skilled, requiring years of training and strict adherence to health, safety and best practice. Now they have a chance to show off their skills, have them recognised, and earn bragging rights for the year as the best of the best within the industry.”

Kaarin says she enjoys watching the fierce competition in the arena and getting to catch up with the competitors and their crews, who have a real family approach to their teams. Kaarin says she is equally excited to see the array of new products and innovations on display in the supplier expo.

“As sustainability and climate change become an increasing focus, technology and innovation will be something this industry will increasingly look to for solutions.”

Five-time host sponsor of Annual Connection, Independent Line Services Chief Executive Matt Southorn, says he and his team will be ready to welcome all attendees in November.

“Annual Connection is a great event that celebrates the work energy sector staff do around the country, as well as offering the public a chance to see what our day-to-day work entails.”

The Lines Company is putting forward a combined team from its Te Kuiti and Taumarunui bases. Team Manager Tony Gannon says they are looking forward to competing at Annual Connection.

“For us it isn’t about winning, it’s about team building, seeing how other networks operate and meeting others in the industry.”

Annual Connection will be held on 2-4 November at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand in Christchurch. It will close with the Energy and Telecommunications Industry Excellence Awards, sponsored by MITA Consulting Ltd, on the evening of 4 November, with Mike McRoberts as the MC and a guest presentation from Steve Gurney.

Connexis is a business division of Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning Limited. Te Pūkenga was established by the Government to unite Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) and Industry Training Organisations, of which Connexis is one, into a national network.

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