Wellington, September 2023: The best of New Zealand’s line mechanics and cable jointers will be going head-to-head in Invercargill in September, showing off the skills that keep the country’s electricity connected.

Annual Connection 2023, proudly hosted by Southland’s electricity management company, PowerNet in conjunction with Connexis | Te Pūkenga will see line mechanic crews and cable jointers compete in events that put their workplace skills to the test.

This year’s event will be held September 19-21 at Donovan Park in Invercargill with electrical supply crews travelling from different companies around the country to participate.

Annual Connection is also an opportunity for school students to see energy supply workers in action and get a feel for what a career in the industry looks like. A supplier expo will showcase new technologies and the three-day event will close with the Connexis Excellence Awards, recognising the country’s top energy and telecommunications trainees.

PowerNet CEO Jason Franklin says Annual Connection is an opportunity for the wider community to better understand the electrical supply industry and the company is looking forward to bringing a “Southern flavour” to the event.

“We have been involved in Annual Connection for a number of years and wanted to step up to host to give something back to the industry. The event is an opportunity to showcase the skills and experience we have in the sector right across New Zealand, as well as to share best practices and attract new people to the industry,” Franklin says.

“It’s also an excellent chance for industry people from all over the country to experience Invercargill and Southland hospitality.

“Our team members are very excited to be involved and have the first opportunity to represent PowerNet at home,” he says.

“The competitions are a real thrill for spectators and give the public a chance to see the incredible skills and training these energy supply workers have up close.”

Connexis Director Kaarin Gaukrodger says the competitions showcase the skills of  workers who have kept the country connected through some of the recent damaging weather events.

“Typically, the kind of work they’re doing is often in the backcountry, and at odd hours, therefore a lot of their vital work goes unseen so Annual Connection gives them an amazing opportunity to demonstrate what they know.

“Between the competitions and Excellence Awards, Annual Connection is an important celebration of New Zealand’s energy supply and telecommunications sectors,” she says.

“Between the awards and the competitions, Annual Connection offers a chance to show off best practice as well as the skills and talent embedded in our infrastructure workforce, while showcasing career opportunities to newcomers and the next generation.”

Gaukrodger adds Connexis is thrilled to have Southland’s PowerNet on board as sponsor this year. “We love taking Annual Connection to the regions and having the event in Invercargill this year, will be a fantastic opportunity to take a closer look at the industry in Southland and understand it’s unique challenges and opportunities.”

About PowerNet:

PowerNet Limited is a network management company delivering power to Invercargill City, Southland, West Otago, parts of Central Otago and Stewart Island.

PowerNet manages the electricity networks of The Power Company Limited, Electricity Invercargill Limited, OtagoNet Joint Venture and Lakeland Network Ltd (in parts of Frankton, Wanaka and Cromwell). Based on the regulatory value of the networks it manages, PowerNet is the equivalent of the fourth largest network company in New Zealand, delivering electricity to over 74,400 consumers.

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