Jason Toomer-Reti was named last night as the Auckland region’s best excavator operator after an intense three day competition against 34 others.
Jason, 25 of Manurewa, demonstrated his superlative skills in operating his machine during the Civil Contractors New Zealand Auckland regional excavator operator competition held at Big Boys Toys at ASB Showgrounds from 28-30th October.
The regional competition was one of 10 being held around the country to find New Zealand’s current best excavator operator. Regional winners will compete at Central Districts Field Days (Manfeild Park, Feilding) in March 2017 to take out the National Excavator Operator title.
Jason said he was delighted to win the title and put his win down to good preparation, experience and hard work but in all was overwhelmed with the result as he wasn’t sure where he placed.
Regan Burke from ICB said he was very pleased with Jason’s win and he had showed a very high level of skill, knowledge and professionalism. As this was Jason’s 4th year attempting to reach 1st place, he finally made it!
“ICB has supported this competition for 4 years as we’ve seen that it helps foster enthusiasm for excellence amongst our operators,” Regan said.
His prize/s consisted of, Food vouchers, Hirepool vouchers, $250 Z Energy voucher and a Supercheap Auto Voucher from Connexis, a Civilshare Solar powered phone charger, ICB BBQ set, a range of hats, mugs and cups, a Hitchi jacket and Portable stereo, a rugby ball signed by Richie McCaw, all expenses paid trip to the Nationals in the Manawatu next March and a $1,000 cheque kindly donated by the following sponsors:
Cable Price, Enzed, Hirepool, CivilShare App, ICB Retaining & Construction, Humes, Z Energy, Stellar Workforce, Oil Intel, Unitech, Connexis, Tai Poutini digger school, Pilehire, BeforeUDig, First Gas
The other Prizes went to the following competitors: (who also won a load of prizes similar to the ones listed above.)
• 2nd prize went to Brian Hoffman from Brian Hoffman Ltd ( Previous 3 times Nationals champion)
• 3rd prize went to Keresoma Laeli from United Civil
• Tea prize for most accumulated points went to United Civil
•Keresome Laeli, Chris Harry and Moses Pu Tamainu
• Non CCNZ member prize went to Laine Christensen from LC Contractors
• The Good Bugger prize went to Miles Dempsey from Opie Contractors for his general attitude to the competition.
In front of enthusiastic audiences at Big Boys Toys, the competitors had to impress the judges with using their excavators to pour tea, move an uncooked egg, putting golf balls, open a bottle of beer and slam dunk a basketball. They also had to demonstrate a good knowledge of health and safety precautions and planning.
At the Auckland event, they also had a lot of interactive opportunities to help draw a crowd. There was the Westpac Helicopter Simulator, 2 Mini excavators for under 12s, and a 6 tonne Excavator for the public to have a crack to get a taste of what it’s like to be timed on one of the challenges. Guests were asked for gold coin donations and if they succeeded at the challenges they could win a V8 hotlap with Greg Murphy or with Chelsea Herbert, a 17 year old V8 touring car driver sponsored by MWN Civil. Kegan Lehman from Gulf Harbour won the V8 hot lap with Chelsea and Peter Bennett from Taukau won the hot lap with Greg Murphy.
There was also a $50 raffle available to put patrons in the draw to win a flight for 4 people in the actual Westpac helicopter (donated by Hirepool) which was also drawn last night and went to Ian Simmons from McConnell Dowell.
Stellar Workforce also donated an AB’s signed rugby jersey and another Rugby ball, both signed by The Man Ritchie McCaw himself and between the Auctions, the raffle and the gold coin donations approx. $3,500 was raised for Westpac helicopter and Gastro Intestinal Cancer Institute (GICI)
There was also some midday entertainment during the competition where Chelsea Herbert (as mentioned above) & Alexandra Witney, (MWN sponsored Sanyong ute racer) battled it out against each other to see who could stack the most tyres and place an egg on a traffic cone on one of the 4 tonne Hitachi excavators. After the girls had their go, Levi Sherwood (Red Bull’s freestyle motocross world champ) and Jed Mildon (Only person to complete quadruple backflip on a BMX) had a crack at the same challenges, and on the last day both Red Bull Sponsored Riders managed to place the egg on the road cone at the exact same time!
Sponsored by CablePrice, the competition aims to raise the profile of a growing industry that is increasingly embracing new technology. CablePrice sponsors, provides and services all the machines that were used during the event.
The construction and maintenance industry carries out $12b of work annually, employing 60,000 workers including excavator operators.
Operators are involved in some of Auckland’s most significant projects including building multiple subdivisions, Wero Water Park, The Waterview tunnel and multiple motorway upgrades.