Female takes out top Electricity Supply Industry award
12 October 2015: Electricity Supply Industry trainee Laisa Pickering overcame tough competition to take out top industry
honours for 2015.
Winning Trainee of the Year at the Connexis Annual Connection Excellence Awards Laisa contributed her win to the support
of those around her quoting Sir Isaac Newton, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.”
Laisa, who works for Electrix, Albany, commented that she was proud to represent females in the industry and thanked
Connexis and those who proactively support the increase of females into technical and trade roles within the Electricity
Supply Industry. She also recognised her Pacific Island background 'shouting out' to her fellow PI Lineys.
The Excellence Award’s Dinner on Wednesday night marked the culmination of the Annual Connection event, an iconic
industry event for everyone involved in the Electricity Supply industry. It featured five skill events over three days
and this year was held from October 6 - 8 at Mystery Creek, Hamilton.
The event initially began as the “Liney Comps” and has developed over the past 14 years to the event it is now. It is an
industry event, run by a volunteer committee and managed by Connexis, the Infrastructure Industry Training Organisation.
The Trainee Excellence Awards celebrate the best and brightest trainees working in the Electricity supply and
Telecommunications industries and those who have made a significant contribution to the industry through their
enthusiasm and commitment to industry training.
Laisa was a solo mother working in a sawmill in Fiji when she met her husband to be and moved to New Zealand. He was
heavy machinery driver and rather than stay at home Laisa, with baby in tow, went to job sites with her husband.
Laisa was soon asked if she would like to learn to drive heavy machinery, an opportunity she seized. Keen to learn she
soon progressed from a rolling machine into operating D9 bulldozers, then progressing onto 30-ton dump trucks and 50-ton
Laisa progressed through the ranks and was soon teaching and assessing new staff members coming into the company she
worked for. She then took interest in what the line mechanics were doing when they came onsite to install the
underground services. Laisa spoke to the line mechanics about what it would take to become a line mechanic and liked the
fact that you were able to earn as you learn, and so her career in the Electricity Supply Industry began.
The Excellence Awards dinner is the finale of the Annual Connection. As well as the excellence awards presentations, the
runners-up and over-all winners of the line mechanic and cable jointer competitions are also announced along with the
recipients of the Ross Archer Memorial Line Mechanic Safety Award and Outstanding Leader Award.
Overall Trainee of the Year: Laisa Pickering
The Overall Connectics Trainee of the Year was selected by the judges from the winners of the six trainee of the year
· Business Support/Retail Trainee of the Year - Paige Tana
· Generation Trainee of the Year - Joshua McNicholl
· Distribution Trainee of the Year – Laisa Pickering
· Transmission Trainee of the Year – Jack William-Leask
· Telecommunications Trainee of the Year - Kalle Oliver
· Advanced Trainee of the Year - Kotua Phillips
Judges Awarded Laisa Trainee of the Year due to her positive influence within the industry. They commented that Laisa is
an outstanding role model to other trainees, has a very proactive approach to problem solving, thinks outside the square
and has an inquisitive mind with a strong focus on safety.
Her career aspiration is to become a Glove and Barrier Line Mechanic before moving onto a challenging role as a
supervisor and maybe a manager within the industry.
2015 Cable Jointer - Steve Rathe – Northpower
2015 Line Mechanic Cup - Unison – Hawkes Bay. Josh Wairama, Regan Walker, Daniel Pitt, Hamish Weir, John Andersen