WEL Networks’ award-winning Electrical Fitter Bernard Muzengeza is “thrilled and humbled” after being named Trainee of the Year for New Zealand’s Energy and Telecommunications industries for 2019.
The awards were announced as part of Annual Connection, a three-day event that showcases New Zealand’s energy sector. This year, 12 line mechanic teams and 9 cable jointers competed in a series of events that replicated the work they do out in the field to ensure New Zealand’s power is kept flowing.
To add to the success of the Waikato-based lines company, the team of four WEL Networks’ linesmen, Lenny Te Aho (team leader), Dale Shane, Ryan Allen and Darcy Page finished second overall and won the electrical theory award. Ryan Allen also won the Ross Archer Memorial Trophy that’s sponsored by WEL.
Bernard, who joined WEL in July 2017, won the Connexis ITO Advanced Trainee of the Year award and was named Overall Trainee of the Year.
“It was humbling. I didn’t expect it . . . it was a great achievement to be recognised. I was thrilled and excited. It was humbling. I’m really proud of myself and my team. As much as you are the one taking the front and accepting the award . . . it’s just as much a reflection on the team. They have supported me the entire way.
“When your hard work is recognised you’re given this renewed energy to keep going. It gives you that drive to perform and do well. It makes the hard work worth it,” he says.
The Excellence Awards celebrate the best and brightest trainees working in the Electricity Supply and Telecommunications industries. They also recognise those who have made a significant contribution to the industry through their enthusiasm and commitment to industry training.
WEL Networks’ Technician Elliot McKinnon won the Advanced Trainee of the Year award in 2018, Electrical Fitter Narelle Phillips won Distribution Trainee of the Year and Overall Trainee of the Year in 2017 and Electrical Fitter Josh Matthews was a finalist for Advanced Trainee of the Year in 2016.