WECA member's update - December
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WECA update 

Hello <<First Name>>,

It was nice to see a good turnout at the AGM recently and excellent to end the year on a positive note. 2014 highlights are included below.

I am pleased to report healthy apprentice and graduate numbers for our sector in the Waikato. We have led New Zealand with mechanical engineering apprenticeship sign-ups this year. Read more about this, along with some encouraging outcomes from the University of Waikato and Wintec, below. 

This stable labour market activity is at least in part due to a commitment by WECA members, sponsors and affiliates to promoting engineering and collaborating to maintain a strong voice for our sector.

Looking forward to 2015, we will be focusing on growing WECA membership, including introductory annual memberships for a lower fee. The idea is to grow our organisation by showing new members the value of WECA. An increase in membership adds value for everyone.

On behalf of the WECA board and Sally Birch, I would like to wish you all the best for a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous 2015. We look forward to working with you in the New Year.


Mary Jensen,  WECA manager

WECA thanks sponsors:


Engineering talent pool healthy in Waikato 

Skilled people give us all a competitive advantage, so it's excellent to see more than 150 new learners signing up for engineering apprenticeships via Competenz in Waikato in 2014.
The regional tertiary sector is also doing its part with a healthy number of new graduates and student placements.

University of Waikato work placement co-ordinator Jewal Morrison reports placing the most students ever in one year with a total of 162 engineering students placed, while Wintec's Trades Academy has graduated 35 students with a National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering Level 2 this year and is expecting a further 18 students to graduate with the National Certificate in 2015.

Competenz national engineering manager Amit Kumra said the region has enjoyed a steady number of new apprentice sign ups.

A further 77 apprentices graduated in 2014 through Competenz, the engineering industry training organisation, ensuring a highly skilled new generation of trades-people, Amit said.

Competenz, through its Tools4Work programme, also works actively with 23 schools in the Waikato region, giving year 12 and 13 secondary school students a taste of what engineering is like. 


Steady year for WECA

All members have been sent a copy of the WECA Annual Report, but to recap some highlights of the AGM:

> Healthy interest from secondary school students at various Career Expo events'
> Stable membership and sponsorship
> Upgrade of website and newsletter
> Introducing new WECA co-ordinator Sally Birch
> Excellent member events throughout the year, including Phil O'Reilly, Good George Brewery Tour and Engineering for Educators at GEA Avapac
> WECA representation on Labour Market Working Group
> Get a Life - Engineering in Action
> Excellent WECA representation in FutureForce Waikato magazine

Farewell Rosemary!

WECA is going into 2015 with a strong board, but on a sad note we have bid farewell to Rosemary Wyborn, of Wintec.

Rosemary has been a great supporter of WECA and has done a lot towards building the relationship Wintec and WECA now have. On behalf of the board and team we thank you very much Rosemary and we wish you all the very best.

Rosemary has passed on Wintec's WECA mantle to Shelley Wilson, who many members know. 
Check out some photos from the AGM:
Captions, clockwise from top left: Trudy Harris and Rosemary Wyborn (Wintec); a good crowd; Roger Evans (Stafford Engineering) and Les Roa (Longveld); Allen Bryce (Competenz), Lou Ewington (Mighty River Power) and Gary Brown (JP Marshall).
Captions, clockwise from top left: Jewal Morrison and Dean Howie (University of Waikato) and Levinia Paku (Lawson Williams); Kaleb James (Stafford Engineering), Dean Renner and Ray Pryor (Millennium Plastics) and Rosemary Wyborn (Wintec); Cliff Ellery and Mike Welten (NDA); Owen Embling (Convex Plastics) and Steve McNae (Stainless Design).

Job opportunity: 

Wintec Engineering & Fabrication Tutor, part time. 

Wintec's School of Trades has an exciting opportunity for a qualified trades person to work with the Metal Trade team. You will be working in Australasia’s newest Trades training facility at Rotokauri, Hamilton. 

Wintec is looking for a person that has time on their hands (10 to 25 hours a week) and energy in their step and would like to assist the Engineering Trades team in setting up young engineers with good skills and work ethics.

You need to have a relevant trade qualification and have industry experience in either:-
•         Fitting & Turning / Sheet Metal Fabrication, or
•         Fabricating / Welder

Call Vaughan Wetton for more information:

021661817 or 0273405507



Millennium Plastics scoops supreme award

WECA member Millennium Plastics Ltd were awarded the overall Supreme Award at the 2014 Plastics Industry Biennial Design Awards recently for their contribution to the all-new Waikato Milking Systems Electronic Milk Meter.

The metre provides powerful and accurate real-time milking data, enabling the farmer to improve their herd management decisions and long term profitability of the herd.

Millennium Plastics Ltd also took out Gold Awards in both the Primary Product and Conventional Injection Moulding Process Categories.

Caption: Jim Pharaoh and Tony Rutz receiving the supreme award for 2014.

WECA represented at economic development level

Shaping the economic future of the Waikato is an important task and WECA is well-represented in this process.

WECA manager Mary Jensen is on a labour market working group lead by John Cook (Stainless Design) as part of the Waikato Regional Economic Development Strategy
(click to view the strategy document)

At an initial workshop, Mary and John were joined by WECA's Roger Evans (Stafford Engineering), Trisha King (Mainline Sheetmetals), Lou Ewington (Mighty River Power), Amit Kumra (Competenz) and Sally Birch (WECA) and others at a recent Waikato Regional Labour Market Strategy workshop in Hamilton. 

This included an overview of the six parts of the strategy - workforce mapping, educational achievement, targeted training, skills attraction, transitions and communications. Subsequent workshops focused on each of the six parts and Melinda Dellar (NDA) joined the original WECA contingent to participate in the communications workshop.

We will keep you posted, and ask for your input, as this work progresses.
Captions (clockwise from top left):
Amit Kumra, of Competenz and working group member Mary Jensen, WECA manager; Roger Evans, of Stafford Engineering and John Wilkinson, ASB Bank; Gina Robertson, University of Waikato and Trisha King, Mainline Sheetmetals; John Cook (Stainless Design), Lou Ewington (Mighty River Power) and Andrew Boyd (Health Workforce NZ).

Waikato engineering students on track to success

The University of Waikato Formula SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) team have their sights set firmly on success for the Formula SAE- Australasia competition in Melbourne this week. 

The competition includes 26 teams and involves static and dynamic events, such as design, business and cost presentations, quality tests and racing events. 

“Last year’s team set the bar high. They were placed sixth overall and were the top New Zealand team at the competition,” says team leader Sam Brien. 

The group of University of Waikato Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) students including fourth-year students Sam Brien, Todd Carswell, Josh McIntyre, Nick Milne, Ben Sharp and Phillip Ross, say that the 2013 success has provided them with a solid foundation to build on. 

Read full story here.


Energy efficiency key for engineering design students

Wintec's Centre for Engineering and Industrial design students showcased energy efficient hot water system projects in their final presentations recently.

The 25 NZDE Mechanical and BEngTech students designed small, energy efficient and low carbon footprint water heating systems for use in remote areas in groups of five.  

The system, produced using Solidworks and 3D printing, had to heat 50 to 100 litres of water to 55ºC without electricity. Students had a semester to work on the project, generating concepts and ideas, evaluating them and finalising the design of the chosen concept.

For many students the presentations were the culmination of two years of study and the end of the second year for BEngTech students.

WECA went along with a camera to scope out the talent...

Captions (clockwise from top left): 
Advanced Tech Ltd, back from left, Rajinder Singh Kainth, Juan Martinez, Luke David, John Ngauma and Denis Danilov with Wintec 3D printing technician Emily Allison, front; Innovative Relief Solutions, from left, Rory Donovan, Jonty Birrell, Zhengwei Liang (Tony), Callan Smith and Vishal Patal; PYRMD Water Heating Solutions, from left, Chandra Ghimrey, Caleb Wilson, Alex Kennett and Mike Shewan; Southern Heating Solutions, from left, Gursharan Dhillon, Henry Franck,  Ben Matangi, Xavier Kapoor, and Jamie Bull.

WECA website - smart phone capable

Have you checked out the new website yet? Did you know if can be viewed easily on your smart phone?

As with any digital media the website will continue to evolve, so please keep us posted with any changes to your listings or with any other comments.

Click here to visit the website.

Email with any changes.
Thank you to VO2 for powering our new website.

Awards shine spotlight on industry stars

Excellence in industry training was recognised recently at the 12th annual Gallagher Rotary Industry Awards.

The awards have grown from small beginnings to include eight Waikato businesses and several WECA members keen to reward trainees demonstrating excellence, commitment and skill in their industry.

The collar-and-tie event shines the spotlight on employees in the engineering, plastics, construction, plumbing, manufacturing and personnel management fields.

Check out some photos from the event:
Captions (clockwise from top):
The Stafford Engineering crew; JP Marshall's contingent; Owen Embling (Convex Plastics) with Convex Step Up Award winner Niall Presland-White, wife Grace Presland-White and baby Grace.

What's the latest??

Keep us posted with your company news and photos and you might see yourself in the next WECA newsletter. We're interested in your achievements, key appointments, awards and anything else of note.

Email items, ideas or photo for consideration to


Thanks again to WECA sponsors:


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