News from WECA
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News this month:
Waikato Story: Tell us yours
WECA Event: The Electrical Training Company
2018 Launch: EVolocity Waikato
Welcome: Foster Engineering and Complete Engineering & Hydraulics
Waikato Economic Development: Update
Save the date: Engineering in Action Day 2018
FutureForce® Careers: Profile your young stars
Techweek 2018: Call for interest
A Word from Success Group

Contribution to GDP in Hamilton, Waikato.
Image: The Waikato Story
Hello <<First Name>>, we hope 2018 has started well for you and your business. At WECA we have been planning for the year ahead in line with the strategy developed last year.

A key focus of this work is promoting Waikato as New Zealand's Hub of Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence, which is in line with objectives of the Waikato economic development strategy. In this vein, we have teamed up with the communications specialists behind The Waikato Story, who are keen to support us in sharing some of the exciting stories from our sector with the world.

So... tell us your stories!! Innovative product? Waikato engineering personality? Success story? Email now and be part of The Waikato Story! 

The Waikato Story showcases our region as a place of powerful possibilities, local innovators and inspiring champions. The Waikato Story website includes an inspiring film about our region and a practical set of digital resources to help businesses tell their own unique stories in a consistent way to rest of the world. Watch the film.

We've caught up with a few of you already this year and, by all accounts, it appears to be busy out there. If you're anything like us, you'll be all hands to the pump as February draws to a close. 

Hope to see you at our first WECA event for 2018 at The Electrical Training Company on Thursday March 22, from 4.30pm. Read more below and RSVP now!

Mary, Sally and Levinia
The WECA Team
Thanks to WECA supporters

<<First Name>>, we'd love to see you... our first Waikato Engineering Careers Association event of the year...

The Electrical Training Company
Thursday March 22, 4.30pm to 6.30pm 
28 The Boulevard, Te Rapa Park, Hamilton

Drinks and nibbles provided
Free of charge, RSVP NOW: Space is limited

Be one of the first to explore The Electrical Training Company's flash new Hamilton premises. ETCO is New Zealand's leading provider of electrical apprenticeships, training and employment. They have been providing industry tradespeople through their group apprenticeship scheme since 1991, so know how to best produce qualified electricians and help businesses in practical ways. Read more.
2018 LAUNCH: EVolocity Waikato
Join us as we launch the exciting secondary school electric vehicle competition for 2018.

Thursday March 15th, 4pm to 6.30pm, Wintec Rotokauri, Hamilton
(Click for map)

WECA businesses, this is a great opportunity to engage with and support secondary school students as they gain hands-on experience with multi-disciplinary and innovative engineering practices. 

WECA manages EVolocity for the region, with students designing and building their own electric cart or bike, equipped with an electric motor kit. They race in Regional Finals later in the year, with the best going on to compete against teams from throughout New Zealand.  

Email if you're keen to mentor a team this year, or come along to the launch to see what it's all about. 


Thanks to EVolocity supporters

WELCOME: New WECA members
The Foster Group recently launched Foster Engineering, a mechanical engineering service that specialises in architectural design and finishing. The team of six includes four qualified engineers and a design engineer, with a focus on finer products fabricated from steel. They work mainly with aluminium, stainless steel and mild steel and have done numerous highly technical, bespoke jobs, many designed from clients' concepts. The team also does a lot of structural and architectural welding.

Complete Engineering & Hydraulics are specialists in hydraulic rams – working in the industry for more than 30 years. The business manufactures and repairs all hydraulic rams and can custom design and manufacture rams to suit client needs. Their workshop also has CNC machining capabilities as well as precision machining, fabrication and welding expertise. Complete Engineering and Hydraulics employs six engineers and offers work experience to keen, young engineers.

'Significant progress' with Waikato Economic Development

Waikato Means Business chair Dallas Fisher says “significant progress” has been made on laying the foundations for the Regional Economic Development Agency (REDA).

Dallas, who was the keynote speaker at WECA’s 2017 Relaunch, updated CONNECT Waikato’s quarterly meeting this month where Mary Jensen represents the Waikato Engineering Careers Association. WECA member Roger Evans (Stafford Engineering) represents the sector as part of REDA’s Project Reference Group.

(CONNECT Waikato is a group of leaders who meet to harness collective capability, linking key organisations and initiatives to leverage regional prosperity. Membership includes not for profit organisations, central government agencies, Chambers of Commerce, tertiary institutions, relevant membership-based organisations, local government and Export NZ.

Waikato Regional Economic Development Agency - Executive Summary
21st February 2018, Dallas Fisher, Waikato Means Business (WMB) Chair

Since September significant progress has been made on laying the foundations for the Waikato Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDA). The WMB Chair and Programme Manager have visited the region’s Territorial Authorities and have received strong levels of support and funding pre-commitments. Engagement has also commenced with the business community, Māori and other key stakeholder groups.

An external Project Reference Group was established in November 2017 to provide external advice, feedback and direction to the project. Their final meeting was on 21 February, where they considered all key aspects of the REDA design and go on to provide final advice to the Waikato Means Business Steering Group in early March. In April a report will be brought to the Mayoral Forum setting out the full governance, funding, management and operational details of the entity for its consideration and endorsement.

This paper canvasses the following key REDA topics:
•    Establishment Process
•    Board Attributes of the Waikato REDA, including:
-    Entity Purpose
-    Short and Medium-Term Functions
-    Longer-Term Functions
-    Legal Structure
-    Operation
•    Accountability and Governance
•    Board Attributes and Skills
•    REDA Strategic Advisory Group
•    Māori Engagement
•    Detailed Structure
•    How the REDA interacts with Local Government

A key next step is to convene an Establishment Board to oversee the setup of the Waikato REDA. The Board will appoint an establishment (interim) Chief Executive and get the REDA up and running. The Establishment Board needs to be convened in March so that it can guide the interim CEO and oversee the establishment process until the full Board is in place in the period July to September. During this phase the existing Waikato Means Business Steering Group will be phased out.
The Establishment Board will have seven members. The Mayoral Forum has appointed two (non-elected) executive members who will provide expertise from a local government point of view. The Forum has also agreed that a small (three member) sub group of the Mayoral Forum is convened to consider recommendations from the Reference Group and approve (on behalf of the Forum) the nominations for the other five positions on the Establishment Board. 

For further information contact
SAVE THE DATE: Engineering in Action Day 2018 
Engineering in Action Day 2018 will be held on Tuesday May 29th.
Technology educators and WECA businesses, please put it in your calendar!

The day, jointly co-ordinated by Wintec and WECA, gives students and teachers a unique opportunity to see what engineering looks like in real time and to consider potential career opportunities in our exciting sector. 

Students visit WECA businesses and get hands-on with a range of activities across mechanical, electrical and civil engineering disciplines.

Keen to be involved this year?

Businesses please email to register.
Tech teachers please email to register.
FutureForce® 2018: Profile your young stars
WECA will again lead the engineering careers section of the annual FutureForce® Waikato careers resource.

This high quality publication is distributed free to more than 10,000 senior secondary school students, who use it as a resource in the classroom and when choosing their school subjects.

WECA receives 500 copies of the publication, emblazoned with a sticker pointing to the engineering section, to distribute at events.

Those profiled in this volume can also be listed on the new FutureForce® website careers library for a loading fee ($100

Book your space now - a full page is $1290+gst for WECA members (normally $1990+gst). Email

Techweek 2018: Emerging Tech Expo
Call for interest...Techweek (May 19th to 27th) is a national event that exists to amplify innovation stories to New Zealand and the world. 

The focus for Techweek'18 is Innovation that's good for the world, and within that a celebration of New Zealand's unique, interconnected innovation ecosystem.

Techweek Waikato is keen for cross-sector tech representation to an audience of mostly tech-minded people… are any WECA members keen to be part of an Emerging Tech Expo on Monday May 21st at Waikato Innovation Park? Organisers estimate approximately 10-20 international delegates and maybe 120 local people in attendance.

Email if you're keen to be involved.

A word from WECA Sponsors...


Success Personnel 

We have been advised by our new Government that there are going to be some changes made to the Employment legislation over the next year or so.
The first of these changes are now before parliament in the form of a Bill to amend the Employment Relations Act 2000. From there it will go to select committee where the public will be able to have some input. 

Here are the highlights of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill and how it may affect you and your employees. 

Collective Agreements
•    All collective agreements would be required to include the rate of pay that applies to every employee covered by that collective.
•    If an employer is approached by an applicable union and asked to join the collective, there would now be no option for them to opt out of that collective agreement and it would therefore apply to all employees who are covered by that union.
•    A union representative would no longer have to gain your consent before entering your workplace. 
•    Union delegates would be given reasonable paid time to conduct their duties during working hours.
•    An employer would no longer be able to deduct pay as a response to partial strikes.

Rest and meal breaks 
There would still remain the ability for the employer and the employee to negotiate flexible work/break times if both parties are in agreement. If the employee does not want the flexibility offered, then the breaks must be taken as prescribed. 
•    Work period between 2 hours and 4 hours, one 10 minute break
•    Work period between 4 hours and 6 hours, one 10 minute break and one 30 minute break
•    Work period between 6 hours and 8 hours, two 10 minute breaks and one 30 minute break
•    Work period between 10 hours and 12 hours, three 10 minute breaks and one 30 minute break
•    Compensation options are available to the employee

90 day trials
•    These would still be available to employers but only if they have less than 20 employees
•    There is evidence however of an increased number of personal grievance claims under this clause. 
•    Introduce re-instatement as the primary remedy for a grievance

Vulnerable workers affected by business transfers, sales, and restructuring. 
The definition of a vulnerable worker includes someone who provides, cleaning services and food catering services in any place of work.
•    The exemption for businesses with less than 20 employees will now been removed. 
•    Purchasing a business with a vulnerable worker as an employee means that you would have to take on that employee at the same pay rate that they are currently on, and with all of their accumulated entitlements.
•    Also included would be subcontractors who may have been carrying out work that is now to be done in-house
•    If you have a vulnerable worker as an employee and then elect to contract out the work, the employee is entitled to be taken on by the contractor. 
•    This also applies if the contractor in turn sub-contracts out the work.
•    If you have a contractor performing work for you that is done by a vulnerable worker and you then appoint another contractor, the employee of the first contractor is entitled to be employed by the second contractor. 

There is to be a strengthening of record keeping requirements for all employees. This includes employment agreements, time sheets, pay slips, leave taken, etc and must be produced when asked for by either the employee or their representative.      

The minimum pay rate is to be increased to $16.50 per hour. As there has been a similar pay increase each year for the last couple of years as well, it may be time to address any pay relativity with all of your employees.    
As well as the Bill before parliament at the moment, the Government has states that within their first 12 months in power, they intend to
•    Work towards bringing back redundancy payments to workers affected by restructuring
•    Introduce employment rights and entitlements to Dependent Contractors. This means that these Contractors will now have to be paid holiday pay, stats, sick and bereavement leave, etc
•    Work towards bringing back overtime to workers who work more than 40 hours per week. 
•    Increase the number of and resourcing for, Labour Inspectors.

Although all of this would represent a significant change in the employment landscape as we know it at the moment, it will apply to all employers and not just a select group.  

If you have any concerns or would like some further information, feel free to contact Graham at the Success Group on 0212857776, or click here 

The Electrical Training Company...

Be one of the first to explore ETCO's new Hamilton premises at next month's WECA Event.
Click for more.

ETCO is New Zealand's leading provider of electrical apprenticeships, training and employment. They have been providing industry tradespeople through their group apprenticeship scheme since 1991, so know how to best produce qualified electricians and how to help business in practical ways.

VO2 - Digital Thinking...


Vo2 is a high performance group of companies specialising in technology, online and digital.
In an age of digital innovation and disruption, Vo2 works alongside organisations to maximise digital performance by leveraging global technologies, and applying modern, integrated approaches to technology and online. We call this Digital Thinking which is our approach to technology and online in a digital age.

To find out more phone 07 838 9390, or email

Thanks again to our supporters