Downer’s Neil Tau emerged victorious in this year’s CCNZ CablePrice Manawatu Regional Excavator Operator Competition.
The Marton local dug deep to beat last year’s National Excavator Operator Competition runner-up Jim Beamsley of Central Demolition, securing the regional title in his first attempt at the Manawatu event.
“I found it pretty nerve racking,” Mr Tau said. “The competition had a couple of guys who had been in the national finals before, so it was a privilege to compete alongside them.”
The competition saw a keen group of competitors put through their paces at the Railway Land Reserve in Palmerston North on 8 March.
Mr Tau praised CCNZ Manawatu Branch for setting up a challenging course that mixed crowd-pleasing tasks with conventional tests of an excavator operator’s skill.
“The course was great, and the organisers all did a great job of running the event. I was stoked.”
Jim Beamsley and Kayden Cachemaille of Central Demolition won the Inter-Company Trophy for Central Demolition. This trophy is presented to the company with the best combined score of its top two operators.
Mr Tau has worked for Downer for the past four years. His win in the Manawatu competition qualified him to take part in the CCNZ CablePrice National Excavator Operator Competition finals, which were to be held at the Central District’s Field Days this weekend.
However, Central District Field Days and national finals of the excavator operator competition were both cancelled on Monday due to ongoing efforts to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in New Zealand through cancellation of mass gatherings. As of yet, it is uncertain if and when the event will be rescheduled.
The CCNZ CablePrice Excavator Operator Competitions are designed to encourage more people to consider careers in civil construction and celebrate the capability of New Zealand’s top excavator operators and their amazing machines.
Featured image [L-R]: Kayden Cachemaille, Central Demolition, Jim Beamsley, Central Demolition, Neil Tau, Downer
Inset image: Downer's Neil Tau holding the regional championship trophy.