Jason Toomer-Reti of ICB Retaining & Construction was named the Auckland region’s best excavator operator last night after an intense three-day competition against more than thirty of Auckland’s top excavator operators.
Toomer-Reti is 27 years of age and comes from Manurewa. He won the Civil Contractors New Zealand Auckland Regional Excavator Operator Competition, which was held at Big Boys Toys at ASB Showgrounds from 16-18 November.
The competitors had to impress judges and an enthusiastic audience by using excavators to navigate a course, putting golf balls, opening a bottle of beer, slam dunking a basketball and more. They also had to demonstrate excellent health and safety precautions and planning.
The regional competition was one of 10 held around the country to find New Zealand’s best excavator operator, and he will go on to represent Auckland, competing for the national title at the National Excavator Operator Competition at Manfield Park in Fielding in March 2019.
ICB Retaining & Construction Managing Director Regan Burke said he was “ecstatic” Toomer-Reti had taken the title once more, showing a very high level of skill, knowledge and professionalism in his sixth year of competition to achieve a score of 307.
Mr Burke said ICB Retaining & Construction had purchased the Hitachi excavator Toomer-Reti had operated in his previous competition victory two years ago for him to use in his work, and it was clear this had paid off in the skills shown on the day.
“It was an amazing score, and Jason has worked really hard for it. He always studies. If he gets any down time he’s off trying tricky manoeuvres in the machine we bought for him.”
Second prize in the Auckland competition went to three-time regional competition winner Brian Hoffman from Brian Hoffman Ltd, who scored 304 points, while 23-year-old Jake Alderson took third place. The team prize for most accumulated points went to CB Civil and Drainage, while Daniel Smith of DK Smith Excavations won the Non-CCNZ Member Prize. Last year’s winner Nick Cain of Waiau Pa Bulk Haulage won the ‘Good Bugger’ prize for acting in the spirit of the competition.
Heavy equipment company CablePrice sponsors, provides and services all the machines used during the regional and national events, with regional sponsorship from Hirepool, CivilShare, Global Survey, Fleet Agent, Attach2, ICB Retaining & Construction, Humes, Z Energy, Stellar Recruitment, Oil Intel, Connexis, BeforeUDig, Enzed and First Gas.
Operated by national association Civil Contractors New Zealand, the competition aims to raise the profile of civil construction as a high-tech industry. 2018 competition organiser Roald Badenhorst from CCNZ Auckland Branch congratulated Toomer-Reti on his win.
“The excavator operator competition is a great way to recognise the time our operators put into building the skills they use on a daily basis – vital skills that support the work civil contractors do for New Zealand infrastructure in Auckland and beyond.” Mr Badenhorst said.
“These skills are in high demand at the moment, and a good operator can get hired in a heartbeat.”