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Eighteen medals for the Kiwis in the 'Olympics of the Trades'

Eighteen medals for the Kiwis in the ‘Olympics of the Trades’

The team representing New Zealand in the international competition dubbed the 'Olympics of the Trades' at Wintec in Hamilton last week, won eight gold medals, eight silver medals and two bronze medals.

A total of 23 Kiwis took on 102 international competitors from Canada, India, Malaysia, China, Australia and Korea over three-and-a-half days of intense competition in 30 different skill categories.

WorldSkills New Zealand chief executive Bruce Howat said the national team is one that every New Zealander should feel proud of.

"New Zealand exposed our international visitors to our rich culture and many of our guests left wanting to return," he said.

"Out of 23 competitors, we came away with 18 medals, which is a great success for New Zealand," said WorldSkills New Zealand chief executive Bruce Howat.

"Every one of our medalists scored over 500 points, which puts them in the top 5-7 per cent for the upcoming international competition in Brazil.

"In two categories, New Zealand got both the gold and silver medals. This reflects the high standard of training in New Zealand.

The results exceeded my expectations. What we need to do now is to build on this performance and get better results in Brazil. Complacency is the enemy of excellence."

The trades being contested ranged from aircraft maintenance to various auto and engineering trades, carpentry, joinery, plumbing and heating as well as floristry, hairdressing, restaurant trades and web and graphic design.

The following Kiwis received medals:


  • Chris Robertson of Ohakea, Gold in Aircraft Maintenance
  • David Fox of Hamilton, Gold in Autobody Repair
  • Jeff Sutton of Invercargill, Gold in Automobile Technology
  • Luke Tahurangi of Wainuiomata, Gold in Car Painting
  • Cameron Shailer of Rotorua, Gold in Electrical Installations
  • Jacklin Pillay of Manukau, Gold in Cooking
  • Adam de Pass of Invercargill, Gold in Plumbing and Heating
  • Michael Benson of Hamilton, Gold in Sheet Metal Technology
  • Chelcie Kuriger of Hamilton, Silver in Automobile Technology
  • Liam Riley of Whenuapai, Silver in Aircraft Maintenance
  • Rowan Cumiskey of Auckland, Silver in Car Painting
  • Kassey Samuels of Devonport, Silver in Restaurant Service
  • Nick Bastiaansen of Gore, Silver in Industrial Mechanic Millwright
  • Matty Hull of Eketahuna, Silver in Carpentry
  • Michael Good of Invercargill, Silver in Joinery
  • Amelia Addis of Palmerston North, Silver in Floristry
  • Seth Ward of Southland, Bronze in Industrial Control
  • Stacy Smyth of Dannevirke, Bronze in Welding

For the Kiwi team, it was an intense challenge with a lot at stake – not least of which was a seat on the plane to Sao Paulo, Brazil to compete in the WorldSkills International Competition in August.

Some competitors tell of putting in 4-5 hours of training per day on top of full-time employment to ensure they were ready for the competition.

The skills the Kiwis competed in ranged from aircraft maintenance to various auto and engineering trades, carpentry, joinery, plumbing and heating as well as floristry, hairdressing, restaurant trades and web and graphic design.

WorldSkills International has been around since 1950 and today has 73 member countries and represents 45 skills.

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Photo: The Kiwi team that competed at the WorldSkills Oceania Competition at the closing ceremony at Wintec in Hamilton on Friday night (17 April).

About WorldSkills New Zealand:
WorldSkills New Zealand is an independent, non-profit charitable trust founded in 1986, dedicated to encouraging young people to excel in vocational skills. This is achieved through exposure to competitions at regional, national and international levels.

About WorldSkills International:
WorldSkills International is the global hub for skills excellence and development. Through international cooperation and development between industry, government, organisations, and institutions, we promote the benefits of, and need for, skilled professionals through grassroots community projects, skill competitions, and knowledge exchange.

We show how important skills education and training is for youth, industries and society by challenging young professionals around the world to become the best in the skill of their choice.