World class in our own backyard

With nearly a half century worth of industry representation under its belt, the Crane Association seeks to cement itself as one of the country’s foremost industry bodies.

And there will be no better opportunity to raise the bar than during the association’s upcoming conference in Hamilton.

Following the postponement of the 2020 event, and the current pandemic environment the world finds itself in, the CANZ is working to ensure this year’s calibre of exhibitions, displays and speakers will be an attractive offer for delegates.

To be held at Claudelands Arena from 14-16 July, the CANZ Conference is themed – Time for change: Creating a world Class Crane Industry in our own backyard.

The industry’s landscape will change dramatically in the next 24 months, due to the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) and the implementation of new Plant, Structures and Working at Heights regulations.

So, why not take that one step further and look inwards to develop a world class industry here in New Zealand, says CANZ executive officer, Sarah Toase.

sARAH TOASE world class in our own backyard CANZ conference
Sarah Toase, CANZ executive officer

“The industry should view this as an opportunity to decide how we want the outcome to look, engage with the association and make their opinions known.”

Therefore, this year’s event will be instrumental in cementing the Association’s future direction and quantifying members’ expectations.

“I am learning that our industry is made up of passionate, innovative and forward-thinking people who are seeking to make the crane industry the best it can be,” Sarah adds.

“We’re operating in a small country that can be agile in its approach to change.”

Sarah’s view is that there is no better time for that innovation and progress to come to the fore than now, in what all of New Zealand is hoping will soon be the post-Covid era. 

A crane simulator will also be on hand for those keen to try their hand at the latest virtual machinery.

While this year’s event will be slightly different compared with events gone by – due to the unavailability of international travel – the association will still present and incorporate international best practices in the conference’s programme. 

The Crane Industry Council of Australia’s chief executive officer, Brandon Hitch, will speak – via virtual link – to his respective industry’s challenges and their methods for overcoming them.

And while other details regarding speakers and workshops have yet to be finalised, one boon for eventgoers will be the chance to hear from keynote speaker, Dave Greenberg.

For 25 years, the former Westpac Rescue Helicopter crewman dangled from the helicopter’s winch to pluck people from seas, ravines, and paddocks in nearly 4000 rescue operations.

He will have you listening on the edge of your seat as he shares the life lessons from his time on the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

The event will also serve as a venue for the Association’s Annual General Meeting, where members will vote on and meet their new council members.

Following this will be the chance for members to question the newly elected councillors about their strategic priorities in a panel, moderated by MC, Greg Ward.

“I want this to be a conference where our members have their voices heard, and for the council to hear directly from our members as to what their concerns and priorities are,” says Sarah.

While the programme continues to be finalised over the next two weeks, Sarah is seeking ideas from members about what workshops and topics they would like to see included.

Should you wish to provide an option, please get in touch at

One crucially important component of the conference will once again be the opportunity to recognise the often unseen, hard graft within the crane industry during the Gala Awards.

• For more information about registration, exhibition space, an outdoor crane display, conference sponsorship options or the list of awards, visit

Supplied by the Crane Association of New Zealand.

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