The battle of the buckets – 25th National Excavator Operator Competition

Feilding March 15 – 16 2019

There were 10 regional excavator competitions (REOCs) held around the country to decide on a representative to face up to the 25th National Excavator Operator Competition being held at the Manfield Park showgrounds in Feilding this month on March 15 and 16. Contractor magazine wiill be at the awards dinner on the Saturday night to present the prestigious One Day Cup. The event also encompasses the return of the gut-busting Tudor Distributor Barrel Filling Competition, so get your teams of three together and battle it out against other teams in an attempt to beat the record times! Entry forms are on the CCNZ website.

2019 regional results

Northland – Riki returns

Northland excavator operator Riki Lum of Clements Contractors claimed back-to-back regional titles at Barge Park in Whangarei in December earning him a ticket to return to the National Excavator Operator Competition in March 2019.

Riki scored 308 points in the competition, seven points clear of his closest challenger Bryce Coughlan, also of Clements Contractors. This one-two effort helped Clements also claim the team prize.

Lydia Hill of Wilson Earthmoving took out the Good Bugger Award, partially for her excellent work supporting young people on the mini dig at the event.

Auckland resends a champ

Jason Toomer-Reti of ICB Retaining & Construction was named the Auckland region’s best excavator operator after an intense three-day competition against 33 of Auckland’s top excavator operators.

This is the second time Jason has won the Auckland competition, and he was the very deserving winner of the Humes’ Good Bastard Award in the 2017 national competition.

Second prize in the Auckland competition went to three-time regional competition winner Brian Hoffman (who won the national competition in 2016), who scored 304 points, while 23-year-old Jake Alderson took
third place.

Waikato and Bay of Plenty

The Waikato REOC was held at Mystery Creek at the National Agricultural Fieldays last June.

The winner was Clayton Daldy (Brian Perry Civil), second was Rob Veltmans (Splice Construction), and third was Mike Bowe (Bowe Brothers).

The Bay of Plenty REOC winner was Brandon Crowley (Crowley Excavators) with his Dad Craig Crowley coming second.

Last year it was the opposite way around, and Craig represented the Bay of Plenty at the finals. Third place was Andy Morris (Higgins Bay of Plenty).

Hawke’s Bay East Coast

Tui Paikea from QRS came first in this regional competition, followed by Dan Mepham from Gair Contracting, who was just one point behind. Wilson Fergusson from Fergusson Contracting came third.  Aaron Munro won Best Novice Award.

Auckland the winner was Jason Toomer-Reti.Waikato winner was Clayton Daldy.Hawke's Bay winner Tui Paikea.

Taranaki returns

The Taranaki CCNZ Branch delivered its first REOC in seven years, when a team of members and sponsors, led by Ross McEwen (a branch life member), set up on a site that contractor member Offshore Plumbing Services owns.

There were 10 competitors with over 250 people attending the event.

The first place winner was Callum Bamber from Offshore Plumbing Services; second place was Shaun Hannah – Whitaker Civil; and third place John Northcott – Graham Harris.

Manawatu – home turf

The home and host of the NEOC will find its regional representative on Sunday March 3 at its own REOC.

Wellington and Wairarapa

This region’s finest excavator operators didn’t battle it out until February 23rd while the mag was at the printer. It was held at the Upper Hutt Summer Carnival, held at Trentham Memorial Park.

Canterbury/Westland newbie

The regional winner was novice Kahen Wilson from Schick Civil Construction. Second was experienced operator, Tom Fortune from CB Civil.

Otago sends another veteran

The regional winner was another NEOC veteran, Josh Keane from Southroads. In second place was Jesse Richardson (JGR Contracting), and in third place Jason Cooper (Andrew Haulage 2011).

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