Awards ceremony at the Connexis Excellence Awards

Two Ventia trainees have had their hard work and skills recognised, winning their categories at the New Zealand Connexis Excellence Awards.

ESI Electrician/Electrical Fitter Joseph Smithey took out the Distribution Trainee of the Year; and third-year electrical apprentice Aramai Tahau won Transmission Trainee of the Year.

The Connexis Excellence Awards celebrate the best and brightest trainees working in New Zealand's electricity supply and telecommunications industries. In particular, the awards recognise those who have made a significant contribution to the industry through their enthusiasm and commitment to industry training.

This year, the judges were looking for an elevated level of excellence during the nominees' training, proof of a positive attitude, dedication to learning, and evidence the nominees are role models to their peers - all attributes Joseph and Aramai have in spades.

Joseph Smithey won the Distribution Trainee of the Year at the Connexis Excellence Awards

Ventia's Andrew Massie, pictured with Joseph Smithey who won the award for Distribution Trainee of the Year at the New Zealand Connexis Excellence Awards.


Joseph Smithey - Distribution Trainee of the Year

Joseph commenced a dual qualification apprenticeship (fitter and ESI electrician) with Ventia in early 2018 and completed it ahead of schedule in 2021. Today he works mostly on the Orion distribution network doing everything from substation maintenance and construction to network maintenance and inspection. He is currently working at Coleridge hydroelectric scheme.

Joseph's work ethic, attention to detail, commitment to safety, and a willingness to go the extra mile, was a winning formula for the judges.

His supervisor, Andrew Massie agreed, saying: "Joseph is such a mature worker with a great amount of common sense. He is extremely resourceful, motivated and self-reliant, and is very capable working remotely supervised and self-directed.

"He also helps less experienced apprentices, giving them sound advice regarding their own apprenticeships,' Andrew said.

I have no doubt with his approachable and focused nature, he will make a fine leader one day.

Aramai Tahau won Transmission Trainee of the Year at the Connexis Excellence Awards

Aramai Tahau won the award for TransmissionTrainee of the Year at the New Zealand Connexis Excellence Awards.

Aramai Tahau - Transmission Trainee of the Year

Aramai is also no stranger to success - as well as taking out this prestigious award, he was recently crowned Ventia's safest driver in the company-wide Safe for Life: All Roads Lead to Home driving competition; and is also a former New Zealand taekwondo representative.

The third-year electrical apprentice started his career with Ventia in 2019 and works with Ventia's Electricity & Gas team in the Bunnythorpe office on New Zealand's North Island. Aramai is excelling in his apprenticeship - currently working towards electrical engineering level four and becoming a registered electrician - which he is due to complete in December.

Aramai's supervisor, Beau Vella, said he is a valued member of the substation maintenance team.

"As a trainee electrician, Aramai has excellent workmanship and is continually demonstrating his knowledge and ability, which gives great confidence to anyone supervising him," Beau said.

"He sets high standards for himself and shows discipline and mindset that has helped him achieve his goals, and will no doubt help him smash the goals he will set in the future.

"Importantly, he also provides the team with valuable contributions when it comes to safety and is constantly looking to improving safety in the workplace and hearing others' thoughts,' said Beau.

He shows great leadership attributes, pushing our team to do things smarter and safer. One thing is certain, Aramai will become a leader in our team and industry.

From everyone at Ventia, congratulations Joseph and Aramai, and thank you for everything you do for your teams and this company. We are very proud of your achievements and to have you on board.