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Ngarimu finalist in excellence awards

Eastland Network assets and planning manager Mikaere Ngarimu has been named as a finalist at the 11th annual New Zealand Energy Excellence Awards.

Mr Ngarimu is one of three finalists for the title of Young Energy Professional of the Year.

Judges highlighted the volume and diversity of entries in this category, noting that it said a lot about the future leadership across the energy sector.

Eastland Network general manager Jarred Moroney said the recognition was testament to the high regard in which Mr Ngarimu was held, both within the industry and among his workmates.

“Mikaere is just a great leader and a great guy.

“He started as a graduate engineer at Eastland Network nine years ago, and has steadily progressed. Now, he's leading the complete overhaul, redesign and development of Eastland Network's asset management plan.

“He's identifying how we can allocate our spend, and reinventing the network's asset inspection regime. Mikaere and the wider team have also developed a comprehensive management strategy to help lessen the impacts of trees on the network's assets.

“The benefit of Mikaere's hard work and innovation will, ultimately, be a more secure power supply for the community and the place we all call home.”

Mr Ngarimu grew up off the grid in Whareponga on the East Coast. When he was 11, he and his father Willie installed a micro hydro unit for the family's home. The 1.5kW micro hydro scheme also has two solar panels charging some batteries and is still working today, 20 years later.

It was this project that inspired his desire for a career in the electricity industry.

“I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to be taught by such great people and also work alongside a good team who have supported my progression through the years,” Mr Ngarimu said.

Eastland Group chief executive Matt Todd said being named as a finalist out of a strong field of nominees from around the country was a significant achievement,

“What makes Mikaere uniquely suited to his role is the fact that he is a te reo-speaking Maori from the far reaches of the East Coast.

“Through who he is and what he has achieved, he has mana in the profession he works in and the community where he lives.

“Mikaere embodies our desire to identify and develop young talent. We are extremely proud to have one of our own as a finalist in the awards and wish Mikaere all the best.”

At the 2019 New Zealand Energy Excellence Awards, Eastland Network received the Wellbeing Award for their workplace initiative “Mind Matters”.

This year's ceremony is on March 10 in Auckland.

BUNDLE OF ENERGY: Eastland Network assets and planning manager Mikaere Ngarimu has been named as a finalist at the 11th annual New Zealand Energy Excellence Awards. Picture supplied