Apprentice of the Year regional winners announced
Tauranga building apprentice Kaleb Hyndman has been named the Bay of Plenty/Central Plateau 2021 Registered Master Builders Carters Apprentice of the Year.
The 21-year-old was trained through BCITO and is employed by Calley Homes.
The Apprentice of the Year competition recognises excellence among carpentry apprentices and raises awareness of career opportunities in the building and construction industry. The competition tests future sector leaders' project management, business, presentation and practical skills.
For the regional competition, each apprentice had to initially submit a building project before taking part in a two-hour practical challenge where they were tasked with building a shoe rack.
The top 10 from each region then progressed to the interview stage with a judging panel and an onsite visit to discuss their project.
The top apprentice from each region will then go on to compete in the Master Builders National competition. This includes a 45-minute interview with the national judging panel and an additional six-hour practical skills test.
Judges said Tauranga's Kaleb Hyndman scored extremely high in his written application.
"His understanding of his project was excellent, and he has clear goals for the future. His practical build was very tidy, and his site visit stood out, particularly in the way he handled himself and explained the build.
"Whilst the competition was very tight this year, Kaleb showed that he is an outstanding apprentice and a deserving regional winner."
Tauranga building apprentice Damien Quarrie placed second in the competition.
Quarrie trained through BCITO and is employed by Diack Homes.
Judges said Quarrie consistently displayed sound knowledge of the industry, which landed him in the top-scoring section.
"Two of the areas where he stood out were his teamwork and reliability during the site visit and the quality of his project submission.
"We look forward to seeing him continue to grow and succeed.
Taupo building apprentice Angus McNicol placed third.
McNicol also trained with BCITO and is employed with Lilburn Builders Limited.
Judges said McNicol displayed many strengths by skilfully articulating the importance of teamwork and telling a great story of his project and its challenges during the interview.
"He understands the importance of health and safety, and his team spoke very highly of him.
"During the practical, it was clear that Angus had prepped himself well, and during the site visit he had a tidy tool kit."
Chemist Warehouse coming to Bayfair Shopping Centre
Bayfair Shopping Centre has confirmed pharmacy retailer Chemist Warehouse will open at the former Imbibe site near Caltex.
Monarch (2018) Limited – trading as Imbibe Bar and Restaurant – at 19 Girven Rd went into receivership on March 5 last year before going into liquidation.
Insolvency practitioner Ryan Eathorne said the landlord formally entered back into possession of the premises "a number of months ago" therefore his role as liquidator had ceased.
The site has been empty since last year. But this week, a spokeswoman for AMP Capital, which manages Bayfair Shopping Centre, confirmed the new tenant would be the Chemist Warehouse but could not comment further.
Sharon Shea appointed Māori Health Authority co-chairperson
Bay of Plenty District Health Board chairperson Sharon Shea has been appointed co-chairperson of the Māori Health Authority.
Shea says it is now time for New Zealanders to be bold and courageous regarding the potential benefits of the health sector reform.
"I believe in how we treat people, matters; how we think and act matters; what we do, matters and how we serve others, matters.
"Inherent in this whakāro, is a belief that implementing Te Tiriti o Waitangi with integrity is a powerful disruptor for positive good.
"Accordingly, any opportunity to provide leadership which supports transforming intergenerational cycles of disadvantage to advantage and to support enduring and positive intergenerational change, matters to me."
Shea is one of a group of people with extensive and wide-ranging governance and health experience whose appointments to lead the Māori Health Authority and Health New Zealand were announced by Health Minister Andrew Little on September 23.
She said the creation of the Māori Health Authority marked "a moment of significance in our history".
"I have every confidence that collectively, we can make a sustainable difference in supporting those who need our support the most."
Health New Zealand will bring together the country's 20 DHBs, a workforce of about 80,000, an annual operating budget of $20 billion and an asset base of about $24 billion.
The Māori Health Authority will work alongside Health New Zealand with a joint role in developing system plans, commissioning for primary and community services, and will commission kaupapa Māori services.
The Māori Health Authority will also work alongside the Ministry of Health to develop strategies and policies that work for Māori.
BOPDHB chief executive Pete Chandler noted Shea's strong leadership qualities in congratulating her on her appointments.
"We're thrilled that Sharon has been appointed to these new transformational roles," said Pete. "She has energised our DHB and driven the embedding of equity focus in all that we do and will bring strong leadership drive to shaping the new national health system."
Catherine McGrath appointed Westpac New Zealand chief executive
Westpac Group chief executive Peter King and the Westpac New Zealand Board have announced the appointment of Catherine McGrath as chief executive officer of Westpac New Zealand.
McGrath recently returned to New Zealand from London where she was head of channels for Barclays Group, having previously held several senior leadership roles at Barclays since 2013.
McGrath said it was a great privilege to be appointed to the role.
"I am excited by the opportunity ahead and the role we can play in supporting New Zealand."
McGrath's banking career started at the Bank of New Zealand. Since then, she has driven large-scale transformations at some of the world's best-known banks, including Barclays Group and Lloyds TSB in the UK.
King said McGrath was an experienced and well-respected financial services leader.
"The Westpac New Zealand Board and I are delighted she has accepted this critical role leading the New Zealand business and as a member of the Westpac Group executive team."
He also acknowledged Simon Power who has acted in the role while the company undertook a global search.
"Simon took on the role at a challenging time and we are grateful for his leadership."
Pip Greenwood, chair-elect of the Board of Westpac New Zealand, said Westpac would benefit from McGrath's deep experience in local and UK markets and her success at leading large teams.
"Catherine joins Westpac New Zealand at a time of opportunity for our business, as we support New Zealanders through the challenges of Covid-19, and we seek to differentiate ourselves through leading customer service."
McGrath will start as chief executive on November 15, subject to regulatory approvals in Australia and New Zealand. Simon Power will continue to act in the role in the interim, before returning to his role as general manager of institutional and business banking.
Prue Kapua to oversee NZ Police Women's Advisory Network
Rotorua-born Prue Kapua will now oversee the New Zealand Police Women's Advisory Network, which exists to support women in police in reaching their full potential.
As well as becoming the independent chair of the Women's Advisory Network, Kapua is also president of the Māori Women's Welfare League, is chairperson of the Women's Advisory Network Governance Group and is a practising lawyer specialising in claims made to the Waitangi Tribunal. She also sits on myriad boards and trusts.
One of Kapua's goals for New Zealand Police was "an increase in numbers at all levels".
"The recruitment issue is fine. It's good to have targets, and certainly, those targets are on their way to being met, because they're looking at the increased number of more diverse recruits.
"But that doesn't answer the issue about the promotion in the ranks, through the constabulary, because that's the most obvious face of the police to the community.
"We still have disproportionate numbers at the higher levels."
Kapua, of Ngāti Whakaue and Ngāti Kahungunu iwi descent, was born and grew up in Rotorua and left to attend university in Auckland where she studied law.
Her first job out of university was with the Race Relations Office. She then joined the office of one-time Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer to work on matters relating to the Treaty of Waitangi.
"I enjoyed it because it was quite a reforming time," she said.
She then went into private practice law and has owned her own law firm since 2001.
Tauranga Boys' College wins in 'Dragon's Den' style business pitches
A Tauranga Boys' College student was part of a winning team in Education New Zealand's inaugural BizVenture Programme, pitching a business solution that tackles the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.
Benjamin Young was one of five high schoolers from across New Zealand to be crowned winners in the pilot initiative led by Education New Zealand and its Japanese partners.
Young competed in a three-day virtual exchange with 40 specially selected students from New Zealand and Japan from September 18 to 20.
Teams had to choose one challenge addressing some of Japan's pressing social issues, before designing and presenting a business plan in a 'Dragon's Den' style pitch to judges.
Each team answered one of three briefs surrounding relative poverty, gender equality or youth mental wellbeing.
The winning New Zealand team included Hamish Robinson from Napier's Taradale High School, Benjamin Young from Tauranga Boys' College, Daniel Blight from Nelson's Waimea College, Kaiah Sherriff from Southland Girls High School, and Abirami Kabilan of Auckland's Pakuranga College.
The budding entrepreneurs pitched a concept to develop a sustainable clothing brand called 大丈夫, which translates in English to "It's Okay" to promote positive conversations around mental health among Japanese youth.
Their pitch included ambitions to gain the support of high-reach Japanese influencers to help push their critical wellbeing message.
"While a clothing brand in itself is not particularly creative, we feel our idea to use clothing as a way to push our message about the importance of mental health is," their business plan explained.
"Using clothing to spread our message is distinctly unique in Japan, a nation with negative stigma surrounding mental health."
Mercury cleared to acquire Trustpower's retail business
The Commerce Commission has granted clearance for Mercury NZ Limited to acquire Trustpower Limited's retail business.
Deputy chair Sue Begg said the Commission is satisfied that the acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any New Zealand market.
The Commission analysed the competitive impact of the proposed acquisition on the retail supply of electricity, and separately the retail supply of reticulated natural gas, to residential and small-to-medium enterprise customers.
Central to the Commission's decision was its assessment of the extent to which Mercury, Trustpower and other electricity and gas retailers compete with one another in different regions of New Zealand.
"Our investigation indicated that there are no regions in New Zealand where Mercury and Trustpower are each other's closest competitors. Further, the merged entity would face competition from other electricity and gas retailers..." Begg said.
"Our investigation, therefore, found that the proposed acquisition would not have a significant detrimental effect on competition when compared with what would likely happen if the merger did not proceed."
However, Begg said its investigation did reveal differences in the level of competitive intensity, and in prices being offered, in different regions.
"Several parties also raised concerns about retail competition in electricity in Tauranga, and in particular about the effect of the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT) rebate.
"We encourage consumers – in Tauranga and elsewhere – to shop around to make sure they are getting the best deal, taking into account any applicable rebates and other terms."
A public version of the written reasons for the decision will be available on the Commission's case register in the near future.
Dr Tawa Hunter named New Zealand Junior Doctor of the Year
She left school at age 16 and had four children before trying for medical school. Now Rotorua Hospital's Dr Tawa Hunter has been recognised as New Zealand's Junior Doctor of the Year.
Staff at Rotorua Hospital this week honoured her achievement with a haka and presentation.
The award is under the jurisdiction of the New Zealand Medical Council and Hunter will now be considered alongside the Australian winners for the overall prize in a virtual ceremony next month.
The 45-year-old said her path to becoming a doctor wasn't easy but it was one she hoped other people – particularly Māori mothers - could aspire to follow.
"I left school at 16 and didn't have any academic stuff behind me.
"I was a mum at 19 and came from a world of 'you've ruined your life' and then thrust into the opposite end of the spectrum," she said.
Hunter was 36 and a jewellery designer when she embarked on a career change.
She gave birth to her fifth child while in the middle of her third year of medical school and took a year out from study. Overall, it took her eight years to earn her degree.
She said her children and family were her biggest supporters throughout her study.
"...you can do anything you want in your life. All you need to do is keep working towards your goal.
"We hold ourselves back so much in life. I've not always believed in myself but I've kept doing it anyway."
Te Arawa biosecurity team unsung heroes of Rotorua trout fishing season
Te Arawa Lakes Trust will be leading a comprehensive biosecurity operation to ensure the region's lakes, fish and people are protected from invasive aquatic pests.
The dedicated team of Te Arawa hunga tiaki will be out in force at Tarawera, Rotoiti and Ōkataina lakes in the days leading up to and after the opening day of the trout season on October 2.
The team will be doing boat ramp inspections to ensure boaties are aware of and are following pest management regulations.
While there will be an enhanced presence of Te Arawa hunga tiaki around opening day, Te Arawa Lakes Trust is committed to its biosecurity advocacy mahi year-round.
Te Arawa Lakes Trust biosecurity manager, William Anaru, says since the Trust became involved in the aquatic biosecurity space, interest from the whanau has grown.
The team has been able to add four new officers this year with a total of 19 biosecurity inspectors warranted under the biosecurity act.
"At a time when Covid has impacted employment across our region, this kaupapa not only protects our taonga but it has provided employment and training opportunities for our whānau.
"We want everyone using our lakes to have an enjoyable fishing season and adhering to our biosecurity measures shouldn't hinder this.
"In reality, if we do not take the necessary steps to prevent the spread of pest weed and species now, the long-term health of our lakes and wildlife could be threatened.
"It's vital that everyone on our lakes, regardless of whether they are fishing, water skiing or cruising, thoroughly checks their boat, trailer and gear before and after every trip.
"Our lakes are taonga and even the smallest piece of weed or fish egg can create a major biosecurity issue in a lake or waterway."