Operator of the Year

The Operator of the Year Award is an acknowledgement by industry peers to an individual who has stood out in their efforts to improve themselves, their team or the profession.

This award is open to all WIOG members in the water and wastewater treatment and reticulation fields. This individual will stand out for their dedication, passion and commitment to the industry.

The prize is a choice of attendance to the Water NZ Annual conference, or a trip to the WIOA Victorian conference in Bendigo, Australia, including a study tour with the travelling WIOG group. The Operator of the Year Award is generously sponsored by WIOG.

The recipient will be announced at the WIOG annual conference and in various water industry publications.

Young Operator of the Year

The Young Operator of the Year Award (under 25 years old) is an acknowledgement, by industry peers, of a water industry trainee who has stood out with their enthusiasm and passion to learn about the water industry and demonstrated excellent progress in their training.

The recipient must be a current financial member of WIOG, and will be recognised at the WIOG Annual Conference and in various water industry publications.

The prize is for the winner to attend the forthcoming WIOG conference, so they may receive their award in person. The prize will include flights, accommodation, meals, and registration.

They will also travel with the WIOG tour group to the WIOA Victorian conference in Bendigo, Australia and be given opportunity to take part in an exchange programme in Australia. All expenses paid.

 The Young Operator of the Year Award is generously sponsored by Hall Machinery

Mentor of the Year

The Mentor of the Year Award is an acknowledgement by industry peers to an individual who has been a fantastic role model, a great person to work with and someone whose ability you want to be recognised.

Award Criteria

  • Demonstrates an outstanding commitment to training.
  • Support and encourages trainees and ensures training is implemented.

This year’s Mentor of the Year recipient will receive a trip to the WIOA Victorian conference in Bendigo, Australia, including a study tour with the travelling WIOG group

The recipient will be announced at the WIOG annual conference and in various water industry publications.

The Mentor of the Year Award is generously sponsored by Connexis

Te Oranga Wai

This is an opportunity to share your innovative ideas with other Members. Applications for the Te Oranga Wai prize are now open No prerequisite exists, just a drive for self- improvement or improvement of the wider water industry.

This award is open to all current individual WIOG Members. Corporate Supporters are not eligible however individual Members employed by Corporate Supporters may apply.

Applicants are asked to submit a report on one of the following:

  1. A project related to the New Zealand water or wastewater industries and provide details on how the project could benefit the industry (ideas need not be limited to treatment plants but can be ideas based on education, community awareness, human resources, research etc); or
  1. Ways in which you have personally contributed to the community through your work experience etc, within the water or wastewater industries and provide details how this could be applied to help improve the water or wastewater system in a developing country.

 The Te Oranga Wai Award is generously sponsored by Thermo Fisher Scientific

2017 Awards for Papers

Best Operator Paper - Steve Watt, Wellington Water.  "900mm dia Flextend installation on a water bulk main". Steve spoke on how the improvement will ensure disruption to supply is limited in the event of an earthquake and the work was programmed around a very busy stretch of roading.   Steve will travel to Australia with the kiwi contingent to the WIOA Bendigo conference as his prize which is sponsored by MERCK. Steve's prize, sponsored by Merck, is a trip to WIOA Bendigo conference in September.

Operator Paper - 2nd Prize - Mike Binns, Wellington Water "Optimising sludge- dewatering benefits from shared water services". Mike's paper was based around the limitations that arose with increasing landfill dumping costs and quantities, the implementation of emotion and sludge dewatering benefits. Sponsored by Merck,Mike wins a $250 prize.

Operator Paper - 3rd Prize -  Ben Street "Waste Water microfiltration - Cleaning up the Motueka Estuary". This was a very interesting paper on  the work achieved with this project which certainly has potential in other situations around our country. Sponsored by Merck,Ben wins a $100 prize.  

Best Supplier Paper - "The Peeky Cup"  Andrew Shilton, Massey University.   Andrew introduced two new developments in the waste water field ; Advanced Extraction Modules , and Supercritical UV Disinfection. These technologies are set to improve and enhance the industry and we look forward to seeing their use in our systems soon.

2017 Awards

Operator of the Year - Awarded to Lucky Kabuji of Downer Queenstown.

Young Operator of the Year - Awarded to Caitlin Robertson,Dunedin City Council. 

Mentor of the Year - Awarded to Kevin Sears, Taupo District Council. 

Te Oranga Wai - Awarded to Kathryn Russell, CDHB. Sponsored by ThermoFisher.

Sonny Katae Operators Award Trophy - Awarded to the winning team of the Operators' competitions  that run throughout the conference. This year's winners were a team of our Australian colleagues from the WIOA Tour group. This year in a very generous gesture, the Australian team chose not to take the trophy or the prizes back to Australia with them. The prize items were auctioned off by a very accomplished auctioneer at the Awards Dinner, and the proceeds have been donated to WIOG's Welfare Fund.  

Please note that the Operator of the Year, Young Operator of the Year, and Mentor of the Year awards are for the financial year and are awarded at our May conference which falls in the following financial year. eg: the awards for 2013 are awarded at the 2014 conference. All applicants must be current members of WIOG.

Life Members

There is no greater honour in any organisation than to be awarded  "life membership".  This year two were awarded at the Queenstown conference.

Congratulations to Martyn Simpson, Connexis ITO and Graeme Thacker,  Filtec who have both made outstanding contributions to our industry.

We are very lucky as an organisation to have members who are not only very skilled in their areas of work but also spend so much of their time ensuring we receive knowledge and support to continue to provide services of high standards to our customers.

I D I O T S

WIOG honours its long serving, hard working and passionate members by  inducting them as Inducted Delegates of the Inextricably Obstructed Tap Society.   

At the 2017 Conference, two IDIOTS were presented with a gold Twisted Tap in recognition of their long and ongoing commitment to WIOG.  

DAMIAN LAWSEN  is a current Committee Member and Director of Alpha Pipelines, Whakatane.  

GREG GORDON, is a former Committee member and employee of Filtec, Dunedin .

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