On Friday 16 September, 80 SCNZ members (and partners) descended on "The Old Church" in Napier for SCNZ’s Steel Agenda (AGM & Conference).

The first part of the afternoon session opened with a Fabricator Forum. Terry Buchan, Auckland Regional Manager at Hawkins Construction, gave an overview of the company’s key projects and outlined what they look for when selecting a steel contractor/partner. Terry also explored competing with offshore steel and how fabricators can provide a better service and make themselves more attractive than overseas fabricated steel.

This was followed by a Client Panel Discussion, which gave delegates the opportunity to put questions to an expert panel on the Steel Fabricator Certification scheme, fabricator selection and the future of the structural steel market. The Panel consisted of two main contractors (Terry Buchan – Hawkins Construction and Steve Meek – Gemco); an engineer (Guy Lethbridge – Strata Group); and a welding inspector (Rob Penney – Southern QA).

The Fabricator Forum concluded with the SCNZ Annual General Meeting (AGM), at which Mike Sullivan (D&H Steel Construction and past SCNZ Chairman) thanked Alistair Fussell, the outgoing SCNZ Manager, for his huge contribution to the organisation.

Following a short break Alistair Fussell welcomed everyone to the General Member Forum – his last event as SCNZ Manager – and introduced a series of diverse, informative and inspirational speakers.

Rob Penney, Director/Technical Manager at Southern QA, outlined valuable observations on quality assurance of imported steel materials and structures. Rob highlighted local fabrication issues, acknowledged the SFC scheme as “very beneficial” and called for more robust material checking for both local and overseas manufacture.

Bob Hawley, Managing Director of Red Steel, gave an interesting insight into the design and construction of Delegat Winery – a new purpose built wine making facility in Hawke’s Bay.

Lawrence Yule, The Mayor of Hastings, then took to the podium to discuss growth pressures and changes facing New Zealand and Hawke’s Bay; before helping HERA’s Michail Karpenko to present certificates to the latest round of fabricators to achieve Steel Fabricator Certification.

Sam Hazledine, Keynote Speaker

Keynote speaker Sam Hazledine, Ernst & Young and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, combined his proven and much decorated business experience with energy and enthusiasm to memorably wrap-up the afternoon session.

Following the General Forum came networking drinks and the highly enjoyable evening gala dinner. Everyone was kept entertained by the down-to-earth and extremely funny Jamie Fitzgerald, world-class adventurer and leadership development consultant, who took on the job of post-dinner speaker.

The event concluded with the presentation of the inaugural Apprentice of the Year Award.