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2016 Civil Contractors Conference

Figure 1: Brown gold for the winners of the pub quiz

Josh and I attended the 2016 Civil Contractors conference held in Auckland at the Skycity venue in the heart of the city. It was a really cool experience, where we got to listen to some very inspiring and thoughtful speakers, hear about the latest news concerning contractors and talk to a lot of different people.

The first night we were there, we were treated to a pub quiz by a veteran pub master, who had some interesting questions for us to think about. It was also a chance for us to talk to some new people over a couple or more beers, which was pleasant. My team managed to pull off the win and take away two bags of Whittaker’s chocolate.

The next day, we got up in time to grab some breakfast, a quick workout in the Skycity gym, and settled into the day’s events. First up was Dr Paul Wood, who in his career had been in some very dark places that ended up with an extended stint in prison. It was however in this prison, where he earned a doctorate in psychology. He had some very interesting stories and insights into New Zealand’s high security prisons, as well as some very good advice for dealing with stress, pressure and other life issues.

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Figure 2: Dr Paul Wood explaining how to be calm and diplomatic when faced with an angry gorilla.

After a day of seminars and talking to exhibitors, Josh and I suited up in our costumes and headed off to the ‘Flight of Fancy’ themed dinner held at the MOTAT. This is filled with heaps of really cool historic planes and is well worth a visit if you are in Auckland. Josh and I, dressed as flightless birds, made use of the live band, teaching the old boys a thing or two about modern moves.

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Figure 3: Josh nominated for best costume. Did not win.

The next day, the keynote speaker was an entrepreneur named Ian Taylor. Ian runs Animation Research Ltd, which is an amazing graphics company at the cutting edge of it’s field. The work they carry out includes America’s cup animations, cricket, PGA and heaps of others all orchestrated from a small Dunedin office. He was very inspiring and instructed us all to become more open to pushing the boundaries.

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Figure 4: Ian Taylor from Animation Research Ltd.

The final night had a formal dinner and awards ceremony showcasing and awarding a range of projects. The food was fantastic and the vast differences in projects interesting. It was also good to see how enthusiastic and proud all of the people, involved in all of the projects, were.

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Figure 5: Finalists stage.

Overall, it was an awesome conference and a well worthwhile experience, we both hope to be able to attend again next year.

Thanks very much to Abby and Matt for sponsoring us to get up there.