Southerners are bringing home some of the spoils from the John Deere New Zealand Technician Awards in Brisbane.
Southland Farm Machinery parts manager Megan Tree, of the Gore branch, won the John Deere parts technician of the year award.
Mrs Tree said she switched from working as a veterinary nurse to become a parts technician about four years ago.
‘‘It was quite a big decision for me to make the leap to become a parts technician, so to have won this award is just incredible.
‘‘I feel truly privileged to have won, as through the testing I have seen just how talented other parts technicians are in New Zealand, there was such a high calibre of finalists.’’
Southland Farm Machinery apprentice Logan Robertson, of the Invercargill branch, won the service apprentice technician of the year award.
Mr Robertson said he felt ‘‘privileged’’ to have made it to the final.
‘‘I am proud to have now won as I am representing my dealership.’’
He would finalise his apprenticeship this year and was looking forward to mentoring the next generation of technicians.
Otago Farm Machinery service technician Greg Bishop, of the Mosgiel branch, won the agriculture service technician of the year award.
Mr Bishop, a dual-tradesman and qualified scientist who specialises in agricultural machinery, beat more than 100 award nominations from across New Zealand and Australia.
After years working in management positions in the dairy sector, he switched careers in 2017 and joined Southland Farm Machinery, he said.
He completed his heavy diesel trade and joined the field service team three years ago.
Since making this transition, he had also completed anauto› electrical trade, which he anticipated would further strengthen the service he offered customers, particularly given John Deere’s intention to launch a range of electric tractors in New Zealand.
‘‘When I was first nominated, I felt super stoked, as it was such a great feeling to have my work appreciated at this level.’’
Technicians were nominated by their dealerships, with input from customers, and then judged on their mechanical and technical expertise through assessments at John Deere’s headquarters in Queensland.
‘‘I was nervous about the testing, but I was very excited to meet my fellow nominees and the John Deere staff.
‘‘It has been a tremendous experience.’’
John Deere Australia and New Zealand managing director Luke Chandler said the awards were established to champion the skill and dedication of the high›performing techs, who provided vital backup support to customers.