Association News, C&L, CANZ, Cranes & Lifting, Industry News, New Zealand

CANZ CEO Report: Coordinated lobbying from industry groups helps gain traction

Pictures taken from the 2023 CANZ conference.

Working with relevant industry groups, The Crane Association of New Zealand (CANZ) is gaining momentum on behalf of the industry.

By the time this is published New Zealand will have ushered in a new government, following the election in mid-October. At the time of writing we only have the polls to go on, so whilst we don’t know the configuration of parties that will end up in the Beehive in Wellington, it is clear that many New Zealanders want a change.

In order to ensure that the key issues facing the crane industry in New Zealand are not lost with any transition, the Crane Association of New Zealand (CANZ) has established lines of communication with all key parties. We have met relevant ministers and spokespeople across the various parties to discuss the woefully delayed Plant, Structure and Working at Height regulations.  

Immigration and vocational education are also on our priority list. In order to ensure our voice is not lost, as a relatively small industry, we have joined forces with peer industry associations. The CEOs of each of these associations; scaffolding, roofing, elevated work platforms and equipment hire have undertaken a joint lobbying effort to make sure the delayed regulations don’t completely fall off the radar.

Pictures taken from the 2023 CANZ conference.
Lou Sapio from MAX Academy provided interested insights into training during the CANZ conference.

The response from the opposition parties was swift, but we only received a response from the current government after parliament had dissolved in order to undertake election campaigning. It felt more than a little underwhelming – particularly as months of lobbying had gone unacknowledged. Promises made on that call will be filed away and we’ll play the hand we’re dealt post-election.

It has been an excellent demonstration however, of how working together with peer industries can achieve results, and we didn’t even need to resort to our plan B – driving a crane onto parliament grounds to hand-deliver our message. An idea suggested in jest but in moments of frustration at the silence from government, it found its way onto the “why not” list of options.

Our role as industry association is to ensure that the voice of our members is heard, and we have managed to do that which is a great result. The next steps will depend on who will make up the 54th parliament of New Zealand, but rest assured whoever it is we’ll be there on day one making our case for fit for purpose regulations for the New Zealand crane industry.

Despite the frustration being felt in the business sector, the crane industry showed real heart at the annual conference in July, raising $6,000 for Mates in Construction. The team from Mates do an amazing job in Australia and New Zealand, working to prevent suicide in the construction industry. The presentation by their case worker and their presence in the exhibition hall at the conference, truly struck a chord. 

Donations from “fines” (you need to attend a CANZ conference to experience this!) an auction and ad hoc donations throughout the night totalled nearly $6,000 and our events team rounded it up with a donation of their own. Words couldn’t do the fundraising justice and the kiwi crane industry showed up for this important cause in a way I won’t ever forget.

The head office of CANZ has a new staff member on board, Ryan Lawson. We welcomed Ryan in September and he’s made a great contribution already in the few short weeks he’s been on the job. He is a great addition to the team, and we’ll be finishing the year out strong, with his support.

CANZ is in the process of standing up its Private Training Establishment called the Port and Crane Academy of New Zealand. This training provider will be focussed on the lifting industry and intends to offer gold standard training for the sector. 

Other initiatives in the training space include an entry level training course and a complete revamp of our level 3 and level 4 qualifications. 


The training space is one CANZ is keenly focussed on, and we’re driven by our key strategic priority to achieve “world class training in our own back yard”. 

The work CICA is doing in the diversity space and with training and roading is great. The relationships being strengthened with our Aussie neighbours is of real benefit to CANZ as we share ideas and partner up to deliver initiatives to further our industry on both sides of the ditch.

Attending the CICA conference in Perth this October will certainly be a highlight to round out a bumpy but overall positive 2023 year.

Here’s hoping we can shake off the pandemic and the long reach it had on our country with a fresh perspective from whichever party ends up in power post-election.

The innovation and growth demonstrated by our members is present in so many of our commercial sectors in New Zealand. Kiwis are launching rockets from Mahia, live ball tracking and graphics for global golf broadcasting from Dunedin, and making world class movies from Miramar.

This is who kiwis are, this is who our members are, and I’m proud to support the fabulous kiwi crane industry. 

Sarah Toase
Chief Executive Officer
Crane Association of New Zealand

Pictures taken from the 2023 CANZ conference.
The Crane Manufacturers Panel was a popular session, as always.
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