Riki Lum wins 25th National Excavator Competition

The winner was announced at an awards dinner following two days of intense competition against the country’s top excavator operators

After two days of intense competition against the country’s top excavators at Central District Field Days in Feilding, Rimi Lum was named the winner of the National Excavator Operator Competition.


Rimi is from Kiripaka in Whangarei and works as an excavator operator for Northland-based civil construction company Clements Contractors.

He thanked the competition judges and officials for inspiring him to improve his skills over the past year, particularly James Lux, the 2013 competition champion who now sets and judges the One-Day Job Challenge – a technical challenge Riki had struggled with in the previous year’s competition.

"James, you made me step my game up. Last year, I had the skills on the course, but I had nothing in the One-Day Job," said Rimi, who scored more than 20% points above his nearest rival in the challenge, also earning him the coveted One-Day Job Cup in addition to the national title.

Organised by national association Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ), the competition saw the 10 regional champion excavator operators navigate a two-day long course to test their skills against one another using Hitachi excavators.


Jim Beamsley of Central Demolition in Palmerston North took second place in the competition while Josh Keane of SouthRoads in Otago took third.

Congratulating Riki on his victory, CCNZ chief executive Peter Silcock said, "It was great to see Riki step up to take the title. He showed he is a real craftsman. The competitors should all be proud of what they have achieved, and they will be better operators for the experience."

A mini-dig for children was operated by the Doug the Digger Roadshow, giving around 400 children a feel for what it’s like to operate an excavator and raising more than $500 for the Child Cancer Foundation.

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