Tiwai Pointer

January to March 2016
Tiwai Pointer

A sea of red!

Thanks to the NZAS Employee Activities Group who once again organised our team for this year’s Surf to City event – a great turnout of NZAS employees and their families, with almost 200 participants.

Well done to Fonterra, who for the second year running won our inter-industry challenge with a higher participation rate of available employees. 

Thank you to David Russell from Southern Exposures for providing the team photo – check out his website for other pictures from the event: www.southernexposures.co.nz

A new generation …

A new generationYear 13 Physics students are pictured with Richard Snoek, Paul King (Head of Physics) & Lily Wallis

Carbon’s Richard Snoek and Lily Wallis along with Andrea Carson (Community Relations) recently gave a presentation to Year 13 physics students at Southland Girls’ High School (SGHS) to promote this year’s NZAS Educational Partnership.

The partnership between SGHS and NZAS is designed to encourage female students to pursue careers within the engineering and science fields.

As well as learning about the benefits of being selected to undertake projects on site, Lily and Richard also talked to the girls about their university studies (including some inter-university rivalry between Auckland and Canterbury!) and career development opportunities at NZAS.

Each year four students are selected for the 6-day placement at NZAS, where they work on their chosen projects including gathering, testing and analysing data.  At the end of the project week they present their project findings.





GLAMA screens active

A pilot project to install screens in Anode Transport Vehicles (ATVs) has just been completed. This marks the first stage in the Carbon Visual Production Systems suite of projects. ATVs move anodes between the Rodding Room and Reduction Lines.

The idea for the Setting and Pallet Status Visualisation (nicknamed ‘GLAMA screen’) was conceived after project leader Richard Snoek spent several weeks riding in the passenger seat of an ATV. “There was a lot of frustration involved in the ATV driving task and this was plainly evident. Most of this frustration revolved around the problem of driving a slow vehicle for a long distance before either being cut off from the final destination, or finding out they were no longer needed at that particular destination,” he said.

ATVs can be obstructed in the tapping aisles by cranes, Reconstruction, aluminium fluoride truck and bath movements to name a few. Sometimes anodes are no longer required at a particular destination as the anode setters have stopped setting in one area and moved to another.

Richard realised that information about setting and tapping status, as well as location of cranes was freely available in databases. This could be displayed in the cab of the ATV to deliver live information on the current areas being set, as well as any potential blockages in the intended route. Additionally, Reduction could utilise an intranet version of the screen to book in unscheduled changes and non-routine work so that the information would be displayed on the screens in the ATV. The driver would then have a visual representation of the shift’s work and could plan his day accordingly.

The effect of highlighting road-blocks before the ATV even sets off from Rodding will enable better route planning, as well as reduced diesel use and vehicle wear. The screen can also be used to inform the Reduction team of the ATV driver’s current workload, as well as ensuring the anode pallets for the next shift are set out in the desired location.

The current version of the screen is a pilot test only. A larger version with more features is in the process of being developed. The pilot screen has been in the ATV cabs for two months and is due to be rolled out to all Reduction teams shortly.

“The difficulty is knowing what information to leave off the screen. There are a lot of different things you can display, so it will take time to refine the screen so it can deliver maximum benefit to the ATV drivers and Reduction teams,” said Richard.

The screen has been well received by the ATV drivers. “The current version of the screen is a promising start,” said Rodding Operator Peter Impelmans. “It still has a long way to go before it displays everything we need, but it is already giving us much more information than we used to have.”

GLAMA screens active

(Left) Richard Snoek & Jeremy Robinson (ATV driver) checking over the GLAMA screen



Tiwai Wharf repairs

The Tiwai Wharf and causeway are reinforced concrete structures built in the late 1960s.  Both structures are owned by South Port while NZAS owns the equipment and services such as conveyors, ship unloader and water pipes.  The smelter pays South Port an operating fee to use them and since 2008 has been undertaking all of the maintenance.

Although they have survived the ravages of time and tide reasonably well, both are in need of ongoing maintenance.  Over time chlorides from the seawater have penetrated the concrete and corrosion has attacked the steel rebar in the concrete.  This is can be seen in the form of rust staining, cracking and spalling of concrete, missing concrete and exposed rebar.  To fix this problem the concrete beams are being reinforced by Fulton Hogan, who are also carrying out the same repairs on the Awarua Bay bridge.

Few people will know that Tiwai Wharf was constructed in three sections and then ‘tied together’ to form one structure.  Firstly the concrete piles were driven into the seabed, then a precast concrete pile cap was placed over each pair of outside piles to link them.  The centre piles were treated similarly.  Precast deck sections were fitted between the centre and edge piles and concrete was then poured along both sides and down the centre to link all the individual components.  Tensioning cables were then inserted into the longitudinal ducts above the outside piles and tightened to provide additional strength and to ensure the solidarity of each section.  Grout was pumped in to fill any remaining voids around the cables to lock them into the structure.  Finally each section was tied to the next with tensioning cables and the joints concreted to make one structure.

Obtaining access to the underside of the wharf is a significant issue as there are no permanent walkways.  Braziers erected a hanging scaffold under the wharf which is attached to the underside of the deck.  Repairs to the deck structure began in 2010 managed by John Moynihan.  The current repairs are managed by Duncan Robbie.

In late 2014 it was discovered that the tensioning cables in a section of the edge beam that link the piles had failed.  As a precaution, the ship unloader was immediately limited to the northern two-thirds of the wharf to avoid the weakened section.   GHD (marine and structural engineers from Australia) was engaged to determine the extent of the problem and design a solution.  This consisted of using ground penetrating radar to detect any voids around the tensioning cables.  A hole was drilled when a void was detected and a fibre optic camera inserted to assess the condition of the cables.

At the same time core samples were taken to assess the depth the chlorides had penetrated the concrete.  Unfortunately chlorides were present in sufficient concentration at the depth of the steelwork which indicated the likely failure of all tensioning cables over the remaining life of the wharf.

GHD’s solution was to encapsulate the lower section of the beams with a u-shaped addition of conventionally reinforced concrete.  When this work is completed it will add approximately 600 tonnes in weight to the existing structure.  To maximise the life of the repairs all steelwork is galvanised, sacrificial anodes consisting of zinc blocks are also encased and the finished concrete coated with a silicon sealer.

The entire project is likely to take another four to five years to complete.  The idea of repairing the wharf seems relatively simple but it is in fact very complex and time consuming!



New NZAS Green Belts

Congratulations to our most recently certified Green Belts.  Throughout 2015 these trainees completed two projects using the Six Sigma process to become fully qualified Green Belts.

Six Sigma is designed to provide a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology to eliminate defects or problems in any process.   With the new Six Sigma tools, a structured process and intensive coaching, Andrew Clark (Carbon), Stephen Payne (Metal Products), Rohit Giridhar (Reduction), Bridget Young (Reduction), Ray Cook (Metal Products), Morgan Vine (Carbon), Barry Simmonds (Commercial), Lily Wallis (Carbon), Marcus Varayud (Metal Products) and Roger Hackett (Assets) are now certified Green Belts.

The value to NZAS generated from this group’s projects exceeded $1.2 million.  The projects all varied in content, but each produced sustainable improvements to the business by following the DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analayse, Improve, Control) process. 

The Green Belts will now complete projects as part of their day-to-day work with the support of their Six Sigma coaches who will continue to assist with the ongoing improvement of their skills.



New information screens for VDC2 furnacemen

Two large furnace information screens have been installed between Y and Z furnaces in VDC2 to supply the furnacemen with the following information:

  • Production schedule
  • Current state of the furnace (including critical fault conditions)
  • Relevant and up-to-date process information

During the course of preparing a furnace the furnacemen are required to make many decisions that will affect when the furnace will be in-specification and at the correct temperature for casting.  Elsewhere in the casthouse it has been shown the accuracy of these decisions can be significantly improved by improving the quality, timeliness and visibility of the information the operators need to consider when making them.  It has also been shown that improved decision making translates into reduced waste and improved productivity and throughput. 

Until now the furnacemen had very little live information available which resulted in them having to make decisions based on past experience.

Examples of the improvements the new screens have created are:

Stirring the furnace
Previously it was difficult for the furnacemen to get the temperature homogeneous and on target while stirring the furnace, because they couldn’t easily see the temperature.  This created the potential for either under-stirring (meaning the furnace was still too hot), or over-stirring (meaning the furnace became too cold).  This created delays and waste while the burners brought the furnace back up to temperature.  The introduction of the screens now enables the furnacemen to see the furnace’s surface, hearth and set point temperatures live as they are stirring the furnace.

Burner issues
Burner problems dominate furnace equipment issues that cause casting delays.  Fault alarms already exist but they are only displayed on the SCADA screens by the casting pit, which is on other side of the furnace to where the furnacemen work.  Often the first indication the furnacemen got that they had a burner issue was when the furnace lost temperature or failed to gain temperature.  But by that time it was too late to avoid delays. 

Scrap melting
Scrap melting is an integral part of the VDC furnace casting cycle.  The maximum amount of heat a burner can produce is governed by the amount of oil flowing to it.  Blocked filters, worn pumps and poor tuning can limit the amount of oil a burner can get.  This can dramatically increase the time taken to melt the scrap.  Previously the furnacemen may only have become aware they had an issue with one or more of their burners by this lack of performance.  The screens now highlight if the oil flow rate to each burner has fallen below a minimum level during scrap melting which means earlier identification of the issue before furnace performance is unduly compromised. 

Live schedule and cycle time information
Another valuable improvement has come from supplying the furnacemen with a range of live schedule and cycle time information - including when the current cast will end and when the next is scheduled to start, how long to go until the current scrap melting cycle ends, and how much more hot metal is needed to fill the furnace.  Supplying this sort of information in a readily accessible format in their workplace enables the furnacemen to plan their work flow more effectively.  Lack of clarity around when things will happen or finish meant the furnacemen found themselves either wasting time waiting for a process to finish or committing to an alternative task which resulted in the current process being delayed while the new task was finished.

If the introduction of the screens reduces overall delays by even 10% then they will generate an additional $170k per annum in net profit and pay for themselves in less than four months. 



Hope bike shorts have great padding … ouch!

Spare a thought for Garry McLister (Metal Products) and Dave Rodgers (Business Improvement) who will be biking an epic 230 kms from Queenstown to Invercargill to raise money for the Westpac Rescue Chopper Appeal next month.  Luckily they are not superstitious as the event will be held on Friday 13 May!

This is the sixth time the charity bike ride has been held and all funds raised go to our local Lakes District Air Rescue Trust.  The Trust has been operating for 25 years and has helicopters based in Queenstown and Te Anau.  The cost to operate the Trust is $1.2 million per annum and only 50% is funded by the Government with the balance from community funding.  Over 450 rescue missions are undertaken by the Trust each year which equates to 650 flying hours.  The number is rising dramatically each year due to rescue beacons being more commonly used.

Garry is a seasoned veteran and has participated in every charity bike ride so far, thanks to encouragement from his wife Fiona, who works for Westpac. 

This year will be Dave’s first time.  “I’ve always thought it was a good cause and in past years I’ve sponsored Garry but wondered about doing it myself.  Up to now 230 kms always seemed a bit much of a step up from the 25 kms to and from work, however I was recently a member of a team competing in the Lake Wanaka Half Ironman and was keen to continue training towards another challenging event.  Having lost six kilos and gained a fair bit of fitness it seemed a pity to lose it all.  The charity ride seemed like a decent sort of incentive to keep going,“ said Dave.  He also likes to spend a bit of time in the hills so has some personal motivation for supporting the rescue chopper appeal.

Garry and Dave will be part of a 65-strong team of riders supporting this very worthy local charity.

Of course the aim of the event is to raise as much money as possible.  The following give-a-little page has been set up:

Please support Team NZAS and get behind this great charity - you never know when you or one of your loved ones may need to call on the services of the rescue chopper. 

Hope bike shorts have great padding 1


Lending a hand

Lending a hand 1
Murray Wood enjoying the beautiful Canadian scenery

In January Murray Wood (Shipping Services) and Jason Laverty (BSL) swapped their summer shorts and jandals for winter woollies and flew to Canada. They were invited to assist in a Kaizen event at the Kitimat Aluminium Smelter addressing challenges with their new‘M-strap’ ingot loading and offering advice on their metal loading process.

The Kitimat smelter is located approximately 650 kms northwest of Vancouver in British Columbia and is part of the Rio Tinto Primary Metals North American group. As part of their recent $4.8 billion (Canadian) upgrade, Kitimat installed two casting machines which manufacture ingots which are the same configuration as NZAS and BSL. This will enable aluminium production capacity at the plant to increase by 48% to approximately 420,000 tonnes per year.

Murray was very impressed with the smelter, “It was a vast site as the expansion of two brand new AP40 potlines and new supporting infrastructure was built around existing operations.”

Unlike NZAS which uses a both employees and stevedores to undertake shipping work, Kitimat’s Shipping Services team do it all themselves - they tie up the ships at the wharf, discharge them and load the metal.

During the visit Murray and Jason assisted the Kitimat team to load an export ship and provided feedback on the process. This was by far the most successful loadout they had carried out to date and showed the steady progress they had made.

They also reviewed the progress Kitimat had made in identifying the root cause of their ingot lifting problems and assessed the short term containments they had implemented.

As the issues with lifting M-straps had serious safety implications, the Kitimat employees had a number of concerns regarding the new system. Considerable time was spent sharing information from the Australasian sites to give them confidence on what a successful outcome could look like.

During the second week of Murray and Jason’s visit the Kaizen was held with a wide range of stakeholders participating. The pooling of talent and enthusiasm soon led to teams breaking out to do equipment changes and trials, which ultimately led to the design of a future state process.

Visiting Canada in the middle of winter was an eye opener for Murray due to the work required to manage snow. A team of loaders and snow ploughs worked full time to keep the roads and access ways clear. Murray found the electric rotary boot cleaners at all building entrances as well as buckets of non-slip grit to spread onto the steps outside rather fascinating (and we think our weather in NZ is cold!).

“When we arrived in Terrace, the nearest town to Kitimat, the rental car was covered in 100 mm of snow and the first sign we saw on the main road said ‘Oct-Mar trucks to carry chains and all cars to have snow tyres fitted’. We soon got the idea it was going to be fairly chilly! The ungroomed snow outside the buildings was approximately ¾ metre deep. The daytime temperatures ranged from -1 to 2oC, but it wasn’t too bad as there was no wind - I felt I should have been feeling colder. Talking with the locals they said I should have been there the previous week when they had Artic winds and -20oC, or February last year when they had 1.7 metres of snow fall over three days which brought the whole town to a standstill!” said Murray.

Employees are looked after in terms of the appropriate PPE at Kitimat with insulated overalls and thermal-lined hardhats as well as good quality thermal gloves. They are also issued with ‘studded’ over-shoes that fit over work boots to make sure people don’t slip on the ice. Murray was admiring one employee’s thermal boots and he replied, “My mind thinks I’m in the Artic but my feet think they’re in Mexico!”

Well done Murray, you did a great job sharing your vast knowledge and flying the NZAS flag.



New Starters – January to March 2016

Welcome to our new starters:

Michael Corcoran – Automation Engineer, Assets

John Young – Process Engineer, Reduction

Tips to prevent leg injuries playing sports

Knee and ankle injuries are common in sports, especially running, tennis, rugby and soccer.  But you can decrease the risk of injury by taking a few simple precautions.  Check out the tips below.

Warm up prior to any sports activity
Always ensure you stretch before and after the game.  Lightly stretch the muscles by doing a slow jog for five minutes to warm up them up.  Don't force the stretch with a ‘bouncing motion’ as this can cause injury.  Use stretches to cover all major muscle groups. 

ACC - Warm Up

ACC - Cool Down

Condition your muscles for the sport
The amount of time spent on the activity should be increased gradually over a period of weeks to build both muscle strength and mobility.  Cross training by participating in different activities can help build the muscles.  It is very important to build up your aerobic fitness.  Consider walking, running, cycling and spinning classes.

Choose athletic shoes specifically for your foot type
People whose feet pronate or who have low arches should choose shoes that provide support in both the front of the shoe and under the arch.  The heel and heel counter (back of the shoe) should be very stable.  Those with a stiffer foot or high arches should choose shoes with more cushioning and a softer platform.  Use sport-specific shoes.  Cross training shoes are a good choice however it is best to use shoes designed specifically for the sport.  Replace when the tread wears out or the heels wear down.

Prevent recurrent injuries
Athletes who have experienced knee or ankle injuries previously may benefit from using a brace or tape to prevent recurrent injuries.

Listen to your body
If you experience foot and ankle pain during a sport, stop the activity or modify until the pain subsides.  If you have been injured you should go through a period of rehabilitation and training before returning to the sport to prevent recurrent injuries.  Address pain and discomfort as it happens, not weeks later.

Remember to treat Injuries with ‘RICE’
Rest:  reduce or stop using the injured area for at least 48 hours.  If you have a leg injury, you may need to stay off it completely

Ice:  put an ice pack on the injured area for 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times per day.  Use a cold pack, ice bag, or a plastic bag filled with crushed ice that has been wrapped in a towel

Compression:  use an elastic bandage which can be used to compress an injured ankle, knee, or wrist to reduce swelling

Elevation:  keep the injured area elevated above the level of the heart to help decrease swelling and use a pillow to help elevate an injured limb


What happens in the Bath Plant?

If you talk about ‘bath’ outside the smelting industry, it probably conjures up thoughts of lots of bubbles and warm water – not so inside the gate.  But, do many of us know what actually happens there?  The mystery is revealed below.

Bath is the molten liquid containing cryolite and alumina in which all of the chemical reactions occur in the reduction process.  When it cools it solidifies.

The Bath Plant operation is an integral part of the management of bath flows both through the Rodding Room and the Reduction Lines and is a 24 hour, seven day a week operation.    

Around 200 tonnes of butt bath is delivered to the Bath Plant daily from:

  • Reduction skips
  • Rodding Room butt cleaner and pallet station
  • Bath cleaned off cells by Reco

This bath is processed to less than 8 mm in size and placed into storage to be fed onto the Sicon conveyor belt for anode cover on Lines 1 and 2, and half of Line 3, as well as Daybins 1 and 2 through the bath blending screws.   These screws feed bath into the Daybins at the same time as the alumina is being conveyed to the bins, which blends them together.  Different percentages can be mixed depending on the speed setting of the screws.

In addition, approximately 60 tonnes of tapped bath is processed every 48 hours.  This is excess bath tapped from the reduction cells and delivered to bunkers at the Bath Plant each shift.  It is loaded into the system and processed to under 28 mm in size.  A by-product of tapped bath is aluminium which is removed for remelting at Metal Products.

This product is also placed into storage bins and some is fed onto the Sicon belt on demand for anode cover on the purity half of Line 3.  The excess is bagged to become a saleable product.

At the beginning of 2015 we had 5,500 tonnes of butt bath in storage of which 1,500 tonnes was in Invercargill.  The Reduction and Shipping Services teams worked hard to ensure that this excess butt bath has been reprocessed to tapped bath which is now a saleable product.  Butt bath storage is now down to around 950 tonnes, with no butt bath product stored in town.  An excellent result and a great example of teams working together.

What happens in the bath plant 1


Our People

Name: Chloe Harvey
Position:  Accountant

How long have you worked at NZAS?
Eight years - I remember my first day when I started as a Commercial Cadet, was just a bit freaky!

Who would you like to be stranded on a desert island with and why?
Channing Tatum, but only if he was able to sing to me like Michael Bublé …

What would you do if you won Lotto?
Fly summer to summer between Queenstown and Whistler (British Columbia, Canada) each year

What is your favourite food?
I have a major sweet tooth and could eat a whole jar of caramel!

What’s the most outstanding memory of your school days?
My last day at high school - was glad for that to be over …

What is your favourite leisure activity?
Not sure if everyone would call it a leisurely activity, but definitely downhill mountainbiking.  If there is a gondola that takes you to the top, even better!

Where’s your favourite place visited in the world?
Whistler during summer - we went there in 2014 and hope to go back soon.  Still so many places in the world I would like to visit

What’s your favourite NZ holiday spot & why?
Queenstown - hubby and I love the mountain bike tracks up there

What were your career aspirations when you were a child?
I always wanted to be a pilot for the Airforce and fly the Hercules

What was your first job?
I had an after school job at the cinema (was Movieland5 at the time) - was the best after school job!

What is your favourite childhood memory?
I have four younger sisters, so growing up in a big family I have so many great childhood memories.  Some of my favourites would have to be our holidays to Wanaka

If you joined the circus, what would you perform?
My sisters would all say the ring master so I could tell them what to do!

How did you meet your husband?
Ryan and I met in Queenstown through a mutual friend - I was there to go bungy jumping

Pimp my ride!

When Kim Watters hurt her heel, she never thought she would get to zip around the Lab on a knee scooter (the kind of thing dreams are made of because walking is so yesterday!).

Kim’s work covers a large area of the lab and with a moon boot on for more than six weeks she has found it difficult to walk.  Crutches are good around home but not an option at work due to the risk of slipping on the floor. 

Her very thoughtful husband, Stormy, arrived home one day with a knee scooter from Southern Mobility so Kim is now able to scoot effortlessly around the lab moving from one job to the next. Although don’t ask her to reverse park.

Donald Ward and the team from the NZAS Electrical Workshop - whose safety focus is second to none - have also played a part in the transformation of Kim’s new wheels.  They pimped up Kim’s knee scooter by installing a red flashing light so everyone can see her coming, although bull bars were left off for obvious reasons.

“People are super jealous that they don’t have one.  Everyone in the lab has had a turn – we even held a competition one lunchtime to see who could scoot furthest down the corridor,” says Kim.

Josh Kingipotiki was the supreme winner of this competition, scooting a magnificent 22.5 metres in one push.  He was very excited about the winner’s prize pack which included 1 free tea or coffee from the Lab cribroom, 1 free bus ride home and free uniform drycleaning for a week.  Rumour has it Josh stayed back every night to practice to make sure he took out the top prize.


Project students moving onwards and upwards

Each summer NZAS recruits second year engineering students to work on site for three months.  The purpose of this scheme is to give the students a valuable opportunity to gain professional experience while studying towards their engineering degrees.

Xavier Sander and Bhargav Dave were this summer’s successful candidates.  Both were based in Reduction with Xavier working for Bill Uru and Brett Wylie, and Bhargav hosted by Shane Tinnock and Jack He.

This was Xavier’s second summer working at NZAS, having previously worked on Crew 2 Line 2.  This year, his first as a project student, was spent investigating cathode ring busbar weld failures where he was involved with the design, testing and analysis of a flexible busbar.  “It was a bit of a shock adjusting to a professional environment this year, less yarns and more technical conversations compared to last,” he said. 

Xavier has now returned to the University of Canterbury and is in his third year of a Mechanical Engineering (Hons.) degree.

This summer was Bhargav Dave’s first year working at NZAS and he was in awe of the scale of the process when he arrived on site.  “I enjoyed my time here immensely and the learning curve was exponential - from the safety aspect to how to function effectively in a workplace,” he said.

Bhargav’s project focussed on whether or not cathode current distribution and/or thermal imaging of collector bars could be used to identify potential failure points within a cell. 

He is now in his fourth and final year of study towards a Chemical and Process Engineering (Hons.) degree at the University of Canterbury.



A slice of Scotland down under

A slice of Scotland down under 1

Bruce Rodgers from the Drawing Office recently enjoyed the experience of a lifetime performing in the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, held in Wellington from 18-21 February.

Scotland's famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo is known as one of the greatest shows on earth. Set against the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, the Tattoo has been watched by millions of people over its 65 year history.

Coming to Wellington for only the second time, a replica of Edinburgh Castle was the backdrop for a cast of 1,200 performers. The traditional Celtic Massed Pipes and Drums, Military Bands and Highland Dancers were joined by a selection of the best cultural and military performers from around the world including Britain, Norway, Switzerland, Ireland, Tonga, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand.

Bruce began learning the bagpipes at ten years old and has always had a love of the celtic music. He has been a member of the Waimatuku Southern Scenic Highland Pipe Band for 28 years. The band was invited to take part in the Wellington event because of their excellent marching skills.

As you can imagine preparation for an event of this scale is nothing short of mind-blowing. The band received the music for the Tattoo in November and practised 2-3 times each week leading up to the event. They had to learn a whopping 25 pieces which were performed as part of the massed bands segments of the show.

The pipe band contingent was made up of 14 bands -six from the United Kingdom, one from Australia and seven from New Zealand.

All 1,200 performers got together just three days before the first performance. Very long hours, including two fifteen hour days, were put in by everyone to ensure the event was world-class. Being part of such a successful international event was a real highlight for Bruce. “I never would have thought you could create a world class show in 2-3 days, but we did it,” he said.

Bruce has always wanted to perform in a Military Tattoo and performing in Wellington was the next best thing to performing in Scotland. In some ways Bruce was pleased to not be part of the Scottish Tattoo who perform a staggering 24 shows, compared to Wellington’s four. “I was knackered enough after a week, imagine what it would be like in Scotland,” laughed Bruce.

Each New Zealand pipe band was mentored by one of the Scottish pipe bands, with Waimatuku partnering with the Royal Scots Borderers. The main advice from the Scots was to relax and make the most of the experience. The Royal Scots Borderers tour the world, so being in Wellington was just another performance for them, whereas for the majority of the Waimatuku contingent, it was probably the highlight of their pipe banding lives - opportunities to play in front of 100,000people don’t come along very often!

Debbie Rankin (Training) was one of the 100,000 people who saw the show. The highlight for her was the Tattoo’s performance of Pokarekere Ana. “I was amazed that this could be coordinated in such a short timeframe and it was lovely to have a kiwi favourite played by everyone,“ she said.

Congratulations to Bruce on being part of such a fantastic international event.