The Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand (OFPANZ) recently held its Conference and Trade Expo in Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. With only a few minor travel interruptions due to snow, the conference was a huge success. Trade presentations and workshops on a range of topics—from the evolution of shade sails, including the process of material manufacturing and future trends, to welding processes, machine maintenance, and building consents and regulatory issues in New Zealand. Delegates taking copious notes indicated that the speakers offered valuable information.
Beyond the conference, delegates tried curling in the OFPANZ Challenge, relaxing in the famous Below Zero Ice Bar and enjoying the Gala Dinner at the Skyline Restaurant at the top of the Gondola ride overlooking Queenstown.
This year’s Awards for Excellence program received an outstanding 69 high calibre entries, which made judging difficult, so a review of categories for next year’s competition is being considered.
The winning entries included:
- Baytex Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Mt. Maunganui, for Awnings and Canopies
- Cool Awnings Ltd., Auckland, for Blinds and Screens
- The Boat Cover Co., Auckland, for Marine Applications
- Douglas Auto and Marine Upholstery (2008) Ltd., Hastings, for Trimming and Upholstery
- 0800 Sunshade (2008) Ltd., Hastings, for Shade Structures (domestic)
- Douglas Auto and Marine Upholstery (2008) Ltd., Hastings, for Shade Structures (commercial)
- Fabric Structure Systems Ltd., Auckland, for Tension Structures (greater than 250sqm)
- 0800 Sunshade (2008) Ltd., Hastings, for Tension Structures (less than 250sqm)
- Baytex Manufacturing Co Ltd, Mt Maunganui, in the General category
- Canvasland Holdings Ltd., Levin, for Inflatables
- W.A. Coppins Ltd., Motueka, in the Innovation category
Fabric Structure Systems Ltd., Auckland, was the Supreme Winner for its entry “The Cloud.”
Kathy Mattson of IFAI attended and gave an overview of the 100-year celebration in Boston this year; many OFPANZ members are now looking forward to attending.