Review of OFPANZ Conference 2023

ofpanz 2023 conference waves of change

The Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand (OFPANZ) held its annual Conference and Trade Show at Trinity Wharf in Tauranga between the 24th and 26th of August.

As in the past, the conference brought together a diverse range of speakers and workshops, offering a variety of education, social and professional networking opportunities. At the 35th annual conference, visitors, exhibitors and sponsors were once again provided with a valuable opportunity to inspire their work in the outdoor fabrics and specialised textiles industry.

Approximately 160 people from those in the industry and including suppliers participated over the three day event.

On Friday evening, the annual awards dinner took place, dedicated to recognizing the exceptional accomplishments of business owners and trade professionals throughout the year. The event featured a multitude of entries spanning various categories. Serving as a judge for all the designs and technical achievements must have presented quite a challenging task.

The night truly celebrated some outstanding businesses and people for their remarkable achievements.

Carr New Zealand has been a long-term supporter of the Industrial Textile Apprentice of the Year Award, with us again providing a tool to be given to the well-deserving recipient. As in the past, we provided the choice of a Leister Triac AT Fabrication Kit or a Leister Solano AT, so the winner had a tool that would be right for them.

For this year’s competition, apprentices were briefed to create an innovative solution or product enhancement, using just 1.8 square metres of outdoor fabric. Georgie Fry, an industrial upholstery apprentice from Douglas Outdoors & Textile Innovation in Hastings, was crowned Industrial Textile Apprentice of Year for her well designed injury-support harness for dogs. Her proficiency in both the design process and the final product was evident. Congratulations Georgie! We have no doubt that you’ll make excellent use of your new Leister Triac AT Fabrication Kit.


Winning Apprentice of the Year, Georgie Fry (centre) and Carr New Zealand’s Leister Category Manager, Matthew Allen (far right)