Tecfest NZ ran its 4th annual event over the weekend of May 6th-8th in Taupo, New Zealand. We couldn’t have asked for better conditions for the event with beautiful calm, warm and sunny conditions topside and great visibility and a balmy 17 degree water temperature.
For the first time this year PADI got involved in the annual TecFest NZ in Taupo to promote PADI TecRec programmes. A unique event in which the main objective of the event is actually go diving, rather than talk about it. 120 interested divers from all around the country attended this year’s event with many saying it was the best one yet.
Another big draw card was the high caliber of guest speakers:
Dr Simon Mitchell is a passionate diver and recognised as a leading international authority on diving and hyperbaric medicine. Simon conducted 2 presentations, the first on “Decompression Planning: how it works and current controversies” and the second on “Breathing Underwater: the respiratory challenges of deep compressed gas dives.” If you have ever had the pleasure of listening to Simon present you will know these were extremely interesting and very well attended.
Pete Mesley inspired us all with his presentations on “Are Rebreathers Really the way to go in Technical Diving?” and ”So you have just done your initial Tech course – What next? Opportunities for Today’s Technical Diver” After a recent trip to the Great Lakes and photos from both there and Truk Lagoon included in his presentation Pete ignited everyone’s ‘Lust for Rust‘!
Matt Carter – marine archaeologist and presenter from Coast NZ gave 2 great talks on the “Exploration of the final frontier: maritime archaeology, tech diving and the deep shipwreck resource” along with “Maritime archaeology in New Zealand, an untapped historical treasure.”
Tom Crisp has a passion for cave diving like no other! His ‘The Push For More’ presentation all about his cave exploration in New Zealand was fascinating – who knew we had so many untapped cave systems to discover and explore.
With attendees ranging in experience from newly certified Open Water divers right the way through to experts in their field and highly regarded technical divers and Instructors it was great to be surrounded by like-minded individuals all there for the same reason…Technical Diving.
Try dives were available in Full Face Mask, Twin Sets, Scooters and Sidemount. Divers were also out boat diving around the lake, drift diving the river and just generally having a good time!
It was fantastic to have Senior Constable Paul Ferguson give a talk about life as a Police Diver, the equipment they use and areas they dive and on a more serious note, some statistics around incidents here in NZ, whats going wrong and what dive practices (or lack of) are contributing to this high incident rate – something no matter what level diver you are we all need know.
Regional Manager Jen Clent was joined at TecFest NZ by PADI Regional Training Consultant and passionate tehcnical diver Junya Kato who took everyone through the PADI TecRec Courses available including both Open Circuit and Rebreather Courses for both diver level and Instructor level.
New Zealand Recreational Dive Industry Group (NZRIDG ) Chair Richard Taylor gave industry an update on the newly formed New Representative Peak Body for the Recreational Diving Industry in New Zealand along with an overview of the new Health & Safety regulations, Adventure Activities System and Certificate of Competence.
So, overall a fantastic weekend was had by all, many newly inspired divers with a new set of diving goals to achieve left Taupo happy after 3 great days. Divers now keen to dive a new wreck, head to a new destination or assist mapping marine archaeology sites all with the knowledge of how to get there. A big thanks to TecFest NZ organisers Chris Clarke and Brent McFadden.
If you would like any further information on PADI TecRec programmes or how you can achieve that next PADI rating please contact your PADI Regional Manager or Regional Training Consultant or visit padi.com.