Winger Subaru Pukekohe technician Ryan Grave wins the 2016 Subaru of New Zealand Technical Competition

Winger Subaru Pukekohe Subaru technician Ryan Grave has won the 2016 Subaru of New Zealand Technical Competition (SNZTC).

It was held over two days in November, with the goal of finding the country’s top Subaru technician.

Mr Grave competed with five other Subaru technicians from around New Zealand. These men (named below) all deserve recognition for the effort they put in and the manner in which they competed.

Gary Clarke - Armstrong Subaru Christchurch

Jeff Geary - Nelson Bays Subaru

Craig Packard - Winger Subaru Hamilton

Ollie Ramsay – Nelson Bays Subaru

Matiu Wilde - Farmer Autovillage, Mount Maunganui


Mr Grave was stunned and delighted to be announced the winner, given the calibre of the contestants and the difficulty of the various tasks faced. There were four separate sections to the competition – each designed to test different areas of knowledge and ability.

The first challenge was the exam. This was the same paper that was used at the 2015 Subaru World Technical Competition (SWTC), and provided a great insight for all involved.

This was followed in the afternoon by an electrical test where the technicians could showcase their understanding and ability surrounding wiring diagrams and electrical components. There was also a practical component where they were required to diagnose defects in an electrical circuit.

Day two involved the mechanical and on-car diagnostic sections. These allowed the contestants to demonstrate their assembly skills - whilst taking precise measurements of various components - and their diagnostic skills on a Subaru XV with multiple faults.

Subaru wishes to extend special thanks to our 2015 SWTC second place finisher, Steve Comber, who helped out by hosting this competition. As a guest judge he was impressed with what he saw at the SNZ technical facility this week.

“I was really impressed with the ability of the competitors – these guys would definitely do well on the world stage, and it emphasises the high quality of technicians we have in the Subaru New Zealand dealer network,” Mr Comber says.

As was outlined in the pre-event and the post-event dinner and prize giving, Subaru sees this competition becoming a reoccurring event as the company builds toward growing the base strength of Subaru technicians throughout New Zealand.

Subaru of New Zealand After Sales Manager Tim Barns-Lawton says: “We want the customer experience in New Zealand to be reflective of the can ‘do’ attitude we wish to inculcate nationally and we want to see displayed in all the Subaru workshop environments. These competitors are perfect examples of why we need to foster and grow that expertise nationally.”

“A bonus side effect of the competition was the sense of camaraderie and cooperation to emerge between the contestants, which will promote even better Subaru dealer team communications and customer experiences throughout New Zealand.” 

“Congratulations Ryan. We trust you ‘do’ well in the Oceania finals in Sydney so we have yet another Kiwi progress through to ‘do’ it in the World finals,” Mr Barns-Lawton adds.

For further information, please contact Subaru of New Zealand Public Relations - Catherine Pattison (027) 4455 389 or email