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Tony Silke

Tony Silke

Tony Silke started in the New Zealand State Hydro Electric Department in 1954 as a hydro-electric apprentice in the Nelson District.  This trade background was a good base for his later career in maintenance and operating of power stations and substations. He commenced his substation maintenance at Kikiwa Substation, the Northernmost 220kV substation in the South Island.  He then changed his interest to substation operating at Kikiwa which gave him a good grounding in high-voltage operating.
Tony gained more experience operating various hydro-electric power stations including Waipapa, Roxburgh and Cobb.  He was then promoted to Senior Substation Operator at Haywards, the North Island end of the Inter-Island HVDC Link.  This move was in the 1960s when the HVDC was new and was rather troublesome technology in its early years. 

From Haywards Tony was promoted to System Operator at the South Island System Control Centre at Islington in Christchurch.  In those pre-electricity market days System Control managed both the high-voltage South Island electricity transmission system, plus the complex hydraulics of the South Island lakes and power stations.  System Control was a specialised career in itself and Tony promoted through various South Island positions.   

Transpower decided to integrate the North Island and South Island Control Centres into one management structure and Tony took on the position of manager of both Islington and Hamilton centres.  This position was then combined with the Wellington System Control Group and Tony was appointed Power System Services Manager in Transpower in Wellington.  This time coincided with the introduction of the first stages of the introduction of the New Zealand Electricity Market. 

Tony’s academic qualifications include a Degree in Sociology which he gained as a mature student.
More recently Tony has worked as a Risk Management Consultant for Transpower and has lately worked solely on the setting up and running of GridHeritage.

Paper: From Corporate Dump to a National Resource

Abstract: Corporatisation of the electricity industry in New Zealand produced a culture of “Out with the old and in with the new”. This paper will cover the early collection of valuable artefacts from the industry, the establishment of an incorporated society to protect and store the collection, and the development of the various aspects of our activities. The GridHeritage Society now holds what is possibly the largest collection of its type in NZ, and it is growing steadily. The themes for this presentation will be our ongoing emphasis on achieving a high profile within the industry and on creating a resource that will be of value to future generations. We are slowly becoming a familiar and respected entity within the electricity industry. GridHeritage is now a trusted organisation for the safe keeping of memorabilia and for retaining the corporate memory of the early electricity industry.

Sir Neil Cossons
Paul Davies
David Dolan
Wayne Johnson
Euan McQueen
Robert McWilliam
Duncan Waterson
David Beauchamp
Trevor Butler
Matthew Churchward
Andrew Cleland
Rachael Egerton
John Fitzmaurice
Don Fraser
John Gibson
Owen Graham
David Hamilton
Bill Harvey
Peter Holmes
Kevin Jones
Paul Mahoney
Tom Williamson
Peter Lowe
Peter Marquis-Kyle
Gavin McLean
Rob Merrifield
Owen Peake
Miles Pierce
John Porter
Nigel Ridgway
Tony Silke
Jim Staton
Richard Venus
Ian Walsh
Daniel Woo
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