As we wrap up another conference (and start preparing for the next!), it is always good to look back on what happened.

For our 57th Annual SCANZ Convention, we headed to Christchurch, a beautiful city that is showing its resilience and people-focused approach to the rebuild. It was a well-received venue, as we had one of our best-attended conventions ever.

The event started with the Welcome Function at Rydges, which was a great time for everyone to catch up with people who you only see once a year! There were quite a few new people as well, which just made it all the more enjoyable.

The majority of people then headed out to the fantastic 7th annual Brenntag Quiz Night. Everyone piled into buses to go to the historic Pegasus Arms on the Avon River, the oldest standing building in Christchurch, and I can't imagine Brenntag choosing a more beautiful location.

John Schollum introduced our Quiz Master, Malcolm Harris, who had created an excellent set of questions, with some chemistry-based ones thrown in for the SCANZ group, and he chose some great ones because very few people could answer them!

The night was loud, energetic, competitive and most importantly, fun. Add to that the two leading groups scored 97 out of a potential 110, showing just how smart the SCANZ people are!

Thank you to Brenntag for organising such an incredible evening, and the best way to start the Convention.

Thursday started with an introduction by our President, Tom Hackney, and some positive words from the Australian President, Steve Owens.
The papers then started rolling through, with Dow leading the charge on a wide range of Biocides papers, showing the importance and relevance of that topic.

Dr David Guo, who is the R&D and TS&D Director of Dow Coating Materials in the Asia Pacific, spoke on the Biocide-free Coatings via Innovations in Binders and Additives. The talk was fascinating and inspired some great questions, which Dr Guo answered with great detail, much to the satisfaction of everyone present. He was a great speaker to start the Convention.

We then moved onto Dr Bodan Ma, the Technical Marketing Manager for ICL, talking about the Novel Additive for Anti-Corrosive Cool Roof Applications. Considering that everyone needs a roof, you can easily see why this technology is becoming so popular!

The next speakers skyped in from the USA. Andy Doyle and Steve Sides from the World Coatings Council gave an update on what the Council has been focussing on, and the implications this has in New Zealand. Their talk was fascinating, as a lot of delegates present were not aware of the Coatings Council and its reach worldwide and into the UN.

Annette Koo, the Principal Research Scientist from the Measurement Standards Laboratory of New Zealand, spoke about the history of units of measurements that we use daily, and the redefinition of the kilogram, ampere, kelvin and mole that occurred on 20 May 2019. There were quite a few people who were not aware of the MSLNZ based at Callaghan Institute, but that secret is now out!

Mark Glenny was the last speaker before lunch. Mark is the Innovation Research Manager at Resene, and he gave a riveting talk about how he and his team undertook the project of creating Paint-On Sensors. This explanation was interesting because everyone could use the methodology when conducting their projects (in any environment), and Mark kept us focussed right through his talk.

Lim Eng Seng from Synthomer Malaysia gave the next paper on Biocide Free Coatings. With all the issues with Biocide's coming out of Europe, it is great to have companies showing alternatives.

Dr Peter Hulmston from the John Morris Group discussed the benefits of measuring viscosity in-line and showing what manufacturing efficiency improvements were possible.

Daniel Palm, the Technical Lead for Wood Protection, Polymers & Textiles at Lonza Coatings in Australia, gave a talk on Coatings Resilience and Strategy Resilience, that included Biocides. We did mention that this was rather popular this year. The variety from each of the talks showed that innovation is alive and well.

We started the last session of Thursday with another skype call, this time with Ding Bo coming in from Singapore. Ding Bo is the Customer Application Specialist from ANGUS, and he talked about the Etheramine Multifunctional Additive for Waterborne Applications. While there were many positive aspects to this, a reduction in energy consumption was a critical point that is very applicable in this day and age.

Anu Abhyankar, the Senior Chemist at Winstone Wallboards, gave the last talk of the day and gave a fascinating talk about the Surface Finishing of Wallboards. Anu described some of the common failures that occurred with the earthquakes and explained some case studies.

We held the Convention Dinner at the Christchurch Transitional Cathedral, better known as the Cardboard Cathedral. Most people walked there was it was only 5 minutes from the hotel, and it was a lovely location. The theme was "Shaken, not Stirred", and the majority of people got into the James Bond theme with some outstanding outfits. We only have a few photos in the magazine, so we highly recommend you check out the website as well. The food was fantastic, the atmosphere was alight with laughter, and the evening had a serious note with our President, Tom Hackney, giving out awards to well-deserving people.

Brian Greenall received his 50th-anniversary badge and certificate - that's right - 50 years as a member of SCANZ. We don't have too many people who can say that however don't be surprised to see this happening more often.

Commendation Awards are given to SCANZ members who have gone above and beyond in their service to the Association. David Perano was the first person in 11 years to receive this, and rightly so. Over the years he has been on the committee, the Auckland Chairman, and in the Convention sub-committees.

Meritorious Awards are given to non-members of SCANZ whom the committee feels have gone above and beyond in their service to the Association. Donna Vincent received this at the Convention, and for once could not stay in the background to receive it.

The final award of the evening was a joy to see given out. Peter Walters, our Past President, historian, Brushstrokes contributor, keeper of artefacts and long-standing committee member, was giving the highest honour SCANZ can bestow, and became our 4th living Life Member. Peter accepted this well-deserved award with a very moving speech.

Friday started with a talk by Catherine Bishop, the Associate Professor of the University of Canterbury talking about their research into Antimicrobial nanostructured TiO2 deposited on stainless steel by pp-MOCVD. We were going to have two talks within this, but the questions from the first part took up so much time that we couldn't hear the second portion!

Ayub Mulla, the Application and Technical Development Manager from Covestro started the last session by focussing on sustainability when talking about A New Bio-Based Aliphatic Polyisocyanate. Sustainability is becoming more and more important to consumers and having these options is a win for all involved.

The final session of the Convention was by Kirk Hope, the CEO of Business NZ. He gave a great overall talk about the current issues facing the Paint and Coatings Sector in New Zealand, including proposals for compulsory product stewardship and sustainability, funding for R & D, health and safety in the sector, dealing with local and national government and the more general issues facing all businesses. These talks by Business NZ are always well received.

Our President, Tom Hackney then thanked all our sponsors, speakers, supporters and of course the delegates, and introduced the venue for next year - Hamilton! And before you groan, dinner will be held at Hobbiton; Hamilton is less than 1.5 hours drive from Auckland, Rotorua and Tauranga, the airport has direct flights from both Wellington and Christchurch, and the venue is right next to the mighty Waikato River!

We look forward to seeing you all next year at our 2020 Convention - Coatings Vision!