Back in 1898 when Registered Master Builders was formed, New Zealand’s pioneering builders must have possessed a fierce spirit of grit and determination to overcome isolation, hardship and danger to produce our earliest buildings — some of which are still being enjoyed today long after their creators have gone.
The spirit of camaraderie must have been strong in those early builders as they formed not only a New Zealand Master Builders Federation but, successively, the 22 Associations that we have around the country today — some of which, themselves, are now more than 100 years old.
That same sense of camaraderie still exists today in the current membership, and particularly in the executive committees of our Associations.
I am proud to say I am a member of such a positive, creative, hard working yet humble group of people.
It is little wonder that many of us have developed such close personal friendships in spite of the fact that we work in a very competitive industry.
I am constantly impressed by the way Registered Master Builders members give back to the industry and their communities with training and mentoring, charity builds, working with
Government and local bodies, and hosting great House of the Year and Apprentice of the Year events.
It is also obvious to me that our members are generally older, well established and have robustly weathered the storms of recent economic times and the continuous boom/bust cycles very well.
But what of the future — and the next 114 years? We have gone from hand tools and horses to hand-held computers and amazing power tools and equipment. Our focus has changed from cutting down hardwood forests to sustainable building practices.
As we innovate and change within our industry we must also innovate and change within the organisation.
We need to attract and retain a new generation of ambitious, skilled young builders, and mentor, train and nurture them into eventually running great building businesses and to be the future leaders of this organisation and of the industry.