Nine apprentices in the running for top 2012 title


The National Final will take place across two days on October 25 and 26 in Wellington, when each apprentice will undertake a 45-minute interview with the national judging panel, and a practical challenge where their carpentry skills will be tested.

The winner will be announced at the national awards evening at Te Wharewaka on Wellington’s waterfront.
The 2012 national finalists, along with the regional judges comments, are:

Northern: James Poore, 21, of Mairangi Bay, employed by Harbour Construction/Kalmar Construction Ltd
Judges comments: James’ commitment, reliability and eagerness to excel in his chosen career were obvious in all stages of the judging. He is clearly well respected and trusted by his employers. The high pressure environment he works in daily is taken as a challenge and embraced with gusto. He is exceptionally competent and passionate, and goes the extra mile.
James presented the judges with his work as leading hand on the Guthrie Bowron retail shop at the Apex Megacentre in Mt Wellington.

Auckland: Ben Bersma, 24, of Greenlane, employed by Gardien Construction
Judges comments: Ben is a knowledgeable, motivated, intuitive and skilled young carpenter with the drive to be as prepared as possible for any tasks on site. He has excellent vision for projects and the ability to foresee potential problem areas of a build, even on high spec projects. Ben demonstrates a level of commitment within the industry that will carry him to further success in the future.”
Ben presented the judges with his work on a new home build in Mission Bay.

Waikato: Frank Dyer, 25, of Whitianga, employed by Hamr Home Building Contractors Ltd
Judges comments: Frank displays an amazing enthusiasm for the industry. His building quality is second to none, and his ability to relate to his clients, boss, peers and judges is very evident. We feel Frank’s submission in the competition was simply outstanding.
Frank presented the judges with his work on a single-storey architectural home in Whitianga.

Southern: Dallas Tither, 22, of Invercargill, employed by Jennian Homes Southland
Judges comments: Dallas is clear about what is expected from him on the building site. He understands building principles, with passion and high standards. He delivers a high quality product and is proud of his achievements.
Dallas presented the judges with his work on a high end home on a dairy farm in Mossburn.

Bay of Plenty/East Coast: Mackenzie McGougan, 21, of Ohope, employed by Coastal Build (2007) Ltd
Judges comments: Mackenzie displayed enthusiasm, precision, passion and innovation, and has the potential to win the national title this year. His ability to relate to clients, fellow workers and sub-trades is evident in the detail and results of each job. Mac possesses a strong knowledge of industry best building practices, traditional carpentry and up-to-date building trends. He scored well in all areas of the competition, and we congratulate him on his success and wish him well for the national finals.
Mac presented the judges with his work on a new home build in Ohope.

Central North Island/Hawke’s Bay: Mark Jones, 21, of Marton, employed by Rayner Building
Judges comments: Mark is a mature and confident young man who is very passionate about the industry. His site visit was top class. He presented his project with enthusiasm and passion, highlighting the complete build process and pointing out his involvement on this quality project. With his high level of industry knowledge and practical skills, Mark will become an outstanding asset to the building industry.
Mark presented the judges with his work on Lake Alice Lodge, which included detailed finishing work with native timbers.

Wellington: Adam Knott, 25, of Johnsonville, employed by Mackersey Construction Ltd
Judges comments: Adam has good knowledge of the construction process and materials, and demonstrated he can manage subcontractors. Adam presented judges with his work as site foreman on Upper Hutt College’s redevelopment, where he has moved from Hastings to undertake the contract. 
This sacrifice gave Adam an amazing opportunity to further his skills. We were taken on a tour of the first stage of the project which was completed to a high standard. Even though Adam seemed nervous in his interview, he was very confident on site, and this allowed us to give him first place without a doubt.

Upper South Island: Daniel Crockett, 22, of Blenheim, employed by Haack Construction Ltd
Judges comments: Daniel has a wide range of knowledge at this stage of his building apprenticeship. He has a great understanding of technical drawings and an eye for detail. He displays a high level of passion and is a well rounded person who will add value to the industry in the future. Daniel has demonstrated the ability to take on responsibility, and his employers have described him as an asset to their company.
Daniel presented the judges with his work on a total rebuild of an existing house in Marlborough, perched on a slope overlooking the Wairau River.

Central South Island: Joshua Gardner, 23, of Christchurch, employed by A & A Coombs Builders
Judges comments: Joshua is a true professional well beyond his years. He is an individual full of energy who is hungry to learn and develop into a leading tradesperson within the building industry. Joshua’s pursuit for higher learning is refreshing. He has a mature attitude, a dedication to learning new building processes, and an understanding of legislative health and safety requirements.
Joshua presented the judges with his work on Archer Retirement Village, as well as his voluntary work on a family home in Tonga.

For further information, visit Apprentices, employers and those young people aspiring to be a part of the construction industry are also encouraged to join up to the Facebook page at

The Apprentice of the Year competition is made possible thanks to principal sponsor Carters, the Registered Master Builders Federation, the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO), and supporting sponsor the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.