Transition from builder to businessman helped by RMBA resources

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RMBA president Kerry Archer.

By Registered Master Builders Association president Kerry Archer

It’s a privilege and an honour to be voted in as the national president of the Registered Master Builders Association.

With a 120-year history behind the organisation, there are some big boots to fill for this builder from Invercargill.

I want to convey my sincere thanks to Darrell Trigg for all the hard work he has put in over the past two years leading the organisation.

There is a considerable time commitment involved with this role in travelling around the country visiting members and attending events, so I would like to personally acknowledge Darrell for his valuable contribution in time and expertise. 

A bit about me — my name is Kerry Archer, trade qualified, and a Licensed Building Practitioner based in Invercargill.

I completed my apprenticeship in the very early 1990s when there was a downturn in the building industry.

After unsuccessfully trying to secure an apprenticeship with some local builders, my father said “right, you better come and work for me”.

After completing my trade, I went travelling for a few years before returning home and carrying on where I left off in the family business.

My father was always a proud member of Registered Master Builders. However, I guess when you’re a bit younger you don’t appreciate or understand what belonging to an organisation like the RMBA is all about.

It was only after my Dad passed away that, suddenly, and I ended up going from swinging a hammer to sitting behind a desk, and it was then that I began to appreciate the value and support this type of organisation offers.

I really struggled in the beginning. It was a massive transition, and the added responsibility of running a business and having people rely on me for their livelihoods was totally different from the banter of a building site, where the biggest worry for the day was where you were going to get your next sausage roll from.

I was invited to attend a local Registered Master Builders meeting, and from that very first meeting I felt connected and supported.

I was offered sound advice and information which aided me in making some critical decisions regarding the business and where I wanted to take it.

This information and resources have evolved over the years, and the offering now for anyone starting out or currently in business is highly comprehensive, with a focus on making it easier for our members to be able to run their businesses successfully.

I would encourage you all to familiarise yourselves with what is available, as this includes not only contracts and guarantees, but also valuable opportunities for recognition in the annual competitions.

Elevate is another fantastic resource available. This is a series of short training videos which are fantastic for upskilling staff, as well as containing information about dispute resolution, podcasts, member discounts and health and well-being, just to mention a few.

One thing I have learned from my time as an RMBA board member is the importance of advocacy.

I have discovered that, as an organisation, we can effect change that makes a difference to all aspects of the industry.

The collective voice and the respect that is held for this organisation gives us a seat at the table, and allows us vital input when it comes to decisions that will impact the industry as a whole.

The Master Builders brand is nothing without the people that stand behind it, and there are some fantastic and passionate people New Zealand-wide that make an organisation like this what it is.

I am proud to say I am a Master Builder, and I am looking forward to getting around the country and catching up with as many of you as I can, and to see the great work you’re all doing.