Building his way to the top!

Dane Schnell 
Winner of The Registered Master Builders Carters 2022 Apprentice Of The Year
Auckland Regional Winner

Dane is employed by Coastal Concepts and his training provider was BCITO, a business division of Te Pūkenga.


When Dane was awarded the Apprentice of the Year title, he was incredibly grateful and honoured.

“The recognition is very humbling, it was a special moment, especially as I got to share it with my family, boss and good friend who had come along to support me. 

“A real highlight for me was meeting all the other contestants. We obviously come from different regions around New Zealand, but from the first moment we met, we all got along so well. It was great to meet like-minded people, who at the end of the day just want to have a laugh, learn, and enjoy the experience.”

Employers Comments:

Dane’s employer Nigel Strickett credits Stephen Nicholson from BCITO as the person who strongly encouraged Dane to enter the competition.

“Stephen did a great job of encouraging Dane to enter. Given the ups and downs of the last couple of years, as a business owner it wasn’t something that was top of mind for me. However, after seeing how awesome the competition is I’m going to encourage more apprentices in the future.

“When Dane won, I was overcome with emotion. I knew he would do well as he is an exceptional builder, with a solid background, impressive schooling, and sporting career. I also knew that he would excel in the interview side of the competition.” 


For Dane the biggest challenge was undoubtedly the practical challenges. 

“The task they had set for us at the national competition tested everyone both mentally and physically. The pressure of the time limit and everyone watching was a position we don’t often find ourselves in. I’m sure every contestant at one stage had a moment where they were completely perplexed. It was a very satisfying moment once I had finished the build.”

Judges comments:

Dane is a well-rounded and ambitious apprentice. He excels both on the tools and on the field – representing Birkenhead in the National Football League. Dane has clear plans for his future and knows what he needs to do in order to get there.
His practical challenge was very impressive. Despite a turbulent start he was the first one to finish the rocket ship, completing it to an extremely high standard.

The same could be said for the other  areas of the competition. He excelled in his interview, answering technical questions very competently.

Well done, Dane. The standard amongst our national finalists this year was very high, you have done an excellent job in taking out first place. We look forward to watching your future closely.