The Central North Island & East Coast / Hawke's Bay Apprentice of the Year Regional Winner is...🛠️

11 September 2023 
Proud to celebrate two decades of excellence among carpentry apprentices, today Registered Master Builders in partnership with CARTERS announces the top three apprentices from the Central North Island & East Coast / Hawke's Bay Region. 

Now in its 20th year, the Apprentice of the Year competition recognises excellence among carpentry apprentices and raises awareness of career opportunities in the building and construction industry. The competition tests our future sector leaders' project management, business, presentation, and practical skills.  

For the regional competition, each apprentice had to submit details of a building project they are working on as well as take part in a two-hour practical challenge where they were tasked with building a step stool. The top 10 participants from each region then progressed to an interview stage with a judging panel and an onsite visit to discuss their building project in detail.  

Taharangi McWatters from Foxton has been named the Central North Island & East Coast / Hawke's Bay 2023 Registered Master Builders CARTERS Apprentice of the Year. Taha is employed by Wayne Bishop Group and trained through BCITO | Te Pūkenga.  

Judges said Taha had an outstanding “why me” section in his application and it painted a great picture of who he is. During the practical challenge he had tidy, well-presented tools and worked in an orderly manner.   

"It’s clear that Taha has an incredible passion for construction. He also has a deep understanding of the building sector, which will set him in good stead. He is an enthusiastic apprentice and is well liked and respected by his colleagues. "

Second place was awarded to Thomas Stratton from Feilding employed by Narley Construction, Tom trained through BCITO | Te Pūkenga. 

"Tom has great attention to detail, as displayed through his tidy and well-maintained tools during the practical challenge. He also had a strong written submission; it was professional and laid out clearly. It was clear that he had a good understanding of his project.  He is passionate about building, and this really came to life while showing judges around his project. His attention to detail shone through and the job was built to a high level of accuracy. Very well done. "

Third place was awarded to Lee Spooner, from Ohakune. Lee is employed by Under Construction and is also trained through BCITO | Te Pūkenga.  "Lee had an outstanding submission that was impeccably laid out and very comprehensive. He met the practical challenge with a positive attitude and had an unwavering commitment to good health and safety. Throughout, he paid close attention to keeping his tools maintained and well presented. Lee is well grounded and has the ability to clearly communicate with his team members. "

National Competition
The top apprentice from each region will then go on to compete in the National Competition in Auckland. This includes a 45-minute interview with the national judging panel and an additional six-hour practical skills test, followed by the National Awards Dinner where we will announce the winner. 

The National Practical will be co-located at CONZTRUCT Auckland North on Thursday 9th November 2023 at Eventfinda Stadium.

CONZTRUCT is New Zealand's largest travelling construction trade show and attracts thousands of builders, architects, designers, and other trade professionals at its 16 annual events nationwide. Each event covers the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors, and the exhibition includes showcasing a diverse range of products and services from the industry’s brand leaders.  

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