Builders celebrate talent, talk ‘green’ and challenges

More than 800 builders and industry stakeholders attended this year’s New Zealand Certified Builders (NZCB) Annual Conference and Expo in Wellington.

South Canterbury’s Marc Palmer, aged 21, won the title in the national final of the NZCB Apprentice Challenge Sponsored heading off 18 regional finalists from across the country. Waikato’s Lucile Richardson (21) was second followed by Otago’s Ryan Whitburn (27) who were among a diverse line-up of finalists, representing a changing face of New Zealand’s trades. The event featured a record number of female entries.

NZCB chief executive Grant Florence says the conference covered changes to the regulatory environment, pressures and trends in the residential housing market, innovations in the ‘green’ building space and the skills pipeline into the trade.

“This is a challenging time for the sector, with pressures mounting in terms of building supplies and skills shortages, changing legislation, and concerns about climate change. Given the current policy focus on sustainability, that is something absolutely top of mind for building and construction industry stakeholders across the board and will be for the foreseeable future.”