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Local apprentice nails national carpentry award2 min read

Jul 8, 2024 2 min

Local apprentice nails national carpentry award2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Daniel Smith (photo supplied).

Onehunga’s Daniel Smith (32) hammered his way to become the top carpentry apprentice in New Zealand.

He won the coveted title of New Zealand’s top apprentice at the New Zealand Certified Builders (NZCB) Apprentice Challenge sponsored by ITM, in Wellington in June.

Twenty regional finalists from across the country competed for the top prize, with Daniel nailing the competition. Apprentices were judged on examples of their work, dedication towards their apprenticeship, and a presentation to hundreds of NZCB member builders attending the conference.

As well as the title of New Zealand’s top apprentice, Daniel returned home with a $10,000 prize package from ITM, and the Ken Read Memorial Trophy.

Reflecting on the competition, Daniel says, “I was ecstatic when my name was announced. All the extra study and preparation I’d done for the competition had been worthwhile.”

During the finals, the apprentices were paired up and given limited materials to design and build a dog kennel within a certain timeframe. Attendees judged the entries, and one team stood out – Daniel and his team partner, Courtney Willan (from Auckland North, who finished third overall). This design-andbuild challenge was only a part of the overall challenge though.

Apart from hammering it out on the floor, finalists also had to prepare a comprehensive portfolio of their work, study for and complete a formal trade industry exam, participate in a formal interview with the judging panel and deliver a professional presentation on an industry topic to their peers, conference delegates and judges. Daniel, once again, impressed the judges.

Daniel’s employers, Colin Walsh and Steven Langerak from Structured Builders, flew to Wellington with him, and supported him during the event.

Steven says, “Dan competed with some of the best and brightest carpenters from around the country. We are exceptionally proud of his achievement. The future for both Dan and the building industry is looking very positive, and we are privileged to be a part of it.”