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Hutt firm wins nationwide Master Plumber of the Year Award

Hutt firm wins nationwide Master Plumber of the Year Award

Source: NZ Plumber


Hutt Gas and Plumbing took out the prestigious 2018 Master Plumber of the Year Award at the annual New Zealand Plumbing Awards held in Hamilton on Friday 23 March.

Directors Colleen Upton, Darren Smith and Scott Adin accepted this top nationwide business award.

In an emotional acceptance speech, Colleen, who is also General Manager at Hutt Gas and Plumbing, said, "This is absolutely amazing - I’m really proud of our team."

Darren is currently the public face of a national Xero campaign focusing on how this 25-year old firm turned their business around through adopting new technology and new business practises.

In the past two years, the firm has also completed a full rebrand, which has included their vehicles, workwear and offices.

"Our team wear their uniforms with pride," says Colleen.

Colleen is well known as a strong advocate for women in the plumbing industry.

This Lower Hutt-based firm currently employs two of only 22 nationwide female plumbing apprentices and has employed three other female tradespeople over the years.

"Our female plumbers and apprentices are well respected by their peers and positive feedback from our customers proves what valuable team members they are," says Colleen.

The company’s commitment to workplace diversity was just one factor behind their win.

They are also dedicated to training plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying apprentices.

The firm has trained no fewer than 45 apprentices in the last 25 years, with many going on to start their own businesses.

At least 14 plumbing businesses in Wellington are owned by or employ former Hutt Gas and Plumbing employees.

Given the current shortage of skilled labour, this is a major contribution to the local workforce.

"Taking on apprentices is how we’ve grown our business - bringing them from the bottom up. I’d challenge everyone to do that," Colleen said at the awards.

She thanked Master Plumbers for their support for the business and mentioned the outstanding people she’s met through participating in industry associations, branches and panels.

Colleen’s speech ended with the words: "You should never be scared to employ someone smarter than you".

Hutt Gas and Plumbing is also known for its technical expertise, and often works on specialised jobs, such as the Rangipapa Forensic Unit, Rimutaka Prison and Bowen Hospital.


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