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More tradespeople a challenge for new board

July 12, 2006

More tradespeople a challenge for new board

Associate Health Minister Damien O'Connor is challenging the newly appointed Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board to find ways to boost the number of qualified gasfitters and plumbers.

The new appointments will position the board well for the transition from reporting to the Health Ministry to reporting to the Department of Building and Housing in 2008, Mr O'Connor said.

The changeover also means the new board is in place for updated legislation currently being considered by the Commerce Committee (the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Bill).

The proposed bill will modernise the existing Act, include competency based licensing, enhance the disciplinary provisions, provide for infringement offences and other matters.

But most importantly, the board will be able to address the critical task of working closely with industry to boost our numbers of qualified plumbers, fitters and drainlayers, Mr O'Connor said.

"The board will need to work to build a strong relationship between it and the
Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying Industry Training Organisation. In particular, it will need to focus on measures to improve the low pass rates for plumbers and gasfitters, which is exacerbating skills shortages in the plumbing and gasfitting trades.

"Plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying are crucial trades to a wide cross-section of New Zealanders, from homeowners to large industry. The board plays a critical role in ensuring we are appropriately training and skilling sufficient New Zealanders in these trades to meet our current and future needs."

It is vital that organisations work together to train people with the skills the country needs, and match the government's commitment to overcoming skills shortages through industry training and the Modern Apprenticeships programme.

Mr O'Connor thanked the existing board members whose tenure ended this month, the majority of whom had served at least two terms.

Contact: Richard Trow, press secretary 021 313 438

Who is on the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board?
The board is made up of members from the different specialty areas and lay people. The new board members are:

- Neil Burrow (Dunedin) is director of Burrow Plumbing Ltd.
- Anthony Salisbury (New Plymouth) is a training co-ordinator and key account and product manager with the Gas and Petrochemical Industry Training Organisation.
- Rodney Miller (Masterton) is managing director of Water-Mart Wairarapa Ltd (1993-present) and Water-Mart Roofing Ltd.
- Graham Owen (Auckland) is a technical officer for Rheem New Zealand.
- David Coxhead (Tauranga) is owner and operator of Coxhead Plumbing Ltd.
- Paul Warren (Kaiwaka) is general manager of Power Drainage Ltd.
- Penny Nicholas (Te Puke, Tuhoe, Ngati Pukeko, Ngati Whakaue) is the co-ordinator of the Te Toi Huarewa Trust.
- Marjorie Noble (Auckland) is a self-employed tax agent, accountant and administrator.
- Stephen Parker (Wellington) is Executive Director of the Gas Association of New Zealand.


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