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Appointments to Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board

19 August 2014

Appointments to Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board

Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith today announced two new appointments and five reappointments to the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board.

“The Board has an important role in protecting the health and safety of New Zealanders by ensuring that plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers are competent and properly licensed,” Dr Smith says.

“Today’s appointments bring a wealth of skills and knowledge to the Board, with backgrounds and years of experience across the industry and with a mix of governance, commercial operations, and higher education.”

The two new appointments are Richard Merrifield and Colleen Upton. The five reappointments are Nicholas Fleckney, Craig O’Connell, Ian Rowe, John Simmiss and Sue Simons. Ms Simons has been reappointed until February 2015 to allow her to complete a disciplinary hearing which is currently underway. She will be replaced by Ms Upton on the Board once the hearing is complete.

The Board is a statutory body established under the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board Act 2006 and has responsibility for administering the registration and licensing systems of plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers, as well as setting the minimum standards for registration and ensuring that the people carrying out regulated work are competent to do so.


Richard Merrifield operates his own building business and has over 40 years’ experience in the building and construction sector. He has also been involved with a significant number of industry related board and working group appointments and will provide cross over to the Building Practitioners Board of which he has been a member since 2012.

Colleen Upton is the owner and General Manager of Hutt Gas and Plumbing Systems Ltd and is a former director of Master Plumbers. She is also Secretary of the Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Federation.

Nicholas Fleckney is a certifying plumber, gasfitter and drainlayer, with 23 years of industry experience in all disciplines. He currently lectures plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying at Manukau Institute of Technology. He was first appointed to the Board in 2012.

Craig O’Connell is the owner Director of Recruitment and Performance Consulting Limited. His work is a mix of recruiting, facilitation and organisational development activities in medium to large sized organisations. Craig was appointed to the Board in 2011 and has experience in governance, high-level strategic thinking and finances.

Ian Rowe is registered as a certifying plumber and has taught in several polytechnics. He is a former Associate Director of Wanganui Polytechnic, a Field Officer for NZ Educational Institute and is currently the Regional Manager of the Central Hub of Ako Aotearoa, the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence. He was first appointed to the Board in 2011.

John Simmiss is an owner-operator of a plumbing business. He is registered as a certifying plumber and drainlayer and has previously served as the Deputy Chair of the Board. He has been chair and board member of the Plumbing, Gasfitting, Drainlaying and Roofing Industry Training Organisation and a past president of Master Plumbers. He was first appointed to the Board in 2010.

Sue Simons brings over 25 years of legal experience to the Board and is a partner at Berry Simons, a specialist environmental law firm. She has extensive government and not for profit Board experience and was appointed to the Board in 2011.


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