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Rewarding NZ’s most deserving tradie on National Tradie Day

A national search to find New Zealand’s most deserving tradie is launching today through an online competition created by Mercy Ships, an international charity where Kiwi tradies maintain the hospital ship moored in West Africa, so that life-saving surgeries can be carried out.

“Kiwi volunteer plumbers, electricians, mechanics, engineers, and fitter-turners help keep our hospital ship, Africa Mercy, running, so we can provide free life-transforming surgeries to African people,” says Mercy Ships NZ communications manager, Sharon Walls.

Resident Builder Peter Wolfkamp will announce the winner on National Tradies Day, September 20. Irwin Tools USA created the event in 2011 on the third Friday in September to recognise and celebrate the contributions which trades professionals make to society. The event was first celebrated in New Zealand in 2013.

“Kiwis recognise the vital role of tradies. Mercy Ships rely on volunteer tradies and expertise to keep the hospitals ship functioning. Our New Zealand tradies make a big difference to this amazing charity.” says the Wolf. “Through this competition we’d like to reward one tradie who most deserves it with a weekend holiday package for two.”

The Most Deserving Tradie competition
• Any professional tradesperson can enter the competition at
• Entrants must be New Zealand residents aged 18 years and over
• The online competition closes at midnight September 18, 2019.
• The winner will receive a weekend holiday package for two to the value of $1000.

Mercy Ships offers tradies the opportunity for a new global experience and chance to learn new skills. Without tradies to ensure the lights, the air-conditioning and the water stays running as well as ensuring vehicles are road worthy, the hospital ship could not provide healthcare to people in desperate need in Africa,” says Walls.

Kiwi tradies interested in travelling and working on the Africa Mercy can contact the organisation at

Mercy Ships was founded more than 40 years ago and has assisted more than 2.7 million people, carried out more than 100,000 life-transforming surgical procedures, and trained more than 42,000 healthcare workers.

Mercy Ships NZ is one of 17 branches across the globe which recruits volunteers and raises funds to support the Africa Mercy in its field work. It takes volunteer tradies, medical teams, general and technical volunteers on board to carry out ongoing life-saving surgery, operating on people living in remote parts of West Africa who do not have access to medical care.

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