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Newly Qualified Queenstown Plumber Wins 2021 James Douglas Medallion

Alan Wharton, a commercial maintenance plumber with Flints Plumbing in Queenstown, was named the overall winner of the James Douglas Medallion at the 2021 New Zealand Plumbing Awards held in Blenheim on Friday 26 March.

Alan recently completed his Masterlink apprenticeship at Flints Plumbing and is no stranger to recognition. He has won a Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) 1st year apprentice of the year award, a Master Plumbers outstanding apprentice award, and was the 2020 Plumbing World Scholarship overall winner.

Late in the third year of his apprenticeship, the company’s long-serving service plumber decided to move on, and Alan stepped up to this challenging role.

"Alan has exceeded our expectations in all aspects of this challenging role. He has shown an outstanding ability to problem solve but at the same time hasn’t been afraid to seek advice," said Andy Langford, owner of Flints Plumbing and Andy’s supervisor.

Alan has always taken an active role in health & safety among the team and has led the way in raising awareness around depression and mental health-an area that needs urgent attention in the industry.

"There is no doubt that Alan exceeds what is expected with his work output, but that alone does not set him apart. Alan has the need to genuinely make an impact in what he does," said Masterlink Regional Manager Brendan Parker in his nomination.

The prestigious James Douglas Medallion has been awarded each year since 1948. It recognises outstanding recently qualified tradespersons who have demonstrated hard work, commitment and determination to achieve industry success.

Alan wins the James Douglas Medallion along with $500 cash and a $2500 Career Development Scholarship from Skills NZ.

About the New Zealand Plumbing Awards

The New Zealand Plumbing Awards acknowledge the many positive achievements and success stories in the industry and are presented at a gala dinner on the final night of the annual New Zealand Plumbing Conference. Organised by Master Plumbers, the national conference has been held for over 100 years and is the premier event in the plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying industry, with attendees coming from all over the country.

About Master Plumbers

Master Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers NZ Inc (Master Plumbers) is the national membership organisation for plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying businesses, with 18 regional Associations and Branches across New Zealand. Companies go through a Quality Assurance programme to become a member. Members are provided with a wide range of resources and training opportunities to support them in staying up to date with the latest technologies, products and compliance requirements. Master Plumbers advocates on behalf of members and the plumbing industry. The association organises the annual New Zealand Plumbing Conference, culminating in the prestigious New Zealand Plumbing Awards, which recognises excellence in the industry.

About Masterlink

Masterlink, a group training scheme owned by Master Plumbers, provides managed mentored apprenticeships across New Zealand, with Regional Managers supporting the apprentices and the businesses who host them during their training.

Source: Master Plumbers Gasfitters and Drainlayers

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