Regional | Building

Far North building apprentice scoops local competition, heads for nationals

A 22-year-old building apprentice has won the Bay of Islands regional building championships and earned a trip to the national final of the annual NZCB Apprentice Challenge, sponsored by ITM, in Christchurch.

On May 26 and 27, Keiran Davis will take the skills he has learnt over his apprenticeship so far onto the national stage to see who will come out trumps.

The building championships require hours of precise calculations with every millimetre judged. But for Davis who left school at 16, stepping into the life of a builder was a bigger challenge than this.

“Really, it was a big leap of faith. I didn’t know where this would take me exactly. I mean only being just 16 I didn’t know if this was the right choice or not. But in my heart I knew that building is what I wanted to do. So I took that big leap of faith, and look where it’s got me now, winning regionals and now taking me to nationals.”

Steep hill builds

For the Bay of Islands regional challenge, building an accurate-to-design playhouse was the goal, with the apprentices competing for a $500 prize pool and a trip to the national competition in the next month.

“Winning the regional challenge, I put a lot of effort and planning into that. So, being able to win first place it brought me a lot of pride.”

As well as being a successful competitor, Davis says he still has to do his day job and the many projects that come with it.

“In my first year we started two brand new builds off some pretty steep hills, working at heights above 10 metres on one of the sites. It’s pretty dangerous stuff. But all in all, it’s great experience and it gets you to learn confidence,” Davis says.

Connecting with the future

Davis will be heading to Christchurch next month to take part in the national final of the annual NZCB Apprentice Challenge. Davis says it looks to be a great opportunity to connect with the future of the industry.

“I'm also excited to meet all of the members of the New Zealand Certified Builders, the people who have been setting the standard here in New Zealand, and revolutionising the building industry. So I’m really going to take the opportunity to be able to meet these people, talk with them about where we’re headed as a whole group., what’s the building industry heading to in the future.”

“I want to become a fully certified builder, and eventually become a licensed building practitioner, in hopes of starting my own business, my own company here in the Far North.

He is looking to become a fully certified builder, and one day look to creating his own business in the Bay of Islands and beyond.

“Get apprentices, train them, give them the same experience I’ve gained being here, working in the building industry, and just contributing back to my whanau, to all of the Far North, Bay of Islands. Just everyone.”