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Source: NZ Plumber

Sean O’Shea is a drainlayer whose boss Mike Foote at Plumbing & Gas Works Ltd in Hamilton describes him as a ‘machine of a worker’ who is respected for leading by example.
The excellence of his trade skills, the respect his team have for him and his leadership skills have won Sean the title of NZ Drainlayer of the Year at the 2020 New Zealand Plumbing Awards, held online on Tuesday 19 May.
At 54, Sean is always the first to get stuck in on the shovel and the last to stop.
Mike Foote says, “It is not just the physical efforts, but also the creative initiative that the apprentices respect in Sean, the multiple ways he has at looking at a problem and the vast array of knowledge he passes on.
“No job is too big or too small for Sean, anything from working on a 46,000 square metre glass factory installing kilometres of pipe, to hand digging in someone’s back yard to connect an extra toilet. Each job is treated with the same respect with the customer at mind and instilling the good name of our company. Sean is a real asset to our team.”
Sean’s ability to give 110% was recognised in 2019, when he was awarded the Waikato Master Plumbers Drainlayer of the Year Award.
With skills that go far beyond drainlaying, Sean is a qualified real estate agent who has spent many years on Great Barrier Island developing problem-solving skills second to none.
“He has a ‘how can we get it done with what we have at hand’ approach. Sean would have been a real asset to Tom Hanks on Apollo 13,” Mike adds.
“Day in and day out, Sean leads by example with his hard-working attitude. Sean has had more experience in his lifetime than some people would fit into two. He brings his hard work ethic to any task and his experience is second to none. What adds to it all is his drive to pass this on to the youth coming into the industry, so his knowledge does not become a lost art.”
Sean wins a certificate, a trophy and a piece of art from Nelson artist Peter Geen.
The NZ Plumber, Gasfitter or Drainlayer of the Year award recognises excellence in the trade skills of an individual Certifying Plumber, Gasfitter or Drainlayer, who is a respected member of their trade and known for their leadership skills. The winner must possess the following qualities within their trade: leadership skills, understanding of modern technologies, working relationships with other trades, understanding of the value of training and supervision/management/training of trade staff.
The New Zealand Plumbing Awards are normally presented during a gala dinner which is the glittering finale of the annual New Zealand Plumbing Conference.
Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in this year’s conference being postponed until 2021.
However, Master Plumbers decided to celebrate and honour our 2020 awards winners – those who have contributed to the Plumbing, Gasfitting and Drainlaying sector in New Zealand – in a virtual ceremony using cameras in multiple locations and Zoom technology.
The ceremony aired on Facebook as a live Watch Party at 7 pm on Tuesday 19 May.
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 in order to become a member. We provide members with a wide range of resources and training opportunities to support them in staying up with the latest technologies, products and compliance requirements. We advocate on behalf of our members and our industry.
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.
NZ Plumber is the award-winning, bi-monthly magazine for New Zealand’s plumbers, gasfitters and drainlayers. It is owned by Master Plumbers.