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Source: NZ Plumber

Newly qualified 33-year-old gasfitter Brent Ewing has won the prestigious 2020 James Douglas Medallion at the national New Zealand Plumbing Awards, held online on Tuesday 19 May.
The award, which has been presented since 1948 to New Zealand’s top newly qualified apprentice in plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying, recognises their commitment and determination to achieve success in the industry.
Masterlink Lower South Island Regional Manager Brendan Parker nominated Brent, who works at McIvor Plumbers & Gasfitters in Wanaka.
Brendan says, “Brent brings an uncompromising desire to seek excellence and holds himself accountable to a higher standard of work. He is a true advocate for the trade done well.”
Brent gained pass marks of over 80% in his registration exams in Plumbing and Gasfitting last year, completing his apprenticeship through Masterlink, the Master Plumbers-owned nationwide apprentice training and mentoring company.
His block-course tutor at the Southern Institute of Technology, John Bowman described Brent as an exceptional student who led the way in his class. “He always concentrated on the tasks given to him and produced top quality work, often helping his classmates as well”.
Having thoroughly impressed his host company at the start of the third year of his apprenticeship, Brent was put in charge of the Albert Town overhaul-a local pub renovation-into a series of businesses.
In the course of this 15-month project, he dealt with a range of businesses and stakeholders, impressing everyone with his proactive approach-especially when it came to ensuring Health and Safety requirements were met.
The main contractor in charge of the Albert Town project, Wayne Casey of Hardcase Construction says, “Brent is a true professional. He is extremely reliable, well prepared, always early and so easy to deal with. On such extreme jobs like this one it is expected that you run into some sort of problem with any one of the subcontractors-there was nothing to bring up or any problem whatsoever when dealing with Brent”.
Although quiet in nature, Brent never shies away from any task in front of him.
He has been the lead supervisor for two new apprentices who appreciate his guidance and patience. They describe him as someone who goes above and beyond, taking time to explain processes and maintaining a positive outlook if things don’t go well.
Brent receives a Career Development Scholarship to the value of $2,500 from the Skills industry training organisation, a $500 cash prize, a certificate and the James Douglas Medallion.
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.