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Devine Plumbing in Napier is 2023 NZ Master Plumber of the Year

9 May 2023
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Straight after Cyclone Gabrielle raged through Hawke’s Bay, Cam Devine knew he had to do what he could to help his local community.

Cam, who runs Devine Plumbing in Napier, told his team he would be using his plant and equipment over the ensuing two weeks to bolster the recovery effort for people in the worst hit areas. He would continue to pay staff wages during this time but, for those two weeks, helping the community was more important than business as usual.

His employees rose to the challenge, working 12 hours a day to get essential services back up and running for residents whose homes had been flooded damaged and filled with silt.

"I just thought it was the right thing to do, but boy I was proud of my team," says Cam in typically understated style.

His decision to put public health, safety and wellbeing ahead of business operations wowed the judges of the 2023 New Zealand Plumbing Awards.

So much so that Devine Plumbing was presented with the top New Zealand Master Plumber of the Year Award at the awards night held at Te Pae in Christchurch on Friday 5 May.

Cam was presented with the magnificent 55cm tall statuette of a plumber carved from a single block of pounamu by artist Glen Surgenor in 2001 to mark the centenary of the Master Plumbers membership organisation.

The pounamu comes from the Arahura river on the West coast of the South Island and is very special to Ngai Tahu, who bless pounamu when it is taken from the river. 

This top national award for plumbing businesses is judged on criteria such as customer service, marketing, image and performance, and Devine Plumbing shows excellence in all areas.

Cam started the business with his father Mike 10 years ago. Since Mike’s retirement six years ago, Cam has done his dad proud, growing the business from one apprentice to a full-time team of 27.

A positive, hands-on and hardworking role model, he has made a real impact on the plumbing trade in Hawke’s Bay.

Cam is always willing to help others and share his knowledge, and motivates his staff to provide successful outcomes for customers and the business.

Perhaps most impressive of all, his warm, calm and friendly demeanour is reflected in the workplace culture, providing inspiration to a fantastic team of like-minded and talented staff.

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