Hutt Gas and Plumbing took out the prestigious Master Plumber of the Year Award at the 2018 New Zealand Plumbing Awards, held at Claudelands in Hamilton on Friday 23 March.
Directors Colleen Upton, Darren Smith and Scott Adin accepted this top nationwide business award on behalf of the whole team at the Lower Hutt based company.
Darren is currently the public face of a national Xero campaign focusing on how the 25-year old firm has turned its business around by adopting new technology and business practices.
In the past two years, Hutt Gas and Plumbing has also completed a full rebrand, which has included their vehicles, workwear and offices.
“Our team wear their uniforms with pride,” says Colleen.
Colleen is well known as an advocate for women in the plumbing industry, and the firm currently employs two of only 22 female plumbing apprentices nationwide.
“Our female plumbers and apprentices are well respected by their peers and positive feedback from our customers proves what valuable team members they are,” she says.
The company’s commitment to workplace diversity was just one factor behind their win.
They are also dedicated to training plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying apprentices.
The firm has trained no fewer than 45 apprentices over the years, with many going on to start their own businesses.
At least 14 plumbing businesses in Wellington are owned by or employ former Hutt Gas and Plumbing employees.
Given the current shortage of skilled labour, this is a major contribution to the local workforce.
“Taking on apprentices is how we’ve grown our business—bringing them from the bottom up. I’d challenge everyone to do that,” Colleen said at the awards.
She thanked Master Plumbers for their support for the business, mentioning the outstanding people she has met by participating in industry associations, branches and advisory panels.
Hutt Gas and Plumbing is known for its technical expertise, and often works on specialised jobs, such as the Rangipapa Forensic Unit, Rimutaka Prison and Bowen Hospital.
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