A Rotorua man has been named Young Plumber of the Year 2017.
Julian Parker, 25, from Lewis Plumbing won the award which was announced last night at Hamilton's Wintec.
Ten regional finalists from across New Zealand competed in a series of practical and written tests based around everyday plumbing and gas fitting to determine who would come out on top.
The judging was based on workmanship, accuracy and speed, where Mr Parker wound up impressing the most.
He also came away with $12,000 worth of prizes which include mentoring sessions with industry experts and a trip to Fiji.
"I was surprised to win to be honest, there were a couple things I wasn't happy with but to win was great."
Mr Parker has been working as a plumber since he was 16, and said the standard of competition was high.
"There were 10 other guys there and I had no idea what they were like but I could see they were all pretty onto it," he said.
This inaugural competition was run by Plumbing World to address the growing shortage of qualified local plumbers, gas fitters and drain layers in the New Zealand market and aims to raise the profile of plumbing as a career choice for young Kiwis.
Wintec is also on-board, having developed a solution-based training programme to support plumbing apprenticeships.
Plumbing World general manager Rob Kidd said the competition was a fantastic success and it was heart-warming to see the camaraderie among fellow plumbers.
"All of the finalists did a fantastic job and I highly commend each one of them," Mr Kidd said.
He also congratulated Mr Parker on winning and hopes the event will attract more young people to the industry.
"Plumbing World is excited to see the next generation of plumbers enter apprenticeships and enter the industry."
According to recent research by MBIE, the demand for plumbers is expected to experience the largest growth of any construction trade over the next five years.
This equates to 1622 more plumbers needed to service the construction sector.
This year's event was hosted by two of New Zealand's most high-profile plumbers, Logan Dodds and Jesse James Cassrels, who were joined by Plumbing World ambassador, All Black Captain Kieran Read.