Cameron Diack's 1.5m tall children's castle playhouse has won him the regional final of the New Zealand Certified Builders Carpentry Apprentice Challenge.

The 22-year-old Tauranga building apprentice was announced the regional final winner at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology's Windermere campus yesterday.

The apprentice at Jones Builders had eight hours to construct a 1.5m high children's castle playhouse, with turret and working drawbridge.

His first place won him a Makita power tool, sponsored by Mount ITM, which also provided the materials for the challenge.


Paul James Builders apprentice James Irvine placed second and Proform Homes apprentice Cameron McCaskie placed third. The competitors were judged on accuracy, completion and finish within a strict marking guide.

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology faculty leader of trades and logistics Brian Dillon said the competition was a rare chance for apprentices to compete against their peers.

"They don't always get that chance on site, where they are often under the direction of their employer or supervisor, and the competitive aspect adds a bit of excitement too," Dillon said.

The competition was held in 17 regions throughout New Zealand and was open to apprentices employed by current NZCB builders or enrolled with Industry Training Association of Building.

Diack will now represent Tauranga in the national final at Rotorua in May, when he will compete for the Ken Read Memorial Read Trophy and a chance to win a $50,000 prize pack.

The playhouses will be donated to local community groups.