A Mangonui apprentice builder will take on the cream of apprentices in New Zealand after being named Northern Region Registered Master Builders Carters 2014 Apprentice of the Year.
Kyran Vaniperen, employed by Coastal Homes in Coopers Beach and trained through the BCITO, took out the award in Auckland on Thursday after impressing the judges.
Mr Vaniperen, 25 and in the third year of his apprenticeship, will now compete against the winners from eight other regions at the national finals in Auckland in October.
He was overjoyed with the win, saying he had to be talked into the competition by his workmates and was probably the last to enter. It was a coup for his company and gave him a boost heading into the final.
"I didn't expect to win and the boys pushed me in to entering, but it was awesome to win it and I'm looking forward to the final now. It's amazing to bring the trophy to Northland and (the win) gives me a lot of confidence," Mr Vaniperen said.
He said the competition was tough and the judges threw in a few trick questions as well as closely examining his work and knowledge of the industry.
The judges said Mr Vaniperen was very competent on a difficult build they gave him. "Kyran had good safety systems in place and received positive feedback from his employer. He is a highly organised and well-rounded builder with excellent people skills."
He was awarded an array of prizes, including his choice of either a study grant to the value of $2000, or $2000 to spend at Carters and a place at an Outward Bound Leadership Programme, as well as the sought-after regional title.
Second place in the northern region was awarded to Jacob Hesketh, 22, of Takapuna, employed by PHD Construction in Bayswater, while third place went to Benjamin Wedgwood, 26, of Warkworth, employed by Little Tree Construction.
Registered Master Builders acting chief executive Brendon Ward says it is gratifying to see a strong group of contenders putting themselves forward to be judged against their peers at this year's Apprentice of the Year competition.
"Apprentices who are willing to stand up and strive to be the best they can be demonstrate the excellent talent coming through our building and construction industry. The builders who take on those apprentices should also be praised for their contribution to the growth and succession of the sector," Mr Ward said.
National finalists will compete in a practical carpentry challenge where each apprentice will have to complete a small building project to be gifted to local charities on completion. The practical challenge will take place at The Cloud, on Auckland Waterfront, on October 17 and will be open to the public.
The winner of the Registered Master Builders Carters 2014 Apprentice of the Year will then be announced at an awards dinner at The Cloud.