She's a tough, straight forward type of gal with a head for heights, working in a male-dominated industry.
Liz Watson has built a successful career as a qualified roof installer and business owner who's been crowned New Zealand Tradeswoman of the Year.
Now Watson, of Ngāpuhi decent, is coming home to the Far North to inspire students from her hometown of Kaikohe during a school speech tour.
Watson is giving two talks in Kaikohe in March, accompanied by Roofing Association of New Zealand chief executive Graham Moor, who is also originally from the area.
The pair plan to visit Kaikohe Primary school and Northland College to inspire students to consider roofing and trades as a career path.
Watson went to Kaikohe Primary, while Moor attended Kaikohe West and Intermediate.
Watson said she hopes to inspire the youngsters, and let them know "you can be anything, you can do anything".
"I want to give an inspiring speech and encourage school leavers to get into the roofing and construction industry.
"If you think about the typical person growing up in the area, you're not going to think that a woman of the year, or someone owning their own company, would be able to achieve this."
Watson has been a roofer since 2011 and co-owns the Hamilton-based Stone Roofing company with her partner Dan Stone.
The couple live in the Waikato but are both originally from Kaikohe.
Watson, 35, won the Tradeswoman of the Year Award in 2019 and the same year was a Colorsteel Finalist for Roofer of the year.
She is also a founding member and committee member of New Zealand Women In Roofing (NZWIR) as well as a member of the National Association for Women in Construction (NAWiC).
Dan has been working on the tools installing various roofing products since 2002 when he was just 15 and starting out in the Bay of Islands.
"Dan and I have been together 17 years, and he's always been a roofer so I used to help him out at work," Watson said.
"I started getting involved in the background, before working on the tools."
Watson said roofers have to have good balance, a head for heights, and good problem-solving skills.
You also need to be a bit tough.
"Because it's male-dominated industry, you do have to have a bit of hair on your back and stand up for yourself.
"I've worked with men since I left school, and I've had a lot of head butts with some of the guys. I'm a pretty straight forward type of gal, I stand up for myself."
Watson said the job also requires working in all types of weather.
Despite this, she loves it.
"When I first started I was on all fours, but you soon learn how to balance and distribute your weight.
"It's not just any trade, it's hard yakka, you have to do a lot of thinking.
"But I'd say give roofing a go, it's such a rewarding industry."