Mark Watkins takes out Training Leader of the Year at the 2020 NZ Plumbing Awards - Advanced Plumbing
Mark Watkins 2020 Master Plumbers Training Leader of the Year

Mark Watkins takes out Training Leader of the Year at the 2020 NZ Plumbing Awards

Mark Watkins, Managing Director of Advanced Plumbing celebrated in his lounge last night with 9 other family members and colleagues when the announcement for the 2020 Training Leader of the Year was announced.  This year’s awards were held via Facebook Watch Party hosted by MC Jackie Clark and Master Plumbers CEO Greg Wallace.  This award is to recognise going beyond the call of duty to help educate and support people entering the industry.

NZ Master Plumbers were forced to take a different approach to the awards this year due to Covid-19 but were determined to celebrate success and excellence in the industry by running Virtual Awards through Facebook, so with Level 2 restrictions in place the Advanced Plumbing team made the most of what we could do with a group of 10 gathered at Marks home to share in a beer and watch the Awards via Facebook on his TV.

Off the back of our Senior Foreman Kenny Geenty winning the Plumber of the Year Award for 2019 we looked to other areas of the business where we felt we were excelling and it was apparent to us that we had a good chance at the Training Leader of the Year award.

Some of the key things the judges were looking for were stand out service to the industry and achievements, how people entering the industry have been supported and educated, and what qualities and skills stand out in developing the industry as a whole.

Mark started Advanced Plumbing in 2009 and has grown the team to 40 which includes 11 in the office across Finance, Operations, HR/Health and Safety, Marketing, Product/Pricing and Administration along with 29 out in the field, of which 15 are apprentices.  This is the largest team of apprentices in the Hawkes Bay region.

The Advanced team are continually qualifying and growing their skills and Mark’s passion for addressing the skills shortage in the industry by bringing through apprentices using the company’s “Advanced Way” methodology did not go unnoticed by the judges.  Here the focus is on instilling pride in your work and commitment to delivering effective client solutions.

Mark’s ability to lead, to teach, to support and empower his team flows through all levels and all team members regularly attend training courses to advance their skills.  Mark also regularly supports many regional causes, in particular those involving young people.

Following the Jackie Clarkes comments, Greg Wallace also added “Its a great effort, he (Mark) has been doing great work in the Hawke’s Bay for Master Plumbers and we are very proud of him”.

The team at Advanced Plumbing would also like to congratulate the other category winners as follows:

2020 Master Plumber of the Year

This award recognises a member business that can clearly demonstrate its business acumen and drive for success.

WINNER – iPlumber Limited – Hamilton


2020 Graeme Victor Smith Contribution to the Industry

This award recognises commitment to Master Plumbers, to the industry, to running a successful business and to developing young and future plumbers.

WINNER – Jack Rogers (Rogers & Rogers – Kaitaia)


2020 Jackson Women in Plumbing

This new award recognises a woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying industry.

WINNER – Colleen Upton (Hutt Gas & Plumbing – Wellington)


2020 James Douglas Medallion

This award recognises outstanding newly qualified apprentices in plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying who have demonstrated commitment and determination to achieve industry success.

FINALIST: Plumbing – Thomas Walls (East Coast Plumbing & Gas – Hastings)

FINALIST: Gasfitting – Brent Ewing (McIvor Plumbers & Gasfitters – Wanaka)

FINALIST: Drainlaying – Ben Howie-Stevens (Lewis Plumbing Co – Rotorua)

WINNER – Brent Ewing (McIvor Plumbers & Gasfitters – Wanaka)

2020 Outstanding Project of the Year

This award recognises exceptional work by Master Plumbers’ members.

WINNER – Hutt Gas & Plumbing (Wellington) – National Containment Laboratory, MPI


2020 NZ Plumber, Gasfitter or Drainlayer of the Year

This award recognises excellence in the trade skills of an individual Certifying Plumber, Gasfitter or Drainlayer who is a respected member of their trade and known for their leadership skills.

WINNER – Sean O’Shea (Plumbing & Gas Works – Hamilton)


2020 Product of the Year

This award recognises the significant contribution to product development in the plumbing, gasfitting and drainlaying industry in the past year.

WINNER – Greens Tapware – Vantage Range


2020 Kava Cup

This award recognises a special project or act of goodwill completed by a Master Plumbers Branch or Association to the benefit of their community.

WINNER – Canterbury Master Plumbers Association – Kowhai Rest Home, Christchurch


2020 Plumbing World Scholarship

Plumbing World Scholarships are awarded to three Masterlink apprentices who have demonstrated diligence in their studies and personal growth over the past year.

WINNER – Darren Mills – Hosted by Graham Bond Ltd, Christchurch

WINNER – George Steed – Hosted by Rogers & Rogers, Kaitaia

WINNER – Alan Wharton – Hosted by Flints Plumbing & Drainage, Queenstown

OVERALL WINNER – Alan Wharton – Hosted by Flints Plumbing & Drainage, Queenstown


For the full awards held on Facebook, click here to view