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New Zealand Plumbers, Drainlayers & Gasfitters Association Inc

New Zealand Plumbers, Drainlayers & Gasfitters
Association Inc

Latest News / Industry Newsfeed - December 2017

Anne Timpany. Picture: NatWest everywoman Awards

Anne Timpany of On Tap Plumbers is one of 21 finalists in the 15th annual NatWest Everywoman awards - she has been nominated in the Athena category, which recognises women who have been running businesses of only six to nine years old.

After leaving New Zealand to travel the world and develop her hospitality career, Anne met her Albanian plumber husband Raff in London.

Combining their respective skill-sets, Anne and Raff founded On Tap Plumbers in 2010 and honed in on commercial plumbing in 2014.

Despite facing difficulties breaking into the industry, in just three years they are now invited to tender for major developments and have 50 plumbers and seven apprentices across seven construction sites in London.

On Tap Plumbers have also been involved with creating iconic buildings such as Leadenhall building ‘The Cheesegrater’, 20 Fenchurch Street ala ‘The Walkie Talkie’, Leicester Square, Facebook Headquarters and currently, the Canary Wharf development.

As 45 per cent of the construction workforce is from oversees, On Tap Plumbers have faced the challenge of Brexit head on by inspiring the next generation of plumbers in London colleges.

She was selected for the award by 18 of Britain’s top businesswomen including Chrissie Rucker, Cath Kidston, Rosaleen Blair and Poonam Gupta.

Everywoman co-founder Maxine Benson said: “We believe women from all backgrounds should have a platform to share their success stories and highlight what can be achieved even when faced with life’s biggest challenges. This year’s finalists are a true testament to the breadth of female talent in this country and we wish them all continued success.”

NatWest’s head of enterprise Julie Baker, said: “We are very proud to recognise these women, who are not just successful in their own businesses, but are also great role models. The importance of women in business cannot be underestimated, so we hope these role models will inspire other women to take their first steps in business.”

Winners will be announced on December 6 at The Dorchester in London. READ MORE



Reihana Manaena and his father Paul Manaena, owner of Laser Plumbing and Electrical Napier, named PAN PAC Business of the Year last night. Photo/Warren Buckland

Napier-based company Laser Plumbing and Electrical has taken out the region's top business award.

The Onekawa company was last night named PAN PAC Business of the Year at the 2017 PAN PAC Hawke's Bay Business Awards.

Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wayne Walford praised all 19 entrants for their work over the year, during a night of celebration with 270 guests enjoying a sumptuous meal at the Clubs Hastings Events venue while sharing the excitement of the business excellence winners.

"The awards are an opportunity for business owners and managers to have their businesses reviewed by peers and receive feedback for positive development.

"It takes courage to enter the awards and put yourself out there for judging, but as we have seen tonight, applying the judges' feedback can lead to winning the business of the year.

"Laser Plumbing and Electrical has applied the feedback from previous awards plus they have an external mentor giving them an edge that is producing amazing rewards.

"We are grateful for the sponsorship support of PAN PAC the 2017 Naming Rights Sponsor plus the category sponsors and support sponsors who are all committed to making the events the premier event of the Hawke's Bay calendar."

Pan Pac managing director Doug Ducker said it was important that the contributions made by businesses were recognised.

"The business awards for us are very, very important to the region. The development of business is very critical."

He said while one in every 20 dollars of income in the region could be traced back to Pan Pac the company could not survive without the support of local businesses, talent and local education providers.

Laser Electrical and Plumbing co-owner Paul Manaena said he felt very humbled just to be nominated, as he picked up the award just a year and a half after merging the plumbing business with the existing electrical side of the franchise.

Earlier in the night he accepted the NZME – Medium to Large Business Award to the sounds of a haka performed by staff and a whanau. He and his son and co-owner Reihana Manaena responded with a stage shaking haka of their own.

DataNow took out the EIT – Small Business award for companies employing 1-5 FTEs, competing against Eftpos Specialists (HB) Ltd and Caci Clinic – Havelock North

Kiwi Tax was named winner of the Chartered Accountants Australia, New Zealand Small to Medium Business award for companies employing 6-20 FTEs, up against fellow finalists AskYourTeam and Douglas Outdoor Living Solutions.

Laser Plumbing & Electrical also took out the NZME award for medium to large businesses employing 21-35 FTEs, against Boulevard Cleaning and Jacksons Flooring.

The Great Things Grow Here award for large businesses went to Oil Intel, which was up against finalists One Staff and Brebner Print.

The Linden Estate Leader of the Year award went to Ei Mua Consulting Ltd's principal consultant Caren Rangi, who said she was 'really chuffed.

"It's really nice. I was a little surprised I guess, especially since a lot of my leadership roles are outside Hawke's Bay in Auckland, Wellington and the Cook Islands. I'm mostly known here for my work with Eastern and Central Community Trust. It was especially nice to be recognised for my governance roles which are not always recognised as a cool thing."

Laser electrical and plumbing co owner Paul Manaema said he felt 'very humbled' just to be nominated, he picked up the award just a year and a half after merging the plumbing business with the existing electrical side of the franchise
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the council was proud to support the awards which recognised the outstanding contribution businesses across the region made to the local economy by providing employment READ MORE


Paul Manaena, Reihana Manaena and Darrin Lee of Laser Plumbing and Electrical. Photo / Duncan Brown

After a double-award-winning year, Napier-based Laser Plumbing and Electrical plans to double in size.

The franchise, run by father and son team Paul and Reihana Manaena, was named the Pan Pac Business of the Year at the 2017 Pan Pac Hawke's Bay Business Awards on Friday.

And Reihana Manaena said that award came after the company was named Laser Plumbing and Electrical international franchise of the year.

"We are very humbled to be chosen as the Pan Pac Hawke's Bay Business of the Year," Reihana Manaena said.

"We've entered two years in a row and we have quite a similar process in the Laser Plumbing and Electrical group, which are made up of 240 other franchise members in New Zealand and Australia and we've been able to have our business through that judging process.

"We have done quite well in that too because we were named the International Laser Business of the Year, so we're quite happy with our progress and just excited about the future. We're thankful for every moment.

"All the success that we have achieved, I am still able to go to my daughter's athletics, take the children to their first day of school - it's those things are a big thing for us. So, being able to achieve that is success."

Faith had also played a big part in the company's success.

"God has been pivotal in my life and my family's life. It hasn't always been easy, we've been through some really rough, tough times and some quite recently.

"Three-and-a-half years ago I lost my wife to a car accident and at that point in time it was difficult. But having my children and family around me, along with my Laser family, was so important. I couldn't have done it without all of them," Mr Manaena said.

"We've come out the other side now, and I'm just thankful to wake up every morning and breathe the fresh air."

This year's double success had been a long time in the making, with Mr Manaena seeing a lot of changes since he first came to work for his father as a 16-year-old straight from Lindisfarne College.

The company now employs 28 people at its Onekawa premises but has plans to expand over the next year and a half.

"We moved here a year and a half ago when we bought Laser Plumbing and we merged the two businesses together. It has been one of the best moves we've made as a company.

"We're looking forward to a future of sustainable growth. We're not only looking at the areas of plumbing and electrical, we are looking at gas-fitting and a massive amount with automation and robotics."

Over the past five years the company had also been increasingly involved in automation.

Merging two different trades had provided some challenges but he pointed out there was a lot of support from a variety of sectors available for businesses in the region.

He put much of this year's success down to the company's culture.

"We're very open, and we just try to make sure everyone feels involved. It's a massive team effort, and we count our team as everyone including the suppliers, the bank manager, our lawyer, our accountant. They do a lot of stuff for us and without them we wouldn't be where we are today.

"We moved to Napier in 2010 and started off with a team of five, so we were relatively small. Dad put everything on the line to make this business start. At the time we were going through a very hard economic period but we just built up from there, one customer at a time.

"We based our whole business strategy on quality and providing a quality product that people saw value in."

He also paid tribute to the work of Michaela Vodanovich from the Icehouse.

"There is an amazing amount of help available in Hawke's Bay. Not just with the Icehouse but with the Chamber of Commerce, Business Mentors NZ, which we have been involved with.

"We meet every three weeks with Michaela just about our strategic plan and iron out our goals and set a plan on what we are going to do in the next three weeks to work towards our bigger vision, which is to double the business by 2019." READ MORE



Can the system handle it?

My question is directed to the Invercargill City Council is regarding the amount of infill housing development  in the Windsor and surrounding suburbs.

Is the existing stormwater system capable of handling the increased run off due to the sealed areas and roof catchments?

I see on occasions now a lot of the storm water drains are over loaded resulting in water flowing into propertiess and basement garages.

With the heavy rain events  predicted to increase, is our existing stormwater system able to cope or are the new developments going to result in more problems?

Murray Rees

ICC drainage manager Malcolm Loan replied:

Mr Rees' letter raises a concern with the density of infill housing that is shared by the city council, and which is addressed within the 2013 District Plan.

When properties are developed for infill housing, the council requires a minimum permeable area (lawns and gardens) of 30 per cent  to provide soakage area.    

This aligns with the current  Invercargill  stormwater capacity design adopted in 1985.  

Since then stormwater drains have been renewed to all areas that were flooded in 1984, and the remainder of the stormwater system will be renewed in the new design sizes as drains reach end of life.  

While  the possibility of extreme rainfall events capable of overloading the drainage systems will remain, we believe that the current design standards provide a good level of protection from flooding into the future.

The council has received three Requests for Service in the Richmond/ Windsor/Rosedale area regarding flooding issues since July 2016, including one from Mr Rees.

As a result the drain was cleaned and silt removed, and is expected to provide improved service into the future. READ MORE


Temuka's asbestos-affected water supply scare has been keeping the town's plumbers on their toes as worried residents sought reassurance their home water lines and filters were clear.

While the Timaru District Council has confirmed on Thursday the water is safe to drink, and is also safe for all other uses, local plumbers like Nigel Kerslake from Temuka Plumbing, said they were "flat out" with calls.

"Not really what we wanted before Christmas but oh well," said Kerslake. 

"We started receiving calls about a week ago, when the issue first arose.

"The council have been pretty good, and let us know whats going on.

Most of the work they were doing was cleaning filters.

"It shows the filters are doing their job. It would average out to be a 20c piece of stuff we are catching."

Temuka man Walter Gosling said he had cleaned his washing machine filter out himself without realising asbestos was blocking it, and he wished he had known so he could have taken precautions. 

Another Temuka resident who did not want to be named said his garden sprinkler filter had been blocked several times over the last few days, with a substance that "looked like papier mache". 

"I've cleaned this filter several times. It goes good for a wee while and it just dies."  READ MORE


New Zealand tech company Fergus raises $3.5 million to drive global expansion
Fergus, the leading job management platform for growing trades businesses in New Zealand, announced today a $3.5 million AUD investment led by Sydney-based, Microequities Venture Capital Fund.

The financing will be used to accelerate growth in Australia, and further its global expansion as the go-to job management software for the trades industry. As part of the financing, Howard Leibman, from the Microequities Venture Capital Fund, will join the Fergus Board of Directors.

With thousands of tradesmen around the world already using Fergus and heavily relying on its features to run their day-to-day operations, Mr Leibman believes Fergus has demonstrated significant early potential to dominate the market for job management software globally. "Fergus is becoming increasingly embedded in the Australian trades and services sector and is enjoying early traction in key international markets. Funds raised in this round will allow Fergus to appropriately resource its sales and marketing capabilities, and to ultimately replicate the success achieved in New Zealand, in Australia and beyond,” Mr Leibman said.

Fergus was founded in 2011 by veteran trades businessman, Dan Pollard, who has over 20 years experience in the trades industry. Mr Pollard’s experience includes founding and managing one of the largest plumbing maintenance companies in New Zealand, giving him an intimate understanding of the many challenges faced in the sector. “Fergus was built because I needed a software solution to help manage my business and the products available in the market just weren’t up to scratch,” Mr Pollard said.
After building Fergus to provide a solution for his own plumbing company, Mr Pollard saw his business catapult from a 4-vehicle operation, to a 15-vehicle plumbing empire in just 4 years. This was a feat previously difficult to achieve due to the stress and administrative burden associated with trying to expand a trades business.
“After I saw the success it brought to my business I realised I had tapped into something special and had to roll Fergus out further.” Mr Pollard.

Mr Leibman also commented that he has seen first hand the extent to which Fergus helps its customers transform their operations, with thousands of users crediting the software as a driving force to create the efficiencies and profitability needed to grow their business.

He believes this unusual level of advocacy has helped Fergus achieve its significant early adoption, primarily through word of mouth.

“Customers are telling us that Fergus has become a critical aspect to their own ability to manage their businesses. We’re certain that Fergus has developed the best job management product for the mid-market trades sector and we look forward to working with Dan and the team to help establish a dominant market position in Australia and beyond.”

Mr Pollard is excited to be working on the next phase of Fergus’ global expansion with the support of Microequities Venture Capital Fund.

“The investors supporting this round are bringing decades of experience in helping technology companies scale. Having such a strong sign of support gives our team real confidence about the path we’re taking.” READ MORE

Interviews with CEO of Fergus, Dan Pollard, and Howard Leibman from Microequities Venture Capital Fund available on request.

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