New Zealand’s construction industry is celebrating the appointment of industry stalwart Graham Coe as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit, announced recently in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Registered Master Builders Federation chief executive Warwick Quinn says Mr Coe is the industry’s single most worthy recipient of the honour after an illustrious half century career in the construction sector.
“Graham’s life’s work has contributed significantly to New Zealand as a nation, through his dedication to the betterment of the industry. His leadership within Master Builders and BRANZ has led to a sector-wide improvement in the standards required and quality delivered by builders to New Zealanders.”
Mr Coe, a life member of the Registered Master Builders Federation as well as Auckland Master Builders Association, spent 36 years running his own construction companies — including Franklin-based Coe and Lewer Builders — building hundreds of new dwellings and alterations, schools, churches, factories and the Waiuku Civic Centre.
Mr Coe first joined the Auckland Master Builders Association in 1972, and held various management and board positions — including branch president, board member, junior vice-president, president and immediate past president — before he was made a life member in 2002.
He joined the New Zealand Master Builders Federation marketing committee in 1990, and in 1993 was made its president. A series of senior positions within the organisation — Master Build Services board member, NZ Federation Council and then the Board — followed, before he was made president of the Registered Master Builders Federation in 2001. In 2004 he was made a life member.
Mr Coe was also instrumental in developing the House of the Year programme — he was chairman of the national judging panel between 2001 and 2010 — which has been credited with lifting the standards of residential building in this country.
He has also played a pivotal role in the success of the Building and Research Association New Zealand (BRANZ), as chairman of both BRANZ Group and Branz Ltd from 2007 and 2008 respectively until this year.
Mr Quinn says Mr Coe has contributed selflessly to the sector, with much of the work done in his own time and out of his own pocket.
“The sector has collectively asked — how can we adequately acknowledge what Graham has done for our industry? A royal honour, we believe, is appropriate recognition.”