Humbled Palmerston North building apprentice wins Central North Island award


Atigiapa ‘Tingy’ Meyrick from Isles Construction was overwhelmed when he was awarded first place at the Central North Island Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2017 Apprentice of the Year competition.

The 23-year-old from Palmerston North said winning the regional Apprentice of the Year was a fantastic feeling, and he felt honoured that he was chosen to represent the Central North Island at the national competition.

“It was a great moment — I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry! I was really ecstatic, and I’m looking forward to stepping up to the challenge at the national competition,” he says.

Tingy says the interview was the most exciting part of the competition, valuing the opportunity to get to know professionals who have been in the industry for a long time.

“I realised that even though the judges are at the top of the hierarchy, and have so much experience behind them, they are just down to earth lads, and are in the industry for the same reasons as us. It felt more like a chat with the boys rather than an interview,” he says.

While he found studying for his site visit challenging, Tingy says the experience was incredibly rewarding.

“I studied all the plans for about three weeks before the visit to make sure I knew all the fine details, and so I knew it like the back of my hand.

“Although this was challenging, it was also really rewarding as I could see how much I have grown over the last three years of my apprenticeship.

“My competencies have grown so much that I can now read plans and understand them quite easily, which is a great feeling.”

Tingy explains that his love of maths and building furniture at high school led him to pursue a career in the trades.

“I thought that maths and building furniture aligned really well to a career in construction, and it has definitely paid off. This job fulfils all my wants and needs from a career,” he says.

“My apprenticeship has allowed me to work with so many different people and share knowledge and ideas with all age groups and experience levels.

“It’s a very humbling experience — having the right attitude is crucial, and it has got me a long way.”

As well as the title of Central North Island Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2017 Apprentice of the Year, Tingy received $2000 to spend at CARTERS, a place on an Outward Bound course, and a range of products and tools.

He is looking forward to the Apprentice of the Year national competition in Auckland in November, where he will be vying for the national title of Registered Master Builders CARTERS 2017 Apprentice of the Year.

“I’m really excited to compete in the practical challenge. I love the finesse and intricacies of the trade, so I’m hoping my finishing should really shine,” he says.

Apprentices, employers and young people aspiring to be part of the construction industry are also encouraged to join the Registered Master Builders Facebook page at 

The Registered Master Builders Apprentice of the Year competition is made possible thanks to principal sponsor CARTERS, the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO), and supporting sponsors the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), and APL through their Altherm, First and Vantage brands.

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