Richie Powell from Hamilton, who has clocked up 39 years in the roofing industry, and 25 of them with Project Unite Ltd, was deservedly named the winner of this year’s RANZ Roofing Excellence Award earlier this year.
Mr Powell was the first roofing LBP to be registered when licensing was introduced.
His roofing service began with Delta Manufacturing and Plumbing in Hamilton, where he learned sheet metal fabrication, welding, soldering and lead beating.
After a brief stint on the Gold Coast, he returned to Hamilton and joined Project Unite Ltd (PUL) where he is now operations manager, acting as the link between the administration and site teams, and managing all projects — up to eight at a time — and the staffing of those over the past 10 years.
Among the award-winning projects the 53-year-old has managed are the Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery in Titirangi, Auckland, the bus/train interchange at Manukau, and the Delegat winery in Hastings.
Much of the company and project-specific safety in the workplace is in Mr Powell’s domain.
He is constantly training to further his knowledge to ensure those in the team are safe on the job.
Nearly all staff training is undertaken by Mr Powell, who has built a large module at PUL headquarters where regular teaching sessions are held. He is also a workplace verifier for the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
Mr Powell says the prerequisites for becoming a good roofer are the ability to work in a team, stickability, working willingly outside in all weathers, and enjoying hard work.
His award included $1000 cash, a gift pack, and travel and accommodation to this year’s RANZ conference in Queenstown.
Award runners-up were Adam Baxter from Roofing Hub Ltd, and Michael Lochhead from TH Commercial Roofing Ltd, Tauranga.