NZ’s top Painting & Decorating apprentice

At the Master Painters Conference, William Steer of Paterson Exterior Plastering Ltd, Palmerston North, took away the prestigious title of Painting and Decorating Apprentice of the Year. The competition was extremely close, with the judges commenting that only 1.5 points separated first place from third. 

Joining William in the finals were Sean Dudley of M R Decorating, Central Otago, and Marlon Wilson-Tait of 0800 Decorate, Christchurch. To be selected to compete in the finals each candidate had to submit a portfolio of their work along with a personal explanation of why they believed they should be considered for the title of Apprentice of the Year.


The finalists arrived at the conference venue in Queenstown and were given the challenge of decorating playhouses. These houses will later be gifted to local charities, with the best house ultimately determining the winner of the competition. Resene, who sponsored the event, assigned each of the finalists a different colour scheme and provided any other equipment they needed to complete the job. The finalists then worked for the next three days over the course of the conference to finish their houses. This was a high pressure task for the competitors, as they were often working under the watchful eyes of the delegates at the conference who were keen to observe their progress.

The Saturday evening of the conference was dedicated to the apprentice of the year awards. It was here that the delegates were formally introduced to each of the finalists and where the judge’s decision was announced. Each of the finalists thoroughly enjoyed their experience and a great night was had by all in attendance. The finalists were especially appreciative that their support crew including their partners, family and employers were also sponsored to attend the event. A big thank you also needs to go out to Master Painters, Resene Paints and the BCITO Training Advisors that provided support to the finalists throughout their apprenticeships.

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