Wrenn blown away by win
AHawke’s Bay plumber thought his chances of winning the New Zealand Young Plumber of the Year award was just a pipe dream. But George Wrenn, 25, is now one step away from the prestigious title — after winning both the Hawke’s Bay heat in June and a regional final in Palmerston North last week. “I was going down there thinking ‘this is going to be a bit of a wasted trip’ and came away with the win, which blew me away.” Wrenn, who works for Plumbers HB based in Hastings, has qualified for the national final on December 1 in Hamilton, Covid permitting. The title of New Zealand Young Plumber of the Year will be up for grabs at the national final as well as $5000 cash for the winner and a stack of prizes. Remarkably, this is the first time he has entered the nationwide competition that is open to plumbers aged 31 and under. Wrenn said he was put through his paces at the regional final last week working on everything from hot water cylinders, shower mixers, toilets, taps, pipe work and even a theory exam. He said they announced the top five best scores at the end of the event and he was blown away when his name was read out. “They got to the top one and I thought ‘oh well better luck next year’ and they called my name out and I couldn’t believe it. “I was a bit shocked.” He said he started studying a course at EIT in business, sport and recreation after leaving school, but quickly switched to a pre-trade course. He has not looked back since and has been a plumber for six years. “It has been amazing,” he said. “I just like the variety and helping customers and helping people out. “I enjoy the whole range of it, there is no two days that are the same, I enjoy almost every aspect of my job.” Wrenn is a qualified plumber and gas fitter and is currently completing his drain laying apprenticeship. Plumbing World organises the competition and the company’s Hastings branch manager Joel Woodham said Wrenn displayed great skills in making the national final. “It’s a well-deserved win for George, who is a very hard working and skilled young plumber,” said Woodham. “I’m excited to see how well he does representing the region in this year’s final.” Wrenn works at Plumbers HB alongside Chris Fennessy, who himself won the 2021 New Zealand Plumber, Gas fitter or Drainlayer of the Year award. For winning the regional final, Wrenn received a $200 gift card and about $1500 in tools.