Supporting plasterers and tilers for over 100 years

cmpta-logo-2012With many ‘cowboys’ in the market, Berenice Chaston, president of Canterbury Master Plasterers and Tilers (CMPTA) says checking the credentials of plasterers or tilers before engaging them as sub-contractors, or to carry out private work is essential.

“We have heard of jobs that have not been finished to a professional standard which can cause potential hidden issues. An example of this is waterproofing of showers, a critical step, which if done incorrectly, could lead to expensive repairs down the line.”

She says these sorts of shoddy practices are a bad reflection on both trades.

“This is where engaging a member of Canterbury Master Plasterers and Tilers can give clients’ peace of mind.”

CMPTA currently represents around 300 tradespeople from 40 member companies in the plastering and tiling industries.

Most are based in Canterbury, although a handful come from the West Coast and Nelson.

“Due to the nature of the Christchurch and Canterbury market since the earthquakes there have been a lot of new entrants into the field who have not always recognised the value of the CMPTA membership. This means only a small percentage are currently represented. However our members are a solid core of plasterers and tilers who stand behind their work 100 percent,” says Berenice.

This commitment and backing of their work means the criteria to become a member of CMPTA is quite strict.

Applications can be made in two ways – potential members can be nominated by a current member or they can apply for membership themselves.

“Whichever way members apply, they are required to supply three references of workmanship and details of their qualifications. Their jobs are then inspected and finally discussed with all our members to determine if membership will be offered. Members must come up to a very high standard to ensure quality for the customer and become recognised as the top end of trade skill.”.

She says the association’s members are like-minded business people who want to run their businesses efficiently, and deliver high quality workmanship.

“Our members are also kept up to date with the latest legislation and are supported to have the right systems and processes in place, especially around things like health and safety.”

A full list of CMPTA members can be accessed from the organisation’s website.

“It is important people know they are dealing with qualified and experienced tradespeople.”

For an industry as broad as plastering and tiling, it can be surprising to learn CMPTA is the only association in New Zealand representing tradespeople in these sectors.

The organisation has tirelessly supported and represented members in the local region since 1905, and has future plans to expand into a national body, to ensure the skill levels of New Zealand tradespeople are “second to none”, says president, Berenice Chaston.

“It is critical we keep the skill level up and provide a point of difference in the market. It is currently far too easy for people start a business in these sectors without the proper experience or qualifications. It would be great one day to see the Master Plasterers and Tilers brand become as strong as other Master Trade brands throughout New Zealand.”

The Association also plans to introduce industry awards, to showcase the level of skill of its members.

CMPTA has also been working with BCITO to create a “great programme” for apprentices to help meet the demand for good, qualified tradespeople, she says.

“We are encouraging our members to look at taking on more apprentices, if we don’t start doing this now, there will be gaps in the industry in the future.”

A representative of BCITO is due to speak to members of CMPTA about the importance of apprenticeship training and other ways in which they can support the trade continuing on for future generations.  Another guest speaker is Jacqui Christie who is in HR will be speaking about HR and recruitment.

Berenice says plastering and tiling are good career choices for young people (not just young, any one wanting a career change).

“There is a lot of job satisfaction and plenty of opportunities to grow in a number of areas such as the development of skills through training, and even business ownership.”

The Association’s AGM is usually held in July, which covers the election of officers, a review of the past year’s achievements and plans for the coming year.

Its regular quarterly meetings provide a chance for members to network with other tilers and plasterers and to share ideas.

“It is a supportive environment, where members can ask questions, see how other businesses are run, and better their own operations.”

Berenice says CMPTA is constantly looking for ways to develop as an industry, and ensures members are kept up to date with new regulations and products.

It also provides ongoing professional support for members.

“We host regular talks by professional groups who can help members improve their business model, such as IRD, insurance specialists and legal professionals.

Our most recent guest speakers have been Ivan Stanicich and Jessie Dewys of Master Builders who spoke about new industry building regulations; Eric Moore a business development manager from Aon Insurance regarding insurance requirements and a Tradies Pack; and Malcolm Oats, a specialist representative from Rockcote who talked about new plastering techniques and systems.”

CMPTA has also started to look at partnering with a range of companies to offer product discounts and specials to its members.

Berenice says there are many other reasons why tradespeople should consider becoming a member of CMPTA.

“We have a long, well proven history of more than 110 years supporting and promoting the plastering and tiling industries. Our registered members seek to advance their businesses and strive to reach the highest standards of professional trade craftsmanship and ethical business practice.”

In the event of a problem or dispute, the association also provides support and back up.

“CMPTA takes any complaints against a member very seriously. In the event of a dispute the association will provide support for both the member and the client, investigating the complaint and working to implement a solution. All members of the CMPTA have an obligation to meet the standards of best practice and those set out in the NZ Building Code.”

The CMPTA can only act for a member. It has no jurisdiction to act for non-members or customers who have had jobs done by non-members.

“This is another reason why choosing a CMPTA member is the right choice.”

Berenice is a director of Christchurch firm of 9 years, Décor Tiling. She is in her second year as president of CMPTA, and is supported on the executive by a secretary, two vice presidents (representing each industry sector), and a treasurer.

“We are extremely proud of the Association’s long history serving tradespeople in Canterbury and the wider regions, and will continue to do what we can to raise the standards of the plastering and tiling trades in New Zealand.”

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