Almost a quarter of a century ago a bunch of working tradespeople got together to form the New Zealand Master Pool Builders Guild to help ‘weed out’ some of the poorer quality pool builders in the industry and promote the reputable ones.
One of these founders of the Guild was Larry Ogden, who all these years later is current president, of what is now known as New Zealand Master Pool Builders Inc, after it became an incorporated society in 2008.
“Back in the 1970s and 80s there were a lot of cowboys in the industry. It was a dreadful problem. We started the Guild to help the public to engage good operators, and know they were being recommended the best pool type and style for their needs.”
The organisation has definitely done what it set out to achieve, with the professionalism of the industry markedly raised as a result of its establishment.
“Although we have been largely an organisation for pool builders, we have now expanded the membership into other trades associated with pool construction. It is open to any industry members who agrees to meet quality requirements and to abstain from any activity that is detrimental to the industry or fellow members.”
NZMPB has an AGM and three general meetings each year but is considering dropping the number of general meetings to two due to the challenges for members to get away from their businesses.
“We are considering having these meetings on a Saturday next year to make it more convenient for members.”
Larry says the meetings provide a great forum where industry-related people can meet and exchange ideas.
“We have meaningful get-togethers that include guest speakers who cover a range of topics. These have recently included the new safety regulations, and need for business insurance.”
The NZMPB Diploma course is another popular benefit for members. They are able to download the course information for free and have to pass a series of tests overseen by pool builders who already hold the qualification.
NZMPB is an associate member of the Registered Master Builders Association of New Zealand.
“Although we don’t participate in any of their schemes it is good to be aligned with a well established organisation,” says Larry.
There would be few, if any pool builders in New Zealand with Larry’s experience or his level of dedication to various industry related boards and association’s dating back to the 1960s.
In addition to being a founder member of NZMPB and still having an involvement with his Auckland firm Cascade Pools, he has served on various Standards and Licensing committees, helped to develop the Swimming Pool Trade Diploma Course, and edited and revised the Diploma of Pool Technology multiple times.
He has been president of NZMPB since 2007, is an Honorary Life Member, and is looking forward to the celebrating the organisation’s quarter century milestone in July 2017.
“Although it is still a few months away, we would like to encourage all members to register for the 25 year celebrations,” he says.