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'Quite an achievement': Local Registered Master Builders president Allister Savvile, left, and service manager Leon Williams with the newly-won Construction Shield

By PHILIP CHANDLER

This region’s wrested a prestigious Registered Master Builders (RMB) Association of NZ shield off Auckland for the first time.

RMB’s Construction Shield, awarded to the region that signs up the most new members over a year, has been retained consistently by Auckland since it was first presented in 2014.

Now it’s in the hands of the Central Otago branch, which encompasses Queenstown, Wanaka, Cromwell and Alexandra.

Queenstown-based regional service manager Leon Williams signed up 33 new members in the past year to take the total to 138.

‘‘Auckland’s always won it, because of obviously the population and dynamics,’’ Central Otago president Allister Saville says.

‘‘Central Otago this year won it, which is quite an achievement, I would have thought — it shows we are busy.’’

Saville says RMB gives members many training opportunities, to lift standards, and also offers guarantees to clients who use RMB builders to build their homes.

Queenstown-based Saville: ‘‘It’s the cheapest time to build with interest rates the lowest in our lifetime, and probably our parents’ lifetimes.’’

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