King Sam the ‘clear winner’ of castle-building contest

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Doing battle . . . Gray Brothers Builders apprentice Sam Paris, of Shiel Hill, builds a children's castle to win a regional heat in the annual New Zealand Certified Builders Apprentice Challenge in Dunedin last month. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A Dunedin carpentry apprentice has been named the king of a castle-making competition at Otago Polytechnic.

Gray Brothers Builders apprentice Sam Paris (22), of Shiel Hill, won a regional heat last month in the annual New Zealand Certified Builders Apprentice Challenge.

He was one of six apprentices in the Dunedin heat given eight hours to build a 1.5m-high children’s castle playhouse, complete with a turret and working drawbridge.

Judges assessed a range of building elements, including the quality of the workmanship and accuracy.

Polytechnic apprentice manager Grant Beel said the judges deemed the Dunedin apprentice to be the “clear winner” of the competition.

Three apprentices failed to complete the “challenging” task in eight hours, he said.

Polytechnic students would complete the three castles requiring further work.

The castles had to meet minimum safety standards, as they would be given to early childhood education providers and other community groups after the competition.

The challenge was among 15 held across New Zealand last month.

NZCB chief executive Grant Florence said the 20 winners of the regional heats would compete for prizes worth more than $50,000 in the national final as part of the 20th annual NZCB National Conference and Expo in Rotorua on May 25 and 26.