Wellington Registered Master Builders Association

100 years of history

Gerald Rixon has been managing the Wellington Registered Master Builders Association (WRMBA) for the past 11 years, continuing the work of the organisation that began more than 100 years ago.

The WRMBA is one of 22 standalone associations that represent a diverse range of building companies throughout New Zealand, from the very small to the big industry players. All associations contribute to the NZ Registered Master Builders Federation, the national body responsible for political lobbying on behalf of its nationwide membership.

With more than 200 member companies, the WRMBA is one of the largest associations in the country and its members are responsible for more than 65 percent of the construction activity in the Wellington region. Membership to the organisation is by invitation and there are strict guidelines on the skills required to join.

“Builders must not only be trade qualified but also have sound financial and managerial experience and a history of delivering quality work. With the national body offering a 10 year guarantee on work carried out, we need to be confident that our members are savvy in all aspects of their business – it is not enough to just have a trade qualification,” says Gerald.

The Association provides much needed support to its members in the form of training, mediation and business advice and is constantly working on increasing awareness and confidence in using its members. The organisation also has a public face, providing a contact point for industry related information.

With the new Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) regime coming into effect in March 2012 to ensure builders meet quality criteria, Gerald will be actively helping members through the registration process and providing much needed support to fast track applications. The new scheme will also require ongoing professional development, which the WRMBA will facilitate through its training sessions, meetings and its website.

The Association delivers benefits to its members in other ways too, with a calendar of social activities allowing members to get together informally where they can talk, share ideas and collaboratively find solutions to issues they may have. The WRMBA also is involved in the national House of the Year and Apprentice of the Year events, both of which were originally initiatives of the organisation.

Peter Smith at Markhams has had a relationship with WRMBA that has spanned some 30 years, well before Gerald took over the reins.

“I have known Peter for a long time and we share a very good mutual understanding. He understands the construction industry and relates to our needs extremely well,” says Gerald.

Gerald handles the day to day accounting function of the Association, using the Xero accounting system that was implemented at Peter’s recommendation earlier this year.

“Markhams handles our end of year financial statements, give advice and also provide valuable backup with Xero if I need it. It’s very reassuring to have them keeping an eye on things,” he says.


Published Summer 2011.

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