Supreme joinery award dovetails with three others

Firman Joinery owners Hamish Kane (left) and Gary Firman are thrilled with the company's success...
Firman Joinery owners Hamish Kane (left) and Gary Firman are thrilled with the company's success at the New Zealand Master Joiner Awards. PHOTO: SALLY RAE
Oamaru business Firman Joinery Ltd has taken the top award at the New Zealand Master Joiner Awards.

The firm won four awards - best Waitaki region (which covered North Otago and South Canterbury), best use of creative lighting and best kitchen, as well as the supreme award for the kitchen of a new home in Cromwell.

The annual awards - the largest industry awards of their kind in the country - were announced at a function at Villa Maria Estate in Auckland.

The aim was to promote excellence in joinery design and craftsmanship, encourage the use of sustainable timbers, and showcase the finest work from the industry.

Judging criteria included design, workmanship, innovative use of materials, complexity of project and visual appeal.

Kitchen design was judged on the ``wow factor'', cutting-edge design, practicality and creative use of materials and colour.

The awards attracted 180 entries, of which 52, from throughout the country, were in the best kitchen category.

Stevenson & Williams Joinery, from Dunedin, won best use of imported timber and the Otago-Southland regional award.

Firman Joinery's winning kitchen was designed by Melanie Craig, from Melanie Craig Design, in Wanaka.

The award-winning kitchen in a Cromwell home. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The award-winning kitchen in a Cromwell home. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Judges commented that great workmanship and skill was required to undertake a combination of materials to form the curves and overlays in the delay and careful attention to crafting the details and each element to ensure an overall top-quality result.

Co-owners Gary Firman and Hamish Kane were thrilled with the result, saying it was a team effort involving all staff.

The winning kitchen was a special project, with some technically challenging aspects, and it gave the team the opportunity to showcase its skills, Mr Firman said.

They agreed it proved a business did not have to be based in the city to be at the top of its game.

Firman Joinery was established in 1991 with four staff and had grown to 13. It covered mostly Otago and Central Otago.

It relocated to the North Oamaru Business Park in January last year and that had proven a good move, Mr Firman said.

Speaking to others in the industry at the awards, they were also experiencing very busy times which was indicative of the state of the industry, he said.

The team of 10 joiners and two apprentices were all qualified, which was unusual for a firm that size, he said.

Last year, apprentice Mathew McLellan competed in the joinery category of the WorldSkills global skills challenge in Sydney.

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