A fifth generation mid-sized painting company has put itself high on the radar of the big construction contractors nationwide by scoring 94% in Site Safe’s AppCon health and safety rating.

In its most recent assessment a month ago, the company hit 94%, which is “right up there,” Palmer told Revive.

“Not many companies in the construction industry get close to that: the average is around 52-53%,” and National Decorators’ score put it in the top 5% nationwide, and second among specialist painting contractors, he said.

National Decorators, now based in Sockburn but originally from Oamaru where it was known as Waitaki Decorators, understands it is one of the country’s top two AppCon painting companies after joining the programme in March this year.

AppCon is a health and safety pre-qualification database for tendering contractors and sub-contractors. It was launched earlier this year on the initiative of the Canterbury Rebuild Health and Safety Forum (CRHSF) which comprises Fletcher EQR and four other major contractors, along with EQC, ACC, MBIE and CERA.

Now compulsory for Fletcher EQR accredited contractors, AppCon establishes a shortlist of tenderers for main contractors that in effect excludes those that do not have approved and audited health and safety practices in place. There are three levels of involvement in AppCon: Level One is for the big PMO (Project Management Organisation) groups like Fletcher Construction and Fletcher EQR, while Levels Two and Three are for contractors and sub-contractors, of whom more than a thousand have so far joined up.

National Decorators took the first step towards getting a Level Three AppCon rating when it completed the initial on-line questionnaire in early March this year. The company’s initial score, according to Site Safe spokesperson Nigel Palmer, was a “pretty miserable” 4%, but in their Level Two assessment barely a fortnight later they “were back with a hiss and a roar and went straight to 84%.”

On the separate ACC health and safety assessment, National Decorators recently also gained its Level Two rating and has its eyes set on Level Three.

The company, which employs 30-40 staff, is run in Christchurch by brothers Ben and Richard Waite and is owned by them and a third brother, Johnny, who’s not active in the company, and by their father Norm who runs the original Otago business from Oamaru.

Joining AppCon not only gets the company name in front of the industry’s biggest employers, but also fits its vision of being the happiest rebuilding team in Canterbury, leaving “everyone we come in touch with [having] a positive story to tell,” company director Richard Waite said.

Richard Waite

Richard Waite

Richard has been the General Manager of National Decorators for the past 5 years developing the company in the property and construction markets. Working off the base of a 100+ year old legacy, he has refined the company from a family business to be the leading painting company in the country. Some key developments have been in the integration of significant IT systems to increase the customer experience and enhance efficiency. Another big focus was reshaping the culture of the onsite teams to reflect the company in the best possible way.
Richard also leads a sales and marketing team of 7 staff, pushing into new markets and developing new services for our customers. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife Jenny and 2 young girls, as well as joining in community events.
Richard Waite

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