James Williamson wins Jack of All Trades

28 year old Timaru builder, James Williamson, last night won the title of New Zealand’s best all round tradie and $100,000 of prizes in the final of the eight part Mitre 10 MEGA Jack of All Trades TV series.

From over 100 entries, two Island heats, and a fiercely fought showdown of New Zealand’s top eight tradies, James went on to win the ultimate bragging rights as New Zealand’s best all round tradie. But it was a tightly contested competition with only three points separating James and second place, Hawkes Bay Builder, Warwick Beckett.

Williamson was a strong contender from the start of the competition, winning the South Island final and then demolishing his opposition, Porirua builder Dave Mclean, in the first Jack of All Trades TV episode, with his win making him the first competitor to qualify for the finals.

When competing in the finals Williamson says he always checked to see how each challenge was weighted. With points awarded for quality and accuracy of workmanship, adherence to safety requirements, speed, organisational skills, creativity and innovation in construction, he says it was often a fine line to get the right balance between speed and quality.

“The whole competition was fun” says Williamson, “I would do it again tomorrow!”

Williamson also commented that as well as giving the public some insight into the diverse range of skills a builder needs, the event gives tradies something to aspire to.

“I’ve got a young guy working for me who has got his sights set on entering in a couple of years” says Williamson, “I reckon that’s great.”

Williamson walks away with $100,000 worth of prize’s including a brand new Mitsubishi Triton Ute, an enormous tool kit from Mitre 10, clothes from Dickies, and a number of other great prize packs.

Mitre 10 MEGA Jack of All Trades chief judge, Kevin Farrell, said Williamson was a worthy winner of the competition. “His talent and professionalism showed in each challenge, and he just kept at it” he said. “It was obvious from the start that James was going to be one to watch”.

With a father who has been building for 40 odd years, Williamson says he was raised with the mentality that if you haven’t got it, give it a go and build it. “Go out there grab it and give it a crack!” he says. He certainly has many projects under his belt, including working with his father on everything from beach buggies, to building their own house, and a 60 foot paddle steamer type boat capable of holding 100 people.

Described by his friends as “A genuine Jack of all Trades”, James has certainly lived up to his reputation.

The Final Scoreboard:

James Williamson – Timaru 929 points
Warwick Beckett – Taradale 926 points
Scott Evans – New Brighton 865 points
Michael Webster – Whitby 854 points

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Co-founder of Throng. Favourite TV shows recently: Homeland and The Newsroom.
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