Ash Olsen is the Bay of Plenty regional winner of Industry Training Association Building Apprentice Challenge.
The 20-year-old from Mount Maunganui, who is in his third year of his carpentry apprenticeship, nudged out two other apprentices, Lalem Uttinger and Jacob Heath, at the regional challenge held at Bay of Plenty Polytechnic's Windermere Campus on Saturday.
Mr Olsen, who works for Jared Laban at Concept Construction, said he had no expectations when he decided to enter the challenge but decided to "give it a shot".
He and his fellow competitors had eight hours to construct a wall frame, install a window and prepare it for cladding and put up weatherboards.
"It was very demanding, as we all didn't get finished in time. It was much harder than I thought it was going to be. I think I won because I had a little bit more experience than the other guys," Mr Olsen said.
He received a large trophy, which he can keep for a year. He gets to compete against seven other regional winners for the national title at the Certified Builders Association's annual conference in Blenheim this May.
Polytechnic carpentry programmes leader Brian Dillon said the competition gave apprentices the chance to apply the practical skills they had learned.
"It's also a real confidence booster for all the apprentices."