Adam Knott from Mackersey Construction in Hawke's Bay has won the runner-up title for the Registered Master Builders 2012 Apprentice of the Year competition.
Judges said he was a "confident and passionate apprentice".
"He excelled in the practical component of the competition and his background in joinery really shone through," the judges said.
"Moving from Hawke's Bay to Wellington to work on the redevelopment of Upper Hutt College, Adam has proven to be a dedicated site manager. He is so passionate about his job that, if he has a few hours up his sleeve on the weekend, he will go back into work. Adam has excellent practical skills and great managerial abilities, too."
The award was presented on Saturday night in Wellington, where Auckland Bay apprentice James Poore took out first place after competing alongside eight other national finalists.
Over Friday and Saturday they were interviewed by the judging panel and completed three challenges in constructing a set of temporary stairs for a building site: constructing a dovetail joint, building the set of stairs, then building a handrail to one side.
Adam came second in the Hawke's Bay/East Coast competition and Chris Schaw made the top 10.