NZ Plumber celebrates 75 years in print

A stalwart of the New Zealand plumbing, drain laying and gas fitting industry, NZ Plumber magazine is gearing up to celebrate its 75th birthday.

From the transition from black and white to full-colour pages, to the fashion shifts in the accompanying photographs, with men sporting flared trousers and long hair in the 70s, the publication has seen it all.

Originally known as the ‘N.Z. Plumbers Journal,’ many still fondly refer to it as the ‘Journal’ today, says current Editor Beverly Sellers.

“Some of the brands advertising in the 1940s are still advertising today, but there have been plenty of new manufacturers, suppliers, products and technologies since then,” says Sellers.

The bi-monthly magazine is owned and published by Master Plumbers, Gasfitters & Drainlayers NZ, a membership organisation with regional branches and associations across the country.

Initially distributed solely to member businesses, the magazine has expanded its reach to all licensed plumbers, drainlayers, and gasfitters in New Zealand, serving as an industry-wide publication.

With origins dating back to 1948, the publication emerged due to a dearth of relevant information specific to New Zealand’s plumbing industry. 

NZ Plumber has since become the singular voice of the industry, fulfilling a critical role in sharing information and raising awareness of pressing issues.

Sellers says part of the magazine’s success is the vital role of Master Plumbers and its business partners in supporting the editorial and advertising content.

As well as this, the magazine’s ‘Career Starters’ section, focusing on apprentices and the industry’s next generation, remains a key feature, acknowledging the importance of engaging younger readers who are the future of the plumbing industry.

Over the years, the magazine’s contribution has extended beyond information dissemination and now includes profiles of the people behind the industry, celebrates achievements, and promotes plumbing, gasfitting, and drainlaying as rewarding career choices.

NZ Plumber’s latest cover.

It also provides valuable business and technical advice, introduces new products, and covers the latest developments in the construction industry.

Chief Executive at Master Plumbers, Gasfitters & Drainlayers NZ Inc, Greg Wallace, says the magazine is their most successful communication platform for both their members and business partners.

“In a time when magazines have gone through turbulent and rough roads, we’ve not only survived but we have flourished. When we do our surveys, [we find]88 percent of all recipients read it cover to cover. The engagement we get through the magazine has been so successful. It’s time to celebrate that.”

As one of its readers once stated in a book on the 100-year history of Master Plumbers of Otago, published in 1997: “The ‘Plumbers Journal’ can be claimed to be the most prestigious of all New Zealand trade publications, the envy of others, and the pride of the plumbers.”

While NZ Plumber officially turned 75 in February, celebrations will be held tonight at a Master Plumbers Business Partner event in Auckland.

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