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Top score . . . Theo Davidson holds his merit award from the New Zealand Plumbers, Gasfitters & Drainlayers Board. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Waimate’s Theo Davidson has proven to be a cut above the rest in his career.

Last month, Mr Davidson received a merit award from the New Zealand Plumbers, Gasfitters & Drainlayers Board during its Excellence Award ceremony in Wellington.

He received the award after completing his certifying gasfitting examination with the highest marks in New Zealand in 2020, earning a certificate and tool grant.

Having already registered as a plumber and been certified as a drainlayer, Mr Davidson achieved his final certification last year.

He expected the gas-fitting examination to be the hardest of the three, but it ‘‘went quite well’’ and he passed with a final mark of 97% — the top in the country. ‘‘It’s pretty exciting. I didn’t expect it,’’ he said.

Mr Davidson worked as a plumber for 10 years, becoming a registered tradesman five years ago.

Two years after registration, tradesmen were able to complete their certifying examinations.

‘‘[It’s] just a bit more in-depth knowledge of the trade.’’

When he left Timaru Boys’ High School, Mr Davidson had the opportunity to become an apprentice at Cunningham Plumbing Ltd, where he had been employed ever since.

‘‘It’s quite a good job — every day you’re doing something different at a different place, it keeps things interesting,’’ he said.

‘‘I probably didn’t think I’d ever be [a plumber] leaving school but I just got the chance, so I gave it a crack and enjoyed it.’’