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SARNZ Life Membership - celebrating Jonny Benbow

Jonny Benbow tells us his journey and how it feels to get SARNZ Life Membership

Receiving a Life Membership certainly came as a surprise. Being recognised by your peers and others in the Industry for the small part I played in getting SARNZ and the scaffold industry to where it is now, is certainly an honour and very humbling. It really makes you feel like you’ve left a mark on the industry. It was also great to see Dave Spice and Dave Sopp receive Life Memberships also, both who, if I’m honest, have probably put more into the industry than me. 

COVID was a really big challenge for me and the industry. I certainly had some interesting conversations with people at times. Another significant challenge that really stuck out is that many people, both members and the construction  industry in general, were looking for guidance on how to cover hire costs during this time. We came up with some guidance we thought was reasonable. Most took it on board well but there was one or two who didn't. Reminding them at times it was only guidance was interesting.

I guess there are two things I'm particularly proud. One is being involved in SARNZ during the time it has gone from a completely voluntary to a professional organisation that is self-sustaining with 5 staff. This gives SARNZ the ability to offer members so many more resources and also advocate for our industry at another level.  The other has been being involved in the Plant, Structures and Working at Height review. Having input and fronting for your industry is very rewarding.

I think in this industry you need to have a thick skin and passion - there is just something about scaffolding that makes us passionate about it, not sure I can explain but you know when you have it... and it is a physically tough industry, not for everyone, but it is full of amazing people, which I've been really lucky to meet plenty of.

I would love to see the Plants, Structures and Working at Height review completed. It has been really enjoyable to be involved in, and if we were lucky enough to get everything we proposed, it would likely be the biggest game changer for our industry in a good way.  I guess though after 3-4 years of waiting I'm not holding my breath.

I look forward to being able to continue putting in my 5 cents where I can to improve our industry.