Nau mai, haere mai. On 1 October, Housing New Zealand joined HLC and KiwiBuild to form Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities.

Information on this site is still current. For more information about Kāinga Ora visit the Kāinga Ora website.

From plumber to business owner – the evolution of Ubend Plumbing

Published: 10 October 2018

For many tradies, owning their own business is the ultimate dream. Spotless General Manager Housing Nick Davidson says the journey of John Clifford and Ubend Plumbing shows it can be more than just a dream.

Nick says plumber John Clifford started work with Spotless working on Housing New Zealand homes in the South Auckland (1) and East Auckland regions in 2010.

Move on three years and John was then given responsibility for overseeing Spotless’ plumbing work in these regions.

Another year on, John moved into the role of work supervisor for non-urgent repairs and void properties, and a year later he was given overall responsibility for void properties.

2016 turned out to be a big year for John, who felt the time was right to start his own plumbing business and look at subcontracting back to Spotless.

Working from his family home in South Auckland, John started his business with just himself, one other plumber and two sign-written vans. In a very short time Ubend’s business had grown exponentially.

John now employs a team of eight plumbers, with five vans out on the road every day working in HNZ homes across South Auckland. And he has recently moved his growing plumbing business into a new office and workshop facility in East Tamaki, Auckland.

Nick says John’s journey is proof you can make the move from worker to business owner, and Spotless is continually looking to provide these opportunities to their workforce.

John says it’s been personally rewarding to be able to make the transition, and one of the best things he’s ever done.

“It’s always been my dream to own my own business. I appreciate the opportunity I’ve been given and encourage other tradies to think about whether this could be their next move.”


Ubend Plumbing owners John and Pamela Clifford outside their new office premises in East Tamaki

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now