Frank O'Callaghan from Iplex Pipelines was recognised for his expertise and dedication to the Pipes Industry at the recent NZ Water Conference with the Golden Shovel Award from the 5S Society.


The infamous Frank O’Callaghan from Iplex NZ has been shoulder-tapped to become an exclusive member of the NZ Chapter of the International Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers for his lifelong commitment and passion to the water, stormwater and wastewater industry.

Iplex National Technical Manager Frank received his exclusive Golden Shovel Lapel Pin at the NZ Water Conference in Hamilton on 28 May 2022.

There are chapters of the International Select Society of Sanitary Sludge Shovelers (or 5S) in the USA, Canada, UK, Netherlands, and of course here in Aotearoa. 5S Members identify by wearing a gold shovel lapel badge – a symbol that relates to obtaining the highest ridge of the sludge bed – an inside reference and in terms of the honour bestowed on members.

"I’m honoured to get this opportunity to be part of 5S. The pipeline business has taught me to always remain totally focused on our customers’ needs and always deliver excellence in whatever I do. That’s my personal goal and what our customers have every right to expect. Our customers are the people that allow the lplex business to exist,” says Frank. “My phone is always on, including during the Covid pandemic, evenings, weekends, and holidays because if a customer wants to talk, I want to take that call immediately.”

Frank has been a stalwart of the plastic pipe systems industry for 44 years.

He started on the factory production floor at Iplex in 1977 – where he became hooked by the business and has remained ever since. In 1983 he became the National Technical Manager, a position he still holds today - nearly 40 years later. In fact, there are very few in the industry that don’t know who Frank is.

He has been at the forefront of the development and implementation of the use of plastic pipes, including introducing the use of PVC and polyethylene materials as pipe. He is involved in the writing and maintenance for most of the manufacturing and installation industry standards for plastics pipeline systems used in Australasia. 

“What a fantastic achievement and amazing honour for Frank to be recognised by industry for his outstanding contribution, I know he’ll be super proud like we all are at Team Iplex – great to have him representing our business!” says Iplex General Manager Jeremy Silcock. 

Frank has also been a stalwart of PIPA NZ, dedicating his knowledge and expertise over the years to the Industry, for which we are extremely grateful. Plastics New Zealand are very pleased to hear that he has recieved this well deserved recognition by his peers and congratulate him on his achievements.

Well done Frank!

Click here to read the full Iplex Pipelines press release