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Success for Maori trades training students

Media Release: 20 November 2014

2014 has ended on a high for 16 Māori students who have completed their pre-trade carpentry qualification by building a new health centre at Waiwhetu Marae in Lower Hutt, Wellington. The students, most of whom have received a scholarship under the Government’s Maori and Pasifika Trades Training initiative are finishing their programme of study this week having successfully completed their training whilst being hosted by Waiwhetu Mare.

Teri Puketapu (Executive Officer Te Rūnanganui o Taranaki Whānui o Te Upoko a Te Ika) addressed the students marking the end of their academic programme of study. “You now have the basis for a great career in the building and construction industry. With the skills you have learnt on the marae under the tuition of WelTec’s Hector Rurehe and Tamaiti Whangai Mentor, Rangi Luke you will be able to make a great contribution to your own and your whanau’s future by one day being able to build your own home,” said Teri Puketapu.

Teri Puketapu also acknowledged the unique Tamaiti Whāngai approach to supporting Māori students through their studies which has greatly contributed to the students’ success. “The mentoring provided through Tamaiti Whāngai ensures the students are retained in study and do well throughout the year. Having the students together as a Maori cohort has also meant they have developed strong bonds that will exist well beyond their time studying together,” says Teri Puketapu.

David Lomax, Tamaiti Whāngai Team Leader addressed the students, “Māori Trades Training offers amazing opportunities for young Māori to do well. All of these students have succeeded. They have learnt resilience, the value of team work and have been very focused on achieving their end goal. They have all done well.”

Neil McDonald Head of Construction at WelTec said the students worked together as a team as they built the health centre. He commended the students for the quality of their work which is “to a very high standard” and noted that the building would stand the test of time being “a great reminder of the students’ contribution to the community through the construction of the health centre.”

Aidan Daly who was a Wellington Trades Academy student in 2013 and enrolled on the carpentry programme this year said being involved in the build was a real highlight, “I have really developed my building skills and learnt new techniques.”

Another student Rivers Grout who is due to start work with RBS Commercial and Residential Contractors Limited is very positive about his future, “Once I’ve proven myself with my new employer I want to continue my study as an apprentice to become fully qualified.”

More than 120 students have been mentored through the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training initiative through WelTec this year.