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EIT | Te Pūkenga recognises success of Māori and Pacific trades training students

December 15, 2022

Sean Ormond (Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu) with his wife Kiana (left), son Airangi and daughter Kalesi (right).

The achievements of Māori and Pasifika EIT | Te Pūkenga trade training students were celebrated at a special prize-giving held recently.

He Pō Whakanui, held at Te Ūranga Waka Marae on the Hawke’s Bay campus in Taradale on Wednesday, December 7, acknowledged all students involved in Te Ara o Tākitimu – the Māori and Pacific Trade Training initiative delivered by EIT | Te Pūkenga in partnership with Ngāti Kahungunu and industry partners.

Special awards were also presented to a number of exceptional students within the programme.

Te Ara o Tākitimu is a support programme offered at EIT | Te Pūkenga that empowers Māori and Pacific students to achieve their goals within a wide range of trade training areas.

Coordinator Rhys Thurston says they had about 300 students enrolled in more than 25 programmes including the NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparation and traditional trades, as part of the kaupapa this year.

Students were able to study at a number of different locations including Maraenui Regional Learning Centre, Hastings Regional Learning Centre, Hawke’s Bay Campus, and Central Hawke’s Bay.

Rhys says the kaupapa provides support and services that help students achieve their goals and navigate their learning journey in a way that adds skill and cultural value.

Students receive financial support (including free study), pastoral care, and work experience or apprenticeships in a culturally safe way that focusses on building leadership qualities within the student.

Sean Ormond and Sherre Whiuboth received the Te Tohu Apataki Award, given to a team player who is hardworking and dedicated to improving opportunities for all.

Sean (Rongomaiwahine, Ngāti Kahungunu) completed the NZ Certificate in Construction Trade Skills (Carpentry) [Level 3].

The 25-year-old originally applied for the NZ Certificate in Electrical Pre-trade [Level 3] but didn’t get in, so decided to follow his passion for carpentry.

“The main reason I wanted to study a trade here was for my wife Kiana, daughter Kalesi and son Airangi, to be able to get qualified and support them.”

He managed to get employment with Becker Building LTD while he was still completing the certificate, and recently became a fulltime contractor. Sean now hopes to get an apprenticeship.

“For me, it really has helped because my tutors were the ones who set me up with the company that I’m with right now. And they had the experience where they just knew how to teach me.”

Sherre Whiu (Ngāpuhi) received the Te Tohu Apataki Award for outstanding contribution as part of Te Ara o Tākitimu at EIT | Te Pūkenga.

For Sherre (Ngāpuhi), completing the NZ Certificate in Commercial Road Transport (Heavy Vehicle Operator) [Level 3] has gotten her one step closer to her long-held dream of transporting houses.

“It was an awesome experience and I definitely recommend this course big time,” she says.

“It’s a lot bigger than just going out and doing your licenses. I’ve actually gained a lot of knowledge specially around the load and how a truck should be driven with its load.”

She has also since gained employment in the industry.

Living in Tūtira, Sherre says she wouldn’t have been able to travel the 120km each day without support of Te Ara o Tākitimu.

“I’m just happy to be here. And I’m just so happy that EIT was able to provide a fees free course or else I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this.”