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EIT | Te Pūkenga services pathway programme taught student to push herself

October 27, 2023

Malia Pasileia Mataele has enjoyed the NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Services Pathway) (Level 3) at EIT | Te Pūkenga.

A keen sportswoman at school, Malia Pasileia Mataele says that enrolling in the Services Pathway programme at EIT | Te Pūkenga taught her to push herself when faced with physical and mental challenges.

Pasileia, 19, who was born in Tonga and emigrated to New Zealand when she was about six, signed up for the NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparation (Services Pathway) (Level 3) at EIT | Te Pūkenga Tairāwhiti last year. She was also awarded a Te Toka Scholarship – Māori and Pasifika Trades Training, which is an initiative supporting Māori and Pasifika people into trades training programmes in Tairāwhiti.

She says she loved the programme and the scholarship was a big help to her.

“They really helped me with stuff in the background. They help you with your driver’s license, by paying for lessons and for you to get your full licence.”

She says there was also financial support as well as counselling services available to scholarship recipients.

Pasileia’s main objective in doing the Services Pathway programme was to eventually get into the New Zealand Air Force. She has applied and while her application has been put on hold while a medical condition is being assessed, she is still hopeful that she will be able to follow her dream.

However, she believes if that door does not open she does have other options available to her.

“I really like healthcare because originally my first selection for going to the Air Force was being a medic in the Air Force.”

“There is a nursing programme at EIT that I have being eyeing out. The nurse who took my medical checkup for the Air Force was an EIT student. I asked her how she liked it and she said it was her last year. I could just see the joy and passion for it that she had.”

Pasileia, who lives with her family in Gisborne, says that she has no doubt that she would recommend the Services Pathway programme to others.

“If you put in the work for yourself, you see your success. What our tutor always told us was, ‘You are here because of you. I’m here to push you all the way, but you need to put in the work yourself.’”

“I think that was quite a motivational piece. We had to do our homework. The course only ran maybe five hours a day, and so the rest of the day was up to you. Put in the homework, do more fitness. If you feel like you need to improve in the academic area, research that too.”

Whatever the future holds, Pasileia says she is looking forward to following a path that she is passionate about.

EIT | Te Pūkenga Services Pathway Tutor Zac Te Maro said the NZ Certificate in Study and Career Preparations (Services) Level 3 is designed to support students towards passing the academic and physical entry requirements to their chosen service.

“The course is also academically designed to assist students as they progress through the initial stages of their service careers. Pasileia was a natural candidate for the course, having attended a services cadet programme at high school. Pasileia is academically strong and achieved excellent marks for her course assignments.”

“She was always available to assist fellow students and is well liked by her peers. Pasileia worked hard on her physical attributes while on the course. Having personal discipline and drive to conduct physical activities away from class was hugely beneficial to her ever-improving fitness performance. Within the first two weeks of the course, she was meeting and then exceeding the fitness requirements.”

“Much so, the NZDF recruiters were “blown away” (their words) by her performance for the initial entry fitness level, remarking that no previous female candidate had attained the fitness level Pasileia had achieved. Pasileia had passed the aptitude exam and physical entry requirements for the Air Force whilst attending the course and subsequently accepted to attend initial training at Woodbourne Air Base. Two weeks prior to initial training, Pasileia attended the final fitness test which she also exceeded. With one week before leaving to Woodbourne she learnt through recruiters, that her application was on hold while a medical condition is being assessed.”

Zac said the recruiters were disappointed when learning of Pasileia’s application, as they had found an exceptional candidate for the NZ Defence Force.

“This set back will not deter Pasileia. She is a focused and determine young lady and will do exceptionally well in any vocation she chooses. “