CPIT and Pasifika community working together

CPIT and Pasifika community working together

Building up skills while breaking down cultural barriers; that's what improvements to a Pacific Trust Canterbury facility are providing for the CPIT students working on it and the people using it, the trust's community development advisor Noa Ellwood says.

He was referring to the work being carried out on the trust's Pasifika Supported Playgroup facility in Aranui by CPIT Pasifika Trades Training students, who are helping contribute to the development, support and betterment of Pasifika through structural improvements to the centre.

"For our community, the Pasifika Supported Playgroup creates a familiar environment with similar practices to kindergartens and pre-schools, to help prepare our children and educate our parents on the importance of early childhood learning. It's a good transition for our children when they are ready to enter the education system. It helps break down those cultural barriers so that children and parents know what to expect outside their environment."

The centre is one in a series of projects that had been keeping students busy on their pathways course this year, CPIT Pasifika Trades Training mentor Reverend Fififiti Luatua said.

"It's an example of how these students are giving back to their community by contributing to the Christchurch rebuild while upskilling themselves for a better future."

Pasifika community working together

Paving the way for improved Pasifika community facilities. CPIT Pasifika Trades Training 2015 award-winning students hard at work at the Pacific Trust Canterbury's Pasefika Supported Playgroup facility. From left front, best pre-trade civil Charity Lerome and best leader civil Etuate Uluinaceva; right Holley Falwasser, rear left most improved civil Kori Rangiwhetu, right Abbie Kiddey.

Pasifika civil trades students recently completed paving for the playgroup's outdoor area, with a fence, seating and sail cloth to be added in what will be a work in progress during 2016.  CPIT Pasifika carpentry students would be taking their skills inside the centre next year, by building a partition to create separate sleeping and activity areas as well as renovating the toilet section.

Ellwood said he had been impressed with the level of competence and professionalism shown by the students and their tutor Karl Noonan.

"They were awesome to work with. They really owned the project and under Karl's guidance they used it as a learning opportunity to do it for themselves.  The course provides an amazing chance for students to gain new skills," Ellwood said.

Students had also completed projects at Linwood College in Phillipstown and St James School in Aranui, along with community-based initiatives for the Tongan and Fijian communities.

Rev Luatua said it was gratifying to hear that at least two of the students involved in these projects would be going onto higher tertiary education at CPIT next year.  Three of them were recognised CPIT Trades civil awards at last week's ceremony, the leadership prize going to Etuate Uluinaceva, best pre-trade Charity Ierome and most improved Kori Rangiwhetu.

Pasifika Trades Training is run in collaboration with leaders from the Pasifika community, government agencies with Pasifika church ministers playing a key role in nominating and offering pastoral support.

The programmes are open entry to anyone of Pasifika descent. For more information check out Pasifika Trades Training