He Toki students celebrate success

He Toki students celebrate success

Some 60 He Toki ki te Rika (Māori Trades Training) students received their certificates at a Celebration of Success ceremony last Friday that was well attended by industry and community partners. 
Larena Iti received her certificate in painting and decorating. “I was so determined,” she said. “You don’t get things if you sit back and wait do you?"

Larena’s hard work and timely networking has paid off and she is proud to be working full time with DecoNZ as a painter and decorator.

The He Toki initiative introduces students to foundation skills in a variety of trades through 12 week programmes that include work readiness skills. The programme is delivered within a cultural context and goes the extra distance to help students achieve their goals. 

 He Toki Poutama Award Winners

Poutama award winners; back row from left; Pani Puriri (masonry), Te Auhia Solomon (carpentry 1, 2 and 3) and Ken Davis (welding). Front row from left; Kama Ratana (carpentry 1 and 2) and Miriama Johnstone (plumbing).

“I like the combination of the trade course and the culture. It made me feel grounded,” Larena said.
She was particularly inspired by CPIT Kaiarahi Hana O’Regan who spoke to the group during induction week at CPIT’s Te Puna Wānaka.
“Hana, she can speak Māori! She is really impressive. You don’t meet people like that very often,” Larena said.

CPIT, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and industry partners launched He Toki last year as one way to help meet the demand for skilled workers for the rebuild of Canterbury and to train Māori for leadership positions. Hawkins Construction has now teamed up with He Toki to ensure students get the practical workplace experience they need to find employment after they graduate.

Larena was introduced to DecoNZ through Hawkins and was offered full time work on the second day of her work placement. She starts her apprenticeship soon.
“It definitely worked out for me. I was quite determined to do it. Even after our lunch breaks I couldn’t wait to get back to work,” she said.