Successful Māori trades training moves into Ashburton, Timaru and Oamaru

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01 Sep 2015

Budding Māori and Pacific carpenters from Oamaru to Ashburton have been given a new unique opportuntiy to learn a new trade through the He Toki ki te Rika programme.

The highly-successful Māori trades training programme starts its first course in Timaru on Wednesday, when 16 Māori and Pasifika students will take advantage of the chance to train in carpentry, free of charge.

The students follow in the footsteps of over 800 other Māori and Pasifica students who have completed He Toki ki te Rika the training since 2011, enabling them to get started on a career in the trades. This in turn has benefitted individuals, families and communities.

The iwi-led programme was created in response to the post-earthquake environment and the need to upskill more Cantabrians to contribute to the rebuild of Christchurch. It is a partnership between Ngāi Tahu, CPIT and Hawkins. The collaborative structurecombines training and industry support and has proven to be an overwhelming success.  It has been rolled out as a model across a number of other regions.

Experienced CPIT tutor Peter Chapman will teach the new students in Timaru, where the programme is hosted at the Aoraki Polytechnic campus. CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic have been working closely over the past year, exploring the possibility of creating a new organisation. Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Steve Joyce is currently consulting publicly on this proposal.

He Toki ki te Rika is designed to help people train for leadership roles in the construction industry. The programme was recently expanded  to includean apprenticeship programme, He toki ki te Mahi, and also offers a leadership programme to support graduates  in the development of their careers.

Hawkins offers work placements and apprenticeships to students and encourages other construction industry partners to do the same.

In Christchurch, He Toki ki te Rika and He toki ki te Mahi cover a range of trades such as painting and decorating, plumbing, engineering (welding and structural steel) and civil construction.

The leadership programme is designed for tradespeople to upskill and gain nationally recognised qualifications in construction trades supervising, construction management and quantity surveying.

The He Toki team hopes to expand the variety of trades on offer in the near future.