Constructing a career one step at a time

News News & events

18 Mar 2019

In only two and a half years at Ara, Jade Pamata-Maanaima has graduated with a Diploma in Construction, got married, given birth to two babies, started a Bachelor of Construction degree and has just been named recipient of the 2018 bursary award by the HH Bunckenburg Memorial Trust.  

Pamata-Maanaima is excited about this opportunity to get support to explore her full potential and achieve her goals.

“My tutors gave me great references to add to my application for the scholarship. That proved to me that I was doing something right and that I had chosen the right path. It is quite gratifying seeing the fruits of your labour and being rewarded for all the hard work you put into studying,” Jade said.

Jade Pamata-Maanaima has the drive and the determination to be successful in her Bachelor of Construction degree.

Keith Power, who was Pamata-Maanaima’s tutor, describes the award as a ‘big thing for a student to receive’ because it is the main award from the New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NZIQS) for degree students.

Pamata-Maanaima, who identifies as Maori and Pacific Islander, is the first one in her family to start a Bachelor degree.

“I’m the first one in my community, in my family who has stepped out and into tertiary education. I didn’t really have a mentor whose footsteps I could follow in, so that was one of my struggles, I guess, going into the unknown.”

“I would like to be a role model for anyone else who is considering the degree and pave the way for others - especially women, or Maori and Pasifika to follow suit. I would definitely recommend completing the degree to anyone, it opens so many doors and the new opportunities that come with that are endless,” she said.

For Pamata-Maanaima her time as a student has also involved juggling motherhood, family life and working at the same time.

“My husband and my children, they are the reason why I keep going, why I don’t allow myself to give up and why I push myself to the fullest.”

Before studying Pamata-Maanaima was working in customer service jobs but she decided she needed a career change and a challenge.

“I wanted a career rather than just a job. So I went online, looking for work and I kept seeing job ads for Quantity Surveyors. I had no idea what a Quantity Surveyor was and at that point I had no interest in the construction industry. That has changed since though. With every skill I learned and every bit of knowledge I gathered in my course my passion grew.”

“I might not have the pre-determined skills that you’d expect from a Quantity Surveyor. But I have the drive and the termination to be successful,” she said.

The small classroom sizes and getting the chance to have one-on-one time with tutors were some of her favourite parts of studying at Ara. She talks highly about how approachable and supportive the tutors were about her personal situation.

“To all those who are considering starting the degree – just get amongst it. Don’t question yourself. You’ve got the support of everyone at Ara and they can back you 100 per cent. With that everything is possible,” said Pamata-Maanaima.

The employment prospects are good in the construction industry and there is a raising interest from young people in the areas of construction management and quantity surveying.

If you want to find out more about the Diploma or the Bachelor of Construction, head to the Ara website or chat with one of the careers advisors.