Habitat for Humanity has teamed up with construction students from NZMA in Otahuhu, to help eliminate sub-standard housing in South Auckland.
Habitat is a not-for-profit organisation which strives to help people into decent housing by building, renovating and selling decent, affordable homes. In South Auckland they have a number of projects underway, and are in constant need of volunteer labour. Thanks to a recently-signed partnership between the two groups, NZMA students studying Level 4 construction will now support Habitat’s build projects, doing everything from pouring concrete and constructing boxing to levelling, fencing and assisting with the construction of wooden benches.
“This is a fantastic opportunity and great news for the community,” says NZMA’s Deputy Campus Principal for Construction, Steven Nadollek.
“Both parties gain so much from each other, and more importantly the ultimate benefactors are the families that gain a house. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Several of the construction students have themselves struggled, and have grown up in less than ideal housing.
“They are gaining a huge sense of reward and achievement by contributing to these worthy projects.”
The partnership arose through a couple of one-off work experience opportunities earlier this year, when some NZMA construction students helped out on a Habitat project in Papatoetoe. The organisation was so impressed with their knowledge, attitude and work ethic, that they invited them back.
Under the new arrangement, Habitat will take on up to 20 NZMA students, across two South Auckland sites. The students will work under the supervision of an NZMA tutor and licence building practitioner.
“We bring newly trained students to a site where they can put into practice the skills they’ve learned on their course. We provide Habitat with a regular stream of semi-skilled volunteer workers which speeds up their builds and gives them a consistent workforce.
“In return our students gain work experience on multiple sites, which gives them commercial credibility and enhances their chances of employment once they graduate.”
Habitat has four sites around Auckland, and once planning permission is granted, aims to have NZMA students volunteering at all of them. Habitat’s Volunteer and Fundraising Coordinator Katherine Granich said they have high hopes for the new partnership.
“We’re extremely grateful to the construction students of NZMA for their hands-on assistance. We’re pleased to be able to provide them with onsite construction experience at the same time that they are helping us with our mission to eradicate sub-standard housing in Auckland,” says Katherine.
Pictured here is NZMA Construction student Chris Krissenson, working on one of the Habitat sites.