NZMA staff among those keen to help Auckland window washer

NZMA staff among those keen to help Auckland window washer

Monday 27 June

 Window washer Paku Sadlier is on the verge of making a very important decision.

The 26-year-old Otara man has been inundated with potential job offers and messages of support since sharing his story on Stuff.

One generous reader dropped off a supermarket gift card for him and his family while another offered to make a cash donation.

Sadlier talked about what it's like to make a living washing car windscreens and how upsetting it is to be verbally abused by some motorists. He also talked of his dream to one day get his trades certificate and move into full-time work.

Among the people inspired by his story were staff at vocational training institute NZMA?, a part of ACG's Tertiary and Careers Group.

Senior management team members Kathy Maclaren and Tony Atina? got together and came up with a proposal for Sadlier.

"When I read the story I was just so moved by what Paku said and that it's his dream to get his trades cert," Maclaren says.

"It was a lightbulb moment in that what we offer him could change his life.

"Paku is the sort of student we're looking for as we're about upskilling people for employment."

NZMA is offering Sadlier a full scholarship to study a level-4 certificate in building at its trades facility in Otahuhu. Fees for the 20-week course will be waived if he accepts and the cost of hand tools, an apron, boots and a uniform are also covered.

The course is NZQA-certified and is described as an "ideal stepping stone" into a building apprenticeship. The next student intake starts in July.

Atina says there's currently a "huge" shortage of qualified workers in the construction industry in Auckland.

"We have second and third chance learners here and by giving them some guidance and skills we're preparing them for what they want to do in the future.

"The level 4 building certificate teaches the foundation of construction and it opens doors with the opportunity of starting an apprenticeship.

"Students do quite a bit of work experience during the course and at the end they're given opportunities."

NZMA is talking to Sadlier about his study options.


Sadlier says he'd love to be a builder and to one day construct his own home.

"I have a lot of dreams I want to pursue."

He appreciates the efforts of people he's never met who reached out to try to help him improve his situation.

"I'm very grateful from the bottom of my heart to everyone who's given me an opportunity.

"I'm still speechless. I think I'm going to hang up my bottle and squeegee.

"These sorts of opportunities don't come around everyday."