2 October 2017 – Approximately 20 NZMA Construction students were warmly welcomed onto the Marae at Ngati Whatua Orakei, with a traditional powhiri to signal the beginning of a vocational and spiritual journey. Fifteen of the participating students are recipients of the Maori and Pasifika Trades Training: Auckland (MPTT Auckland) scholarships offered by NZMA, who has recently become a member of the MPTT Auckland consortia*.
The students will be working at the marae one day a week, to put into practice the skills they are learning during their Certificate in Building Level 4 programme at NZMA. Students started the 20 week programme on 28 August, which sets them up to enter the construction industry as an apprentice or entry-level employee.
Wyllis Maihi, Chairperson of Komiti Marae Orakei Trust says that the building projects that students will be embarking on at the Orakei Marae site will provide them with valuable hands-on practical experience, where they will have the opportunity to transform an old villa into a fully functioning multiple learning space, as well as perform reinforcement work on the Wharenui.
NZMA Senior Tutor, Aaron Reid will supervise and keep a watchful eye on the young men and women, alongside Orakei marae tradespeople, who will act as mentors to the young tradies for the duration of the joint venture.
It was the first time on a marae for NZMA student Nita Tuiaki, 24. He said, “This is really special, it’s cool and a good experience. I’m looking forward to understanding the Maori culture, and this will be a highlight of my course.”
NZMA staff and students were warmly embraced by the Ngati Whatua whanau at the marae. att Maihi, Orakei Marae Manager, explained the significance of the 700 year old site, and how the city grew around it. He also reinforced the respect for the land, water and air, and reminded students to be respectful when handling the materials they would be using.
NZMA Regional Manager, Monique Le Marque said, “We are thrilled to be working with Ngati Whatua Orakei iwi. Gaining the hands-on experience in building, which the project offers, is integral to our students educational experience. However, equally important is the spiritual understanding of their connection to the past whether Maori, Pasifika or any other thnicity! The historical and cultural knowledge which Ngati Whatua Orakei will impart to students will serve to enrich their nowledge, and will be a significant factor in these students becoming highly contributing citizens of New Zealand’s future workforce.”
NZMA will be monitoring the progress of the villa, and our next update will be when students are on the Orakai marae site, beginning the transformation.
*MPTT Auckland scholarships give Maori and Pasifika students, who are aged 16-40, the opportunity to gain a pre-trade qualification at no cost, while also receiving support to enter apprenticeships or trades-related employment.
Our students were also featured on Stuff.co.nz website and East & Bays Courier cover page. Click here to read Stuff's article or here for East & Bays Courier's cover page.
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