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“It’s so valuable doing work placement while I’m studying because I get that extra experience. So I am able to go out in the community and apply what I am learning, and to be able to meet people while I’m studying. I get that first-hand experience and gain more knowledge myself. I really think it’s going to help me get a job after my studies.”
Pene Burns-Kingiwaiaua came to NorthTec from the advice given to him from this mother.
“She saw the potential in me. So when I finished year 12, I came straight into the Construction programme at NorthTec Kaitaia.
“The best thing about being at NorthTec is that it is close to home, I didn’t have to move away from my family. My motivation comes from my family - they are my biggest supporters and they only want the best for me, so they keep me on track.
“I’m pretty confident this programme has prepared me for a job or an apprenticeship because it is real hands-on and we do all the necessary paperwork we need to know in real-life situations.
“I like everything about this programme – the building, the people in my class because we are all here for the same reason, and my tutors. We have really good tutors, they help me with anything I need help with, and if I’m lucky, I’ll get a laugh out of them.
“I like building because I can see something being built from scratch, then I can look back on it and say I built that!”
Armand van Rooyen is going to be a social worker. He wants to work with youth and families, because as a youth he would have like some extra support.
“I felt a need to help other people in my life. I just want to be the change I want to see in the world, I guess.”
To become a social worker and to help others, Armand needs to start from the beginning. After moving to New Zealand with his family when he was 7 years old, Armand struggled with his English and learning in school.
“I dropped out of school at NCEA level 2, so I need to first compete the Study & Career Prep programme at NorthTec. Not being in school for a couple of years has made it a bit challenging, especially essay writing, but that’s where the support at NorthTec comes in. My tutors are so helpful and on to it, and the whole class is like a little family as well. We all help each other out, we don’t judge anyone – it’s just a supportive culture.”
Armand has studied with NorthTec before, completing a NZ Certificate in Electrical Engineering Theory, but after 2 weeks into his apprenticeship, an accident involving a longboard made Armand rethink his career.
“I had to have two surgeries on my wrist and the surgeon advised against physical activity so the apprenticeship was out. But it made me realise that I did want to help others and I am glad it has taken me on this study journey.
“I like studying at NorthTec because it’s close to home. This course will build up my foundational knowledge and then I’m excited to go on and study my Bachelor’s and then onto my Master’s and then I would love to even pursue a PhD!”
“It’s so important that as students we have the first-hand experience of the pollution in our region - sometimes you can’t see it until you look for it and it creates more awareness about the problem. We get to go on various field trips and talk to people in the conservation industry that are making a difference, and it is just that invaluable experience of being able to say I have experienced this myself first-hand that is crucial as an Environmental Management student.”
“This programme makes you work ready. It teaches us what’s inside commercial trucks and all the technology we need to learn. It also gives us a lot of hands-on experience from drivers who have been in the industry for a long time so we can prepare ourselves for what a career in driving will look like.
“NorthTec has a lot of experience in the industry and some really good partnerships with companies. Our tutors have been through years and years of driving which is good for us to learn from.
“It’s a good thing to come to NorthTec because we have a lot more opportunities given to us. Studying Commercial Transport is great because it’s a skill that that will always be in high demand. I wanted to study this as I believe is will help my family to live comfortably and stable.
“I like the support we get from the tutors and the other students in our class. That’s the good thing about studying at NorthTec – we are all very different from each other in age groups and nationalities, but we all learn from each other.”
“I went to a small primary school where we learnt some te reo. It’s amazing how some of the basics like the colours, numbers and waiata have stuck. As an adult I’ve always wanted to learn te reo, so when I moved back up here from Auckland, this NorthTec course was just up the road and it was my chance get into it.”
“At my work there is more te reo spoken now, so the course also gives me a chance to understand more there. After we had some basic classes at work I was inspired to learn more, despite that fact that learning languages doesn’t come naturally to me.”
“I especially enjoy our kaiako (teacher) and the new friendships with my classmates. We’re all on slightly different levels, are different ages and occupations, but it works. Some students are stronger with their vocabulary and others with their language structure, and everyone shares their knowledge which really helps.”
“Memorising and public speaking are challenging for me but the environment is really supportive so that helps my confidence. It intrigues me that while some things are obvious, some things are thought about differently, like different words for family members depending on where you sit in the family.”
“Because we are here in Tai Tokerau, we’re learning the Ngāpuhi dialect to help keep it alive, so it often varies from the online resources. This was reinforced at our noho marae (overnight marae stay) where we also learnt that powhiri and tangi can differ marae to marae.”
“Our learning is more casual than some other te reo classes and I think that makes absorbing basic conversation easier, but it’s a certificate course so we still have outcomes that we have to meet.”
“My goal is to be fluent but I realise that requires in-depth and long term immersion in te reo. Already I can pick up on basic conversations but I’m keen to be able to understand a lot more and converse at the next level, so I may carry on next year. In the meantime, I want to make sure te reo stays in my life, so I listen to podcasts and waiata on YouTube when I can’t be amongst it in my daily life.”
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