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“When my mother suggested I look for a career rather than just a job, I decided I wanted to do business and looked at study options. NorthTec was best for me because I preferred the practical study of a polytech rather than a university, and it was closest to my home.”
“I’m loving learning things I want to learn, compared to school where the subjects didn’t interest me. It’s also much easier to learn here because the student-tutor relationship is closer in small class sizes, and we get to apply hands-on what we’ve learnt. My only challenge is stepping up to the more difficult education level, but that’s what I’m here for.”
“Next year, I might go on to study for a fourth year and I can already see myself working with meaning. I’m keen to work in anything to do with business and am still learning the range of choices and pathways that business can offer.”
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!”
“I grew up on a sheep and beef farm so I’ve always been around farming but I wanted to step up a level in my knowledge and broaden my experience. I saw an advertisement for this course on Facebook when I was working casually on a Landcorp block, and now that I’m on board I really enjoy learning new experiences on different farms.”
“We get to see a different side of farming including dairying which is all new to me. It’s more interesting than I thought and fairly high tech. We get to work as a team, as an individual or in pairs, so we all learn off each other and get to know our weak and strong points.”
“When I finish I’ll look for a job and longer term I’d like to be a heavy operator digger driver or a shepherd.”
Stacey Roy has always had a passion for cars. She left school and went on to complete her cooking qualification at the Culinary Institute in Kerikeri and had a successful career as a chef. As she started her own catering business, she wanted to keep herself busy so followed her passion and enrolled in NorthTec’s NZ Certificate in Automotive Engineering in Kaitaia.
“I love this course. We all get on really well and have a diverse range of skill sets – we help each other out. The tutor here is such a good teacher, he gets around to every student to make sure they have everything they need. He even helps us to find work experience outside of the course.
“This course is really hands-on. It’s only three days a week and we work in a workshop on real cars. These cars are brought to us by people around Kaitaia who might not be in a position to afford taking them to a mechanic. We work on them, gain the skills we need to and then they bring us in biscuits or coffee and we all happy. It gives us great satisfaction to see those cars we have worked on out in the community!
“The course has made me so much more confident. It has taught me to work on different makes and models of cars and just reassured me in the skills that I already had. It’s definitely made me work-ready.
“I live locally and wanted to come to NorthTec because I didn’t want to move anywhere – it’s great having somewhere close so I don’t have to worry about accommodation or travel or anything like that.
“I love the problem-solving side to mechanics, sometimes it goes all straightforward and it’s easy and that’s fine, but sometimes you need to really think about what you’re doing and if something isn’t quite right, thinking of a way to do it better. I also like being a woman in a male-dominated industry.
“The best part about studying at NorthTec is that there is a lot of support for a lot of things. There is an understanding that people have stuff going on in their lives outside of the course. There’s always a way to work around your life and your needs.
“I’ve been offered some work experience with a mobile mechanic that works on heavy machinery and I think that’s a great avenue to go down because in Kaitaia, the heavy transport industry is quite big.”
“My mum worked in the accounting field so I grew up knowing about that world, but I initially studied as a teacher in Auckland, thinking I’d teach accounting. When my flat in Auckland dissolved and my Mum had some health issues, it was time to come up here for more affordable housing, advance my skills in a different direction and meet some new people. This NorthTec degree is helping me re-frame my life and the tutors make it so worthwhile to be here.”
“I love how family-friendly NorthTec is with flexi-time if personal issues arise, and the tutors are there for you if you put in the work. I realising I’m a lot more capable than I thought I was. I tend to be self-deprecating so doing this degree has really built my confidence and validated my self-worth. The tutors also open doors for us and, through them, I’ve just started an internship with an accounting firm. It’s amazing the huge difference in my life in just 18 months.”
“I want to graduate with distinction, then work in a large accounting firm that could lead to international experience and eventually to become a Chartered Accountant.”
“We are the in-between generation. Our parents spoke te reo and our kids speak te reo but not us. We’re at an age now when the kaumatua are dying and at hui there are a lot of vacancies at the marae. Our generation needs to fill these vacancies and we need to start while there is still enough knowledge around to learn from.”
“This situation coupled with a life-changing experience a couple of years ago, has given me the motivation to learn te reo. I became clear on what matters and who matters. I came in here without having learnt any te reo before but I soon realised I can understand more than I thought because our aunties and uncles were fluent so we heard it around us even though they didn’t teach us.”
“I’m loving my class here and all the people involved. He Tangata. He Tangata. He Tangata. But it’s hard and we have to put a lot of work in to succeed. My younger brother is actually fluent, but as the eldest I’m meant to be the one who speaks and he’s always pushed me to take my place, but I haven’t been interested before. Now I’m ready. I’m going to be in a position to take my role and I want to do a good job – with mana.”
“I’m an introvert but at a pakeha funeral recently I was tasked by the neighbourhood to speak for our community – in English – and when I stepped up and did it, I realised I was capable of standing in this role. It’s far more daunting at a marae, but I’ve begun.”
“I’m really surprised how doing this course is bringing out my Māori side. I grew up Welsh but looked Māori. Being Maori wasn’t my thing before, but it’s time now. I’m wanting to be Māori and I’m gaining confidence.”
“The ultimate for me is be fully fluent, to be an orator, and to do it well. This means also learning the tikanga to weave through it, so it’s a long road but now’s the time. My timing coincides with a huge revival in tikanga Māori and a lot of resources becoming available.”
“My life changing experience taught me a lot. If you want to do something, go and do it. Don’t procrastinate any longer. Share it with your core group of people who matter to you.”
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