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“I was working full time in an ordinary job and wanted an education in something that was mine to do. Nursing is it for me and I got accepted for both Auckland and here but chose to come to NorthTec because of the more flexible curriculum and fewer financial barriers. I had no qualifications and minimal family or other support, so the complete wrap-around support I’ve received here is something I’ve never experienced in my life before.”
“I’ve made new friends and have set myself on a whole new life path. I was an urbanized Māori and NorthTec really enables Māori to succeed. I also didn’t know my Māori culture so I have been able to learn more about that than I ever knew before.”
“During the course of my study I’ve had some personal issues that have made the course 10 times harder than it needed to be, but I knew I could reach out and get support. If I had been studying at any other place, I would have left. With that support, I’m amazed at how confident I’ve become. Our class is more like a family. This course tears you down and builds you up - but in a good way.”
“The education I’ve gained here is far broader than our nursing training. It’s also an education about life and services. I’m caring for my younger siblings and being at NorthTec has helped me find resources that are available to support that. The facilities here are so accessible and the tutors here are flexible enough to accommodate all walks of life.”
“When I graduate as a Registered Nurse, I want to get a job to get some general nursing experience, then I want to work in sexual health. There is so much need in that area and any further training is mostly on the job.”
“NorthTec has given me the confidence to build on my education and to become successful. We are valued here and our thoughts are valued. For Māori students, there is a positive pathway to success that you wouldn’t see anywhere else.”
“I had done some mechanical work and was looking for an apprenticeship last year but realised it would be easier if I did this pre-training course first. The stand-out of the course for me is that all the content is relevant to what I want to do and the tutors help us get two days a week of work experience. I’m currently getting experience in heavy fabrication which is the field I’m keen to work in.”
“The course is broader than I expected and covers machining and general mechanical engineering as well as fabrication and give us better chance of getting an apprenticeship. I’ve already lined one up with my existing work experience employer.”
“Longer term I think I’ll stay with heavy fabrication, and I’m applying it to site maintenance at my current job.”
“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.”
“I didn’t want to continue with my old job that I’d had for a few years, then when I had a back injury at work it became even clearer that it was time for a change. I couldn’t do the physical work anymore and during my recovery time I looked at my choices. I’m always drawing so my partner encouraged me to apply last minute to this course that was about to begin.”
“I’m now getting to create what’s in my head, out into reality. I’m so keen that I’ve filled a whole sketch book with my own work in addition to the course work, and people are even offering to buy some of the pages. I’m also opening up to heaps of new ideas from our art history study and I realise how much more there is to learn. It’s feeding me.”
“Our classmates also all have their own way of thinking and their own culture, so we all give each other feedback and its cool seeing other’s perspectives and art. A lot of my work is Māori-focused, however one girl in our class is French so I can start to see how other people think.”
“I was very nervous when I first came here because everything was new and I wasn’t a good student at school, but this environment is more relaxed than I expected so I’d encourage anyone thinking about studying to give it a try.”
“I’m keen to do well in this level 4 course, then I might go on to the Bachelor of Applied Arts, but I want to keep my options open for a while and continue to explore what’s out there.”
“My dream is to be a tattoo artist. I’m already doing it but I want to get internationally known. This feels like the first step in a bigger change in my life.”
Patricia came to NorthTec to support her two boys with a dream of owning her own transporting company.
“I’ve always loved driving and after completing my Class 2 Driving Certificate with the Salvation Army, I was able to complete my Class 4 Driving Certificate by completing this course. Some people tell me I could have completed my Class 4 a lot faster, but with NorthTec’s course I have so much more knowledge about the trucks themselves and how everything works which is a massive advantage.
“NorthTec’s tutors also have great connections and networks with people locally and throughout New Zealand that can help us get a foot in the door of the industry as students. I was able to gain some work experience with Manganui Logging Trucks, which is an invaluable experience for me.
“I just know this is where my future is – in driving and starting my own trucking company, I can see the end goal in sight and I’m going on to complete my Class 5 certificate as well.
“The best part has to be the driving throughout the course, we do a lot of practical work, because that’s the nature of what we are studying. It’s great being part of the class - we all study together and have shared lunches - it’s a really nice family-orientated environment here at the Kaitaia campus.”
“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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