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“I was very clear that I wanted to go to uni and study psychology but I didn’t get uni entrance from school so was looking at the best bridging study to get there when I chanced across this course. I was here for Orientation to support my partner and when I mentioned what I wanted to do to his tutor, she said this health and wellbeing course was perfect.”
“I was very nervous and quiet when I started because I come from right up north and was the youngest in the class, but my advantage was that I was straight out of school so I was used to study and written structure. I’m finding my grades are really good so that has helped my confidence and the course helps with communication and making presentations. It’s a really open environment here and all the students and tutors are genuinely supportive.”
“I’m realising since leaving home that my Dad is my inner voice encouraging me to be my best self. I’m really surprised here how strong the Māori aspect of the course is. I’m Māori but our parents didn’t speak te reo and I had to learn where I came from to give my pepeha here.”
“I can truly further my education by doing this course. I’m keen to upskill and want to absorb as much as possible to better my confidence, communication and motivational interviewing. I’ve already started applying to Auckland University where my sister is studying to be a doctor. My path will be a Bachelor of Arts with a Psychology major and my family’s end goal is to open a clinic up north for our own people. My Mum has her social work degree, my Dad is studying social work, my sister will have her medical degree, and I’ll have psychology.”
“I’m one of the oldest of ten children and all of us know how much need there is for education and up-skilling in our region. We as Māori are a small percentage of the population but the statistics in prison, mental health, and limited education are high. Together we can help with this. As youth, we all have capability to lift ourselves but a lot of us don’t realise we can do that by studying at NorthTec in a supportive system and staying in the area.”
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.”
“You’re never too old to change it up. I had been in retail for 20 years then had some digestion issues so took some time out and started doing some plastering for a builder. It was less demanding physically and mentally, so I looked at my strengths and decided house painting was something I could do.”
“I’m amazed at how satisfying it is. There’s a real sense of accomplishment to see what you’ve done at the end of the day and there’s plenty of scope to advance in skill levels. We also cover a lot more than I was expecting – learning about scaffolding and health and safety.”
“The tutors here are very understanding and kind, even with logistics like a tutor doing home drop-offs for some of us on his way to and from work because, in our case, our family shares one vehicle. There’s a big support net here at NorthTec too from nurses, advisors and financial guides that makes me feel very at home. The other students are also very accepting and, as a mature student, it’s humbling getting to know some of the younger ones.”
“Now that I’ve got my confidence I may go on to level 3 with some of the other students, then I’d like to start working in this industry before starting my own business. In the meantime, I feel I’m also being a role model to show my kids how we can adapt to life’s changes and still progress. I’m a father of two and so I have responsibilities at home, and the temporary dip in income while I study impacts us all. But my wife is proud and I’m loving what I’m learning and the possibilities ahead.”
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.”
“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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