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Studying doesn’t have to mean giving up your work or home life. Flexible options allows you to choose how you learn.
Irene chose to study Cookery at NorthTec Kaitaia because she found out it was run by her own iwi – Ngati Kuri.
“I started last year in the NZ Certificate in Food and Beverage and continued this year with a NZ Certificate in Cookery because I didn’t want to leave! I love it here! I’ve met so many different people here – you build really good relationships with people and good networks. I was able to get a job at the Beachcomber Restaurant through my tutor’s contacts.
“This programme has really helped to prepare me for the hospitality industry. I’ve been taught so I can walk into the five-star restaurant The Beachcomber and know what I’m doing. I have a thorough base knowledge of everything I need to bring to the workplace because we do practical learning 2 days a week at Kaitaia College.
“The tutor is what makes this programme so special. She has so many different teaching styles and will help us understand something by using humour and then asking us questions. Our class is like a family, we all care about each other and try and motivate each other. This is such a good programme! It is so much fun and everyone makes you feel so welcome."
When Irene’s Grandparents passed away when she was 15, she was determined to do them proud. After attending Te Rangi Aniwaniwa in Kaitaia and then transferring to Mahurangi College – it was a shock for Irene. She persevered and achieved NCEA Level 3 by the time she had completed Year 11.
“My aim is to keep studying. I am passionate about cooking, I like that it brings people closer together and I love that wherever you go you can taste different flavours, depending on where people are from. I want to become a chef and teach others to cook – pass my knowledge to the next generation. I want to travel the world and share my kai with everyone!”
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!”
“The best part about having the opportunity to work alongside industry while I study is the connections that I make. Networking is so important in the art industry. NorthTec provides me with the connections that I can go to with queries or collaborations, and who knows when I will use them when I finish my studies!”
Owen is making a career shift from radiology to architecture, as well as a recent regional shift from Taranaki to Northland.
“After having our first baby it was time to move closer to family up here and I was ready to rethink my career options. I was looking at nursing but realised it’s not quite me, and I’ve had an interest in drawing houses and house plans since I was young. A friend had also done this programme and recommended it.”
“There is such a range of options in where this course can lead - from design, to project managing, to council building inspection or to working in geo-tech. My main interest is in design so I’m loving using the CAD technology, but I’m also enjoying learning about materials and construction, plus how the environment affects a building and vice-versa.”
Owen is still working part-time in radiology so balancing study with both work and family is challenging.
“It’s years since I’ve studied and I didn’t do that well at school, but because I’m interested in architecture my marks and motivation are good and I’m keeping up with the deadlines. It was challenging at first but there are other mature students in the class so we support each other and the smaller class means we get more time with the tutors.”
“There are lots of advantages in making this career shift. I’ll be working in a field I enjoy, I can earn a better income, we can do quite a bit of work away from an office so the hours are more flexible, and I could end up with my own business. I’d like to work with an architect or designer for a couple of years to get some experience, and then later maybe have my own design business. I like that the design world is always developing.”
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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