Aaron Hooper - Applied Management


Aaron Hooper was surprised at how easy the tutors made it for him as a mature student to re-enter study. “The processes were so streamlined and the tutors are so accessible and passionate about their subject.”

Aichun Zhong - English Language

“I learned a lot, not just knowledge, also life. There were many great teachers, and the students as well as the teachers were very friendly.”

Akuhata Te Whare - First Line Management

The skills that I have learnt from the course has helped me to understand why certain people work the way they do.

Alicia Schultz - First Line Management

Service Co-ordinator

I am so much more confident at giving instructions at work and at getting resolution in any conflicted situations. The course has really helped me come out of my shell and communicate at work in ways that are effective.

Alysha Laurie - Hairdressing


This meant I was customer ready and confident when I started work at the salon. I’m now doing my apprenticeship here and I’ve grown even more in confidence.

Amy Williams - Project Management

Client Assistant, Perpetual Guardian

Another big advantage on my CV was that during our course we were out interacting with local businesses with our industry projects. Mine was with a start-up business and I loved that our study was in a social environment

April Warwick - Sport and Recreation

Healthy Lifestyle Lead at Sport Northland

A lot of the skills I’ve learnt through study and work are transferable to home and family. Things like time management, interpersonal communication, understanding people better and knowing how to adapt, all apply to our lives.

Ashlee Lawrence - Environmental Sciences

Biosecurity Officer

“I love my job. I see parts of Northland that no-one else goes to, I meet and liaise with a lot of people connected to the land, and I get to work autonomously in the field.” Ashlee Lawrence works part time as a Biosecurity Officer for Northland Reg…

Ayla Wiles - Biodiversity Management

Fairy Tern Ranger for DOC

It has also given me the tools to think about how to use field data for useful applications. This is all directly relevant to the work I do now. Our course work placement requirements also set up networks for both work opportunities and peer contact.

Bernie Buhler - Applied Science (Biodiversity)

Limestone Island Ranger

Finding kiwi chicks, ferrying students to the island, building tracks, and measuring geckos are all part of a day’s work for Bernie Buhler. Bernie is the ranger on Limestone Island in Whangarei Harbour and the 93 acre island’s only resident. “This i…

Bob Mare - Commercial Transport

The quality of the tutoring was priceless and so much more than I expected. It opened my mind and has changed my life and I did well in class. We got several tickets including forklift driving, tracks, rollers, dangerous goods, Class II licence and …

Brad Crosbie - Automotive

Apprentice – Keith Andrews Trucks

I love every part of working here and it’s been an easy transition from being a student to a working apprentice.

Brooke Hartigan - Biodiversity Management

Biodiversity Advisor in Lakes

“I love the range of activity in this job and everything I did in my course is relevant.” 

Carmen Foster - Cookery

Sous Chef at Blah Blah Blah Cafe

I’ve grown and learnt a lot with my training and ultimately would love to work in a bigger place with more chefs so I can continue to learn on the job and be exposed to food and experiences that are new to me.

Caroline Bon - Sport and Recreation

Golf Pro

Caroline Bon has been a professional golfer for the last four years ever since she graduated from her degree in sport and recreation at NorthTec

Carolyn Knowles-Phillips - Weaving (Raranga)

I’m a first time weaver but I’ve always been drawn to the materials. Harvesting and working with the mix of materials helps with our inner and outer balance.

Chynna Haney - Eco Tourism

Deck-hand on R Tucker Thompson

As a deck-hand we look after all the lines and work on the deck. We also teach the youth trainees about the marine and coastal environment introducing them to things like fishing restrictions and Project Island Song, plus we do the cooking for the t…

Daniel McLaren - Construction

ITAB Apprentice

I’m at the end of my second year as an apprentice with Ken Topp Builders, so I come to block courses at NorthTec for two weeks twice a year.

Desiree Norman - Business Administration

“I love what we learnt at NorthTec but also the way we learnt it. We did lots of role plays and demonstrations so we weren't just learning on paper."

Diane Crocker - Hairdressing

Owner, Classic Hair Design

Diane recently opened her own hairdressing salon in Whangarei after completing two certificates in hairdressing - equivalent to a two-year salon apprenticeship.

Dylan Merritt - Sport and Recreation

Programme Leader and Trainer at Activ8

Dylan Merritt says his job satisfaction comes from seeing the smiles on people’s faces as they improve their personal fitness and their lifestyles. Dylan leads bootcamps and personal training sessions at Whangarei’s award winning fitness studio, Act…

Eden Webber - Mechanical Engineering

Machining Apprentice

About a month into the course the tutor said there was an apprenticeship coming up at what was then Brian Craig Engineering, which specialised in machining rather than fabrication, so I grabbed the opportunity

Eloise Neeley - Applied Management

“I chose to study at NorthTec because I wanted to study locally, get the degree I had always wanted, meet Northland people and get back into my community. ”

Emma Doel - Biodiversity Management

Husbandry Officer, Kiwi North

Public speaking is one of the most relevant course skills that I apply here. For a major assessment presentation we had to put information across in an interesting and accurate way.

Fiona Taylor - Accounting


The aspects of the NorthTec course that provided huge value to my wedding business idea, were the marketing and research papers I had to complete.

Georgina Latter - Hairdressing

Intermediate stylist at Wild Hare n Beauty

I got in-salon training here and had to sit units to get qualified but I also kept in touch with the NorthTec tutors. I’ve been here two years now and I love it

Gina Brighouse - Applied Business Management

Senior Accountant

“I tossed up between studying architecture or business management here and chose business management because it applies to any industry and can be used in any country.”

Holly Tonkin - Commercial Transport

“The course has opened the doors for the possibility of expanding my business and offering more services to my customers.”

Jacinta Hailes - Visual Arts


I majored in photography but in my last year at NorthTec my body of work was looking at how women are perceived in art. Flowers are often used as symbols of women, and that seeded my interest in flowers.

Jared Wendt - Electrical Engineering

Doing the electrical course was the best thing I’ve ever done. I came straight from school and it was ten times better than school. Everything I learnt was relevant and the tutors were the best ever. They treated me as an adult.

Jaswant Minhas - Business Management

Company Director

“I’m really glad I decided to study at NorthTec. All the tutors are great, they’re from all over the world and it was really good to work with them.”

Jazz Penney - Electrical Engineering

Apprentice at Positive Electrical

An apprenticeship is normally three and a half years but the course reduces that by a year. From my training there I already have an understanding of how electricity works, why we do things, and how to work safely

Jessica Rule - Sport and Recreation

Business Owner

Jessica runs her personal training business, Results Rule, from a remodelled shed on a rural property near Kerikeri.

Jessica Swanepoel - Travel and Tourism

Check-in Agent, Air New Zealand

Absolutely everything from the course is relevant to my job. . The best part of the job is talking to the customers and making sure they’re happy.

John Te Iringa - Civil Engineering

“My whole life has opened up to possibilities I never knew existed before.” John has landed a specialist job inspecting structures with KiwiRail. “I got this job inspecting bridges, tunnels, and culverts for the whole Auckland area as soon as I fini…

Jordan Pene - Automotive Engineering

"I looked forward to coming to Tec every day." Jordan has always loved being around cars and enjoyed the mix of classroom and practical work at NorthTec.

Josh Berterlink - Agriculture

I’m learning to shift stock, check on the calves, feed out, do fencing, and weed with the chainsaw. I love that there’s lots of diversity in a day

Josh Padgett - Automotive

Diesel Mechanic – Keith Andrews Trucks

I spoke with the workshop manager and he suggested I do the NorthTec pre-trade course, then come back and apply for an apprenticeship. All the new apprentices here have done that course.”

Karan Randhawa - Cookery

Commis Chef at The Quay

The NorthTec training was exactly what I needed for my work here. I am familiar with the processes and now my confidence has grown a lot. I’ve already created a new dessert that has been added to The Quay’s menu.

Kat Brown - Applied Arts

Teacher at Whangarei Intermediate School

I established my career as a teacher at Whangarei Intermediate School because of my arts training and background. Creativity and performing arts are really appreciated here.

Katarina Linton - Visual Arts

“I have gained so much from my time at NorthTec. I've developed as an artist, I'm able to give back to my family and community, and I've had opportunity to meet and work with indigenous artists from around the world."

Katarina Tamehana - Nursing

Resource Nurse

I’m a different person with regards to my confidence, skills and self-esteem since I’ve done my nursing training and started working in the hospital 18 months ago

Kawiti Wiremu - Whakairo

Whakairo practitioner and tutor

The mentoring/tutoring from the late Te Kuiti Stewart had a profound influence on me and my work as a practitioner, and as a tutor of whakairo.

Kerrin Taylor - Sports and Recreation

Kerrin now works full time in what for her is a dream job. “I’m a Green Prescription Co-ordinator for Sport Northland. We support people with conditions like obesity, diabetes, depression, and heart disease to do physical activity and improve their…

Khana Kiro - Agriculture

General Farm Hand at Oromahoe Trust farm

I’m now General Farm Hand on the 750-hectare Oromahoe Trust sheep and beef farm. This farm is a training farm for our course so I made the connection with Sam, the Assistant Manager here, when we were doing coursework here.

Kim Logue - Visual Arts

“Follow what spins your wheels. Life’s too short to make sacrifices.”

Knox Henderson - Horticulture

Honey Operations Manager

NorthTec was a great training ground. I was impressed with the quality of the tutors. I was apprehensive at first but I learned a lot more than I expected and gained a lot from the level 4 course

Laine Monkhouse - Accounting

Client Manager

I especially like that everything we do here is underpinned by our values of exceeding expectations, coaching, fresh thinking, being passionate, and having life balance.

Laura Gelder - Nursing

Laura’s dedication to nursing was recognised when she received the ACE Primary Health Care Award in 2015 for her work as a sole nurse in Coopers Beach

Laura Stanley - Eco Tourism

Dive Instructor at Dive Zone, Kerikeri

When I graduated, I was offered a job for an overnight charter-boat company in Doubtful Sound - mostly off my CV, because I had my Boat Masters and Food Handling certificates.

Laura Thomson - Nursing

Registered Nurse

The practical component of the course really prepares you for work. From day one we were in the hospital environment making beds and taking blood pressures, then later in rest homes, communities or specialist areas.

Leanne Jackson - Visual Arts

Studying Master of Art and Design

Leanne Jackson’s journey of enquiry is unfolding through post grad study. “Art is an area of absolute open enquiry. You can study anything, follow your own interest in living, and express it through artwork.”

Lee Brogan - Applied Arts


Once I started on the professional study track with art, there was carry-over into other areas of my life. I took my creative work more seriously, lifted my game, gained confidence and learnt to diversify.

Lennaa Saunders - Nursing

Nursing Graduate

“The special thing about the NorthTec course is that we learn the theory then get to apply it straight away in our clinical placements. We work with actual patients in hospitals or rest homes or in the community. It is so rewarding to help people an…

Ligi Pakieto-Johnstone - Social Services

Community Development Context for Social Services Graduate

“It’s great to be helping strengthen community again. This is the future. I see my work as more about community development than Social Services,” says Ligi Pakieto-Johnstone, recent Bachelor of Applied Social Services graduate from NorthTec. “Famil…

Lockie McLeod - Construction

Carpentry Apprentice

The best part of our training is the theory because we get introduced to things that we may not get taught on site for quite some time – like door-locks, stairs and pitched roofing.

Louise Spraggon - Carpentry

"I gave myself a gap year to learn carpentry!” Since completing the NorthTec course Louise had continued to study towards her goals. “I want to teach eco-building, and set up a business utilising mud-brick techniques and arts practices.”

Lyn Wade - Biodiversity Management

Trustee for Little Barrier Island Supporters’ Trust

Even though I live close to Auckland, NorthTec offered the convenience of subjects I could group into two day blocks of part time study compared with an hour here and there through a week.

Ma Krizia Ledesma - Mental Health

“This certificate gave me an added skill for my profession and means I can nurse here specialising in mental health. The students were really supportive and the NorthTec International Committee went that extra mile to help us with anything. I found …

Maggie Naera - Social Services

Kaiawhina at Ngati Hau Health and Social Services

I got my job at Ngati Hau by working there in my second year placement while still studying. The Girls Group is for girls aged 8-12 who at high risk due to their environmental factors. And I got the job at Youth Space through a Ngati Hau recommendat…

Megan Dickinson - Applied Arts

Curator at MD Gallery

Twenty years ago I had the idea to open a gallery but I put it aside until now. I opened the MD Gallery in downtown Whangarei mid-2017, and for me it’s all about curating.

Melanie Peters - Horticulture

Nursery Assistant at Lynwood Avocado Nursery

The practicality of the NorthTec horticulture course was really good training for this work. Although I had a good foundation in horticulture knowledge, my growth since I’ve been in this job is in gaining a better understanding of the commercial sid…

Nardus Kroese - Accounting

Being at a small polytechnic like NorthTec can be such an advantage. The classes are small so you get one-on-one input, plus you can save money by studying from home.

Nick Noble - Forestry

I’m working with a company that is keen to upskill us and that pays well. Training on the job means you get to apply what you’ve learnt straight away

Paras Monga - Civil Engineering

Roading Technician with Whangarei District Council

I now work full time as a Roading Technician with the Whangarei District Council and I look after traffic, safety, parking, new footpaths and cycle-ways projects, and minor improvement projects in the Whangarei district.

Patrick Mason - Sustainable Rural Development

"This course was perfect. We studied composting, re-vegetation, propagation, and growing food and it was great learning how much you can do with just a few dollars. These new skills have helped me develop my business."

Rachel Tribble - Hospitality

Front of House

I’ve gone from being painfully shy to being confident enough to enjoy all aspects of hospitality work. The tutors really model what’s possible and I’ve learned from them how to be adaptable.

Regina Rapata - Applied Management

Since graduating, I’ve had offers to facilitate and assist with teaching Microsoft Project. Once I commit to something, I will get right into it, challenge myself, and do the best I can do.

Renee Korewha - Management

"It is very satisfying knowing I have the knowledge to be able to help people."

Sean Thorburn - Video and Electronic Media

Self employed

I am self-employed in video production as a direct result of my NorthTec course. During the course I developed a hands-on transferable skill set and learnt to use a wide array of gear.

Shawni Paniona - Sport and Recreation

Healthy Lifestyle Support at Sport Northland

During my cooperative placement for the Bachelor in Sport and Recreation programme, I managed to attain part-time employment before I graduated from my degree.

Sheila Collins - Business Admin

Medical Receptionist

I came out of the course 100% more confident than when I started. I was put out of my comfort zone many times, but it’s only when you go through it that you realise how strong you are and what you are capable of doing. I found some strengths I didn’…

Sheryl Mai - Te Reo

Mayor of Whangārei

On my first Mayoral campaign trail back in 2013, someone asked me whether would I learn Te Reo if I became Mayor. I said yes. And I have.

Soraya Te Iringa - Social Services

Social Services

Soraya Te Iringa finished her Degree in Social Services and stepped straight into work that she loves. “I work with an agency of social change and it’s really rewarding seeing personal progress and positive outcomes.”

Tania Tipene - Civil Engineering

Project Engineer, United Civil Construction

I’m hoping my 10-year journey from labourer to Project Engineer sets an example to not only the other guys in our company, but also to the whānau back home, that anything is possible.

Tracie Tepania - Business Administration

Community Computer Coach, NorthTec Kaitaia

“I have so much more confidence and belief in myself since starting part-time work as a Community Computer Coach at Kaitaia NorthTec campus

Trevor Clark - Forestry

“A job in forestry is a job for the future. The course was really worth doing - I enjoyed it.”

Trish Clarke - Applied Arts


Most artists that I've met have got a formal qualification in the arts. It's a good grounding and it's also about connecting with other people - you get opportunities that you wouldn't get elsewhere. It's about joining a network of artists.

Trish Ford - Massage

Trish Ford – Director of RAOR Beauty and Fitness Studio

My biggest learning in life since then has been to be adaptable. If your first idea doesn’t work, tweak it or try something else.