Graduate Profile

Laura Stanley - Dive Instructor
Laura Stanley, and Kelly Weeds (Director of Dive Zone)

Laura Stanley, and Kelly Weeds (Director of Dive Zone)

Laura Stanley - Eco Tourism

Dive Instructor at Dive Zone, Kerikeri

“The first time I put an underwater mask on, I knew diving was my world. Doing the Marine Adventure and Eco Tourism course was the best year of my life. We had a lot of fun, the tutor was so passionate and helpful, and we learnt a massive amount that is a great fit for employment.”

“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. A phone interview secured the job and I worked there for a month before coming back north to do my Academy of Diving Dive Instructor course through Dive Zone. While I was doing the advanced course I was helping out a bit and when I graduated, Kelly offered me a part time job at Dive Zone plus some work at Northland Dive who they partner with.”

“The extra tickets we get from the NorthTec course are directly relevant for work in eco-tourism. We have our Boat Masters which is a big foot in the door, and with that we get half the boat hours needed for a Skippers Ticket - which is my next step. We also do tickets in food handling, first aid, and as a marine mammal medic, plus we learn to write a good CV. My CV was the key to getting hired as a camp counsellor and life guard for a Camp America season in mid-2017.”

“The course, and now this work at Dive Zone, have been big stepping stones to gain the confidence to know I can do this. My next step is be a dive instructor in the islands and then maybe over to Europe. All our training is internationally recognized so there are opportunities everywhere.”


Employer of Laura Stanley

Kelly Weeds – Director of Dive Zone Bay of Islands

“We’ve been collaborating with NorthTec since they engaged us to run their open water dive certificate for their Eco Tourism course a few years ago. Often their graduates will go on and train in the Dive Instructor course with us through the Academy of Diving and that’s what Laura did. When she was doing this course, she was a natural at helping others, was competent, and was great to have around, so when she completed it we offered her a part-time position in our team as a dive instructor.”

“Laura’s NorthTec course learning combined with the Dive Instructor training, means she can now teach people to dive, plus teach them how to look after the environment. As well as gaining all their marine tickets and having an awareness of health and safety with kayak and boat handling, the NorthTec students gain a lot of knowledge and skills relating to the marine environment and how to protect it.”

“It’s our work place, so as divers we have to look after it. Part of what we do in our dive training is to have no-take dive trips, and education is a big part of our business. The conservation emphasis in the NorthTec course dove-tails with our own values. We welcome graduates to carry on their dive training with us. We educate people to become educators and help get the conservation message out there, so we keep a watch out for new keen members for our team here.”