Student Profile

Irene Mehana - Cookery

Irene Mehana - Cookery

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!”

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