I AM Tihema Brown

He Toki ki te Rika has helped Tihema Brown into a new career.

Tihema spent seven years as a sheet-metal worker, but was on a benefit and doing casual relief work as a courier driver before he enrolled in the Māori trade training programme. He retrained as a plasterboard finisher and after completing a 14 week course went straight in to a full-time job.

“He Toki has expanded my knowledge, taught me time management, about doing a good job and having pride in your work. I was in a job with no future. Thanks to the course I have the opportunity to create a better future for me and my whānau,” says Tihema.

Tihema’s father is a carpenter and a graduate of the original Māori trade training.

“It’s great to be able to follow in my father’s footsteps, and looking further down the track I’d like to have my own company. Following the earthquakes it’s also good to have a job that will be in demand for a long time,” he says.

“It’s great to be out there working again and to be able to help in the rebuild of Christchurch.”