He Toki ki te Rika students graduate


Around two hundred people gathered at Te Puna Wānaka, CPIT on Wednesday night, to celebrate the success of the latest group of He Toki ki te Rika students, who have completed their one-year pre-trades training courses.

He Toki ki te Rika is a Māori trades training initiative led by Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu in partnership with CPIT and Hawkins. The programme provides a foundation for Māori to enter job and apprenticeship pathways, and then onto leadership roles in industry.

He-Toki-8The students who successfully graduated from their 2014 courses help make up the 850 students who have enrolled in the He Toki programme since it began in 2011. They continue the proud twenty-year tradition of Māori trades training in Canterbury that began in the 1960s and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Kaiwhakahaere Tuarua, Lisa Tumahai acknowledged that their new qualifications were a first step in empowering them to make bold, confident choices for their futures.

“Developing skills and leadership sits at the heart of all our He Toki programmes and although you may leave here today and start out on the end of a drill or a hammer, we want you to take up the challenge of working your way to the top – to becoming the foreman, the supervisor, the project manager, a company owner. The possibilities are endless.”

She congratulated both the whānau who have supported the students through their mahi and the dedication of CPIT and Hawkins staff and tutors.

“All three partners have invested a lot of time and resource to ensure students achieve their aspirations They have encouraged students to embrace their cultural identity and the values that come with that, and to carry those into the workplace to build relationships and a new future. “

He-Toki-22CPIT chief executive, Kay Giles said enrolments in the He Toki programme since its inception had exceeded all expectations and she noted how gratifying it was that the programme had become a model and template for the roll out of Māori trades training schemes throughout New Zealand.

“This partnership between iwi, education and industry is a genuine one. We have the same goals and we look after each other. It’s an excellent model for working together and it feels like the whole Māori community has embraced this initiative,” she said.

“We are all committed to bettering lives and sharing knowledge – and the trainees themselves are the key, the final piece in the puzzle, that goes toward making He Toki so successful.”

Nancy McConnell, general manager corporate affairs, Hawkins said the workplace is already benefitting as He Toki students continue to graduate and move into the workforce.

He-Toki-20“We do see our He Toki graduates as the next generation of foremen, supervisors, businesspeople. There is an enormous range of opportunities available to our students and we hope they will see this as a first step toward continued learning and leadership,” she said.

In 2015, a new programme He Toki ki te Mahi, a new apprenticeship training trust will support and mentor Maori through a full trades apprenticeship. The He Toki Leadership Pathways programme, which was started in July this year also continue into 2015. It supports 11 Māori leaders in Level-6 programmes based in qualifications in Quantity Surveying, Construction Management, and Site Supervisors. Next year Architectural Technology will also be offered. For more information see www.hetoki.co.nz