Māori and Pasifika Trades Training Auckland is a group of training and industry organisations working together to help Māori and Pasifika become leaders in the trades. With partnerships throughout the industry, we combine trades training with mentoring and financial support, and connect trainees with employers to take them right into the heart of their chosen trade.

What we do

  • We offer trainees practical support to build their careers – including free fees, a $1000 tools grant and help finding work.
  • Our “Navigators” guide trainees through their training and beyond, encouraging them to aim high and continually develop their skills.
  • We partner with training and industry organisations to connect trainees with those in the know about their chosen trade.
  • We work closely with employers to help meet the growing demand for skilled tradespeople in Auckland.
  • Since we started in 2015, we’ve helped more than 1,432 trainees learn a trade, and 56% of our graduates are now in apprenticeships, trades-related employment or further study.

What we value

  • Whakamana– Conducting relationships in ways that enhance the mana and mauri of everyone involved.
  • Kia ngatai to waihoe – Recognising the value in each other’s strengths and the importance of working together.
  • Whaia to iti Kahurangi – Commitment to the highest standard and best practice.
  • Ehara taku toa takitahi, engari he toa takimano – Leadership strength based on relevance, accessibility and quality.
  • Kai pumai kit e kaupapa – A foundation of trust, integrity and commitment to Maori and Pasifika education and training.

Read more about MPTT Auckland’s purpose and values in our charter or download our strategic presenter.


There’s a shortage of qualified tradespeople in Aotearoa and an increasing number of jobs in the industry. At the same time, Māori and Pasifika are underrepresented in skilled trades positions. To help fill the skills gap, the Tertiary Education Commission has given us Government funding to help young Māori and Pasifika build a career in their chosen trade.


MPTT Auckland is a team effort. Meet the people who are helping our trainees become leaders in the trades.

  • mana whakahaere - ambassadors
    • Tuwhakairiora (Tu) Williams Mana Whakahaere

      Tu (Whakatohea, Ngai Tai, Ngāti Porou) has a strong family history in the trades, beginning with his grandfather who was a Master Builder. Now serving as Mana Whakahaere (ambassador) for MPTT, he has an extensive background in the health and education sectors.

      Tu says MPTT is a great opportunity for Māori and Pacific youth. “These young people will be able to provide a more secure future for themselves and their families. The trades industry will benefit as more people gain the skills required to meet demand. MPTT is good for the industry, good for the economy and good for the country.”

  • Board Members
    • Fiona Kingsford Chair

      Fiona Kingsford, chief executive of Competenz, has been involved with MPTT from the beginning. “I’m passionate about making a difference to our young Māori and Pasifika learners,” she says. “I believe together we can have a greater impact than what each partner can do alone.” MPTT’s relationships with the community and industry are crucial, says Fiona. “MPTT is focused on providing pathways for our young people into exciting careers in the trades. To do this we need to build stronger connections with Māori and Pasifika communities and our employer networks.”

    • Robert Sullivan MIT
    • Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga MIT
    • Nancy McConnell Hawkins & Downer

      Nancy has been involved in the construction industry all her life. She grew up working at the McConnell’s family-owned construction company during school holidays, and now uses her extensive industry experience as a Strategic Advisor with Hawkins and parent company, Downer NZ. She says becoming a quality tradesperson should be worn as a badge of pride. “In my experience, our education system has failed many Māori and Pasifika students and, in turn, their families. The MPTT programme provides a fantastic opportunity for the young, and not so young, to kick-start a career in construction.”

    • Shanan Halbert Te Wānanga o Aotearoa
    • Tevita Funakai The Fono
    • Tuwhakairiora (Tu) Williams Mana Whakahaere

      Tu (Whakatohea, Ngai Tai, Ngāti Porou) has a strong family history in the trades, beginning with his grandfather who was a Master Builder. Now serving as Mana Whakahaere (ambassador) for MPTT, he has an extensive background in the health and education sectors.

      Tu says MPTT is a great opportunity for Māori and Pacific youth. “These young people will be able to provide a more secure future for themselves and their families. The trades industry will benefit as more people gain the skills required to meet demand. MPTT is good for the industry, good for the economy and good for the country.”

    • Huia Hawke Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei
  • project team
    • Sam Sefuiva Project Manager

      Sam is the former New Zealand Human Rights Commission’s Principal Advisor Race Relations. He worked with other public and community agencies in the mid-1970s to promote the work of the former Māori Trades Training Scheme in the 1970s, and in 1986 he helped found the Pacific Business Trust. He says the current MPTT programme is creating direct pathways into the trades for Māori and Pasifika Aucklanders. “All our efforts are to get Aucklanders of Māori and Pacific heritage into the trades to be independent, make good choices and benefit themselves, their families and our Pasifika community.” Sam encourages those considering learning a trade to take advantage of the demand for a skilled workforce. “Here is a chance to take your future into your own hands, gain a skill that has worth, and have the choice to build a career, support your family and create your own lifestyle.”
      027 477 2086

    • Shelley Riley Project Coordinator

      Shelley has family roots in the trades – her dad is a qualified fitter and turner, while her brother is a boat builder who worked on the Emirates Team New Zealand boat. After working in trades education at MIT, she joined MPTT to use her experience to help more Māori and Pasifika into the trades. Shelley’s advice to those considering a career in the trades is to dive in and get started. “There will never be a perfect time, so why put it off? Nobody can take your trade away from you, and once you have your qualification you’ll never look back.”
      Email Shelley
      022 305 6924

  • navigators and relationship managers
    • Pava Saifoloi Unitec Relationship Manager
    • Naomi Tito MIT Relationship Manager

      Tēnā koutou katoa
      Ko Tangihua tōku māunga
      Ko Wairoa tōku awa
      Ko Māhuhu-ki-te-rangi tōku waka
      Ko Te Tirarau tōku tīpuna
      Ko Ngapuhi tōku iwi
      Ko Te Parawhau tōku hapū
      Ko Tangiteroria tōku marae
      Ko Naomi Tito tōku ingoa

      In her role for MPTT, Naomi is focused on providing Māori and Pasifika with meaningful opportunities to enrich their lives and those of their whanau and communities. “I want to support their challenges and share their values and aspirations, enabling them to realise their potential as leaders in their communities. Māori and Pacific people know what they need to uplift and sustain their Mana and their dreams.” In the beautiful words of Te Puea Hērangi “If I dream alone, I can achieve something, but if we all dream together we can achieve much more.”

      No reira, Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa.
      Email Naomi
      022 068 9290

    • Hamiora Chapman Kaea Consultants Ltd Navigator
    • Chris Joseph Kaea Consultants Ltd Navigator
    • Tu Nu’uali’itia Oceania Careers Academy Navigator

      As a Navigator, Tu helps our trainees get ready for working life and become leaders in the trades. He is married with three adult children and when he isn’t at work he enjoys spending time at church events or at the beach. Tu, who is New Zealand-born Samoan, wants to encourage young Māori and Pasifika to aim high and set goals to achieve their dream career. “Tomorrow only has real meaning for those who have somewhere they need to get to – otherwise it’s just another day.”
      Email Tu Nu’uali’itia
      021 381 438

    • Travis Fenton Oceania Careers Academy Navigator

      Travis, who is Samoan, Tongan and Danish, says his role is about guiding trainees into their desired career. “It’s not about what I want to achieve but what I want others to achieve for themselves. If I were to achieve anything, it would be to be an effective guide and helper in seeing people reach their goals.” When he’s not working, Travis enjoys creating hip hop instrumentals. “I have an extreme passion for music, both as a producer and a listener. It gives me a high sense of creative accomplishment.”
      Email Travis
      021 381 656

    • Doug Leef BCITO Relationship Manager
    • Issac Liava’a Skills Relationship Manager

      With a background in scaffolding and construction, Issac now uses his industry knowledge in his role as National Manager Pasifika at the Skills Organisation. The Tongan New Zealander has been involved with MPTT from the beginning, and says the programme helps Māori and Pasifika learn sought-after skills. “It also offers the opportunity to learn and earn without getting into student debt, and practical hands-on learning which suits a lot of our trainees.”
      021 775 210
      Email Issac

    • Caroline (Ligi) Harris ServiceIQ Relationship Manager

      Caroline, who is NZ Samoan, Chinese and American, comes from a family of tradies. “My father was a welder, and my four brothers are all tradespeople. I’m the only girl in my family, so I’m used to people with strong work ethics”. Outside of work, Caroline enjoys creative pursuits and being involved in her community. “I’m passionate about working with women and their daughters. Also, I like spoken word poetry, live show productions, deep and meaningful talanoa (talks) about life, most of all, laughter and adventures with friends and family.”
      Email Caroline
      021 599 400

    • Jodi Franklin MITO Relationship Manager
    • Monique Le Marque NZMA Relationship Manager

      Monique, who is South African, is an explorer who loves visiting new places. “Travel and exploring new cultures and languages is my passion. I have visited more than 40 countries and speak three languages – English, Afrikaans and German. ” She says MPTT is a life-changing opportunity, not only for trainees but for their whānau and community, and has a significant impact on the New Zealand economy as well. “A trade qualification is a passport that can open numerous doors. Tradespeople are in huge demand and have amazing earning potential. With equal measures of elbow grease, perseverance and aspiration, you could someday own your own business and have true financial freedom.”
      Email Monique
      021 779 433

    • Reg Currin Competenz Relationship Manager
    • David Sharples NZMA Navigator

      David is a keen trail runner who loves being outdoors and exploring New Zealand. As an MPTT navigator, he helps trainees plan their careers and gain the work-readiness skills they need. “I want to support trainees to unlock their potential and develop skills to help them progress.” Young people looking to succeed in the trades should focus on working hard and showing their passion for the industry, says David. “You get out what you put in.”
      Email David
      021 572 543


Our partners are central to the work we do. We collaborate with training, industry and community organisations to connect trainees with opportunities in their chosen trade.

  • Polytechnics and Training Providers
    • Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) 

      MIT has been helping New Zealanders learn industry-specific skills since 1970. With five Auckland-based campuses, MIT offers a wide range of trades courses that can help you learn practical skills and gain real-world experience while you study.

    • Unitec

      Unitec is New Zealand’s largest institute of technology, with more than 20,000 students studying over 150 work-oriented programmes. It offers employment-focused education at two campuses in Auckland’s suburbs of Mt Albert and Waitākere.

    • Te Wānanga o Aotearoa (TWoA)

      One of New Zealand’s largest tertiary education providers, TWoA is guided by Māori principles and values and provides high-quality, holistic education from certificates to degrees.

    • Skills4Work

      This private training establishment aims to help people and businesses lift their skills and productivity. Skills4Work works with businesses of all sizes to help them learn workplace skills linked to industry qualifications.

    • NZMA

      NZMA provides hands-on training giving students real skills for today’s professions. Across seven campuses nationwide they deliver employment-focused vocational training in purpose built campuses simulating real-life work environments to over 3,500 students each year in the fields of hospitality, cookery, business, retail, contact centre, construction, electrical engineering, plumbing & gas fitting, early childhood education and health. NZMA’s employment outcomes are amongst the highest in the sector, placing over 80% of graduates into employment or higher learning annually.

    • Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO)

      BCITO is New Zealand’s largest provider of construction trade apprenticeships. It’s appointed by the government to develop and provide industry qualifications for the building and construction sector.

    • The Skills Organisation

      Skills is a multi-sector training organisation working with 22 industries. It develops skills to improve workplace performance, delivers training services to companies, and promotes the educational and training needs of its industries.

    • Competenz

      Working across 37 industries where most learning takes place on the job, Competenz develops national qualifications and supports Kiwis to build skills, careers and businesses.

    • Connexis

      Connexis is the industry training organisation for New Zealand’s infrastructure industries, including civil infrastructure, water, electricity supply and telecommunications.

    • ServiceIQ

      ServiceIQ is the industry training organisation for the aviation, hospitality, retail, travel, tourism and museums sectors. It helps people gain valuable, practical service skills and nationally recognised qualifications.

    • MITO New Zealand

      MITO designs qualifications and training programmes for the automotive, transport, logistics, industrial textile fabrication and extractive industries.

  • industry and community
    • Solomon Group

      Solomon Group is a Māori Private Training Establishment accredited with NZQA since 1998. They help individuals recognise and develop their potential and support MPTT trainees into trades careers while fostering a future-focused attitude.

    • Oceania Career Academy

      Oceania provides Navigation (mentoring) services to MPTT trainees, helping support them into careers in the trades. The academy aims to help Pacific people grow their skills and find sustainable careers.

    • Hawkins Group

      An industry leader in the trades, Hawkins is New Zealand’s largest privately owned construction and infrastructure group. Hawkins Group works throughout the Asia Pacific region and specialises in complex projects that benefit local communities.

    • Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Maia

      The people of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei are a hapu (sub-tribe), of the Ngāti Whātua iwi (tribe) based in New Zealand’s largest city, Tāmaki Makaurau, commonly known as Auckland.