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 tools kete including life and work readiness skills, 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 3,213 trainees learn a trade, and 56% (as of end of 2018) 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 plan for 2020 to 2025.


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 Māori

      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.”

    • Issac Liava'a Mana Whakahaere Pasifika

      With a background in scaffolding and construction, Issac now uses his industry knowledge as a consultant. 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.”

  • Board Members
    • Huia Hawke Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei
    • Wiremu Manaia MIT
    • Monique Le Marque PTE Representative
    • Toni Rewiri ITP Representative
    • Tuwhakairiora (Tu) Williams Māori Advisory Representative
    • Issac Liava'a Pasifika Advisory Representative
    • Cecilia Tuala Employer Representative
    • Tracy Chapman TWoA
    • Fiugalu Tevita Funaki The Fono (MPTT Acting Chair)
    • John Chapman Combined Services Group Representative
  • project team
    • Sam Sefuiva MPTT 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
      Email Sam

    • Shelley Riley MPTT 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

    • David Parsons MPTT Kaitohutohu Ahumahi

      David Parsons is of Ngāpuhi decent, his marae is Taheke and he whakapapa’s to the Pou whānau. David has almost 20 years experience with the BCITO helping people navigate the trades.

      At MPTT he is our Kaitohutohu Ahumahi. His role is as an industry connector, supporting tauira, providers, and employers to ensure strong, smooth progressions from pre-trades training to apprenticeships and beyond. 

      His long experience in the industry means he’s seen how much success spreads when trainees commit to the trades. “Those who stay the distance to get qualified become sought after successful employers who inspire others to join the trades. This tuakana teina relationship is special to Māori and Pasifika and is immensely powerful.”
      Email David
      027 260 6942

  • Navigators
    • MPTT Navigator - OCA
    • Leslie Gataua MPTT Navigator - NZMA

      Les is the MPTT Navigator at NZMA based at their Trades Campuses in South and West Auckland.  He has been in the Tertiary education space for over 15 years working in Pastoral care, Recruitment and Tutoring.

      His drive has always been about helping and seeing people do better. His role as navigator allows him to continue that, by connecting, building, and creating pathway opportunities within the Trades Industries for NZMA Graduates.
      Email Leslie


    • Hamiora Chapman MPTT Navigator

      Seeing more Māori and Pasifika involved in education, training and employment is a key driver for Hamiora (Tūwharetoa, Whakatōhea, Ngati Porou). “It’s very important, not only for the individual’s success but as a collective, to encourage further opportunities for Māori and Pacific peoples.” Hamiora encourages young people to get a trade under their belt to increase their opportunities in life. “While you are young, gain a trade qualification and work hard. Even if you decide to try something else later, you’ll at least have a trade you can fall back on if that doesn’t work out. There is always a demand for trade skills in the job market.”
      Email Hamiora
      021 025 05595

    • Chris Joseph MPTT Navigator

      As a Navigator, Chris (Cook Islands Māori and Tahitian) works with MPTT trainees to help them get ready for work and build the personal skills they need. He advises tauira to focus on themselves and their training in the short term, so they can be in a good position to give back to others later. “Being selfish around your own growth now will build the selfless positive outcomes for you, your family and your collective future.” Outside of work, Chris enjoys travelling and playing sport as well as spending quality time with his friends and family, including his seven-year-old son.
      Email Chris
      021 023 29336

    • Makahn Warren-Chapman MPTT Navigator

      Makahn, who is Samoan, Māori (Tūwharetoa, Whakatōhea, Ngāti Porou) and Irish, loves reading, being outdoors in nature, spending time with whānau and connecting with people. As a navigator, Makahn works with tauira (students) to help them throughout their training and assist them to find work. “I think it’s great our Māori and Pacific tauira are the focus of this programme. Through MPTT, students are aware of opportunities they may otherwise not have known they have access to.”

      Email Makahn
      021 025 66393

  • Relationship Managers
    • Tu Nu’uali’itia Unitec Relationship Manager

      In his role for MPTT, 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 902565

    • 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

    • Monique Le Marque Skills4Work 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

    • Debra Robertson-Welsh OCA Relationship Manager
    • Desiree Grace Kiwa Relationship Manager
    • David Parsons BCITO Relationship Manager
    • Reg Currin Competenz Relationship Manager
    • Eva Joseph Skills Relationship Manager - Pasifika
    • Jodi Franklin MITO Relationship Manager

      Jodi has been involved with the trades industry for more than a decade, having been the Northern Regional Manager for MITO (a partner of MPTT) since 2009. As part of her work with MPTT, Jodi is helping to bring more talented young Māori and Pasifika into the automotive industry. “It’s important to attract Māori and Pasifika to our trades and the MPTT programme gives them a great start in their careers, with lots of support and guidance.” She encourages young people interested in the trades to work towards their qualifications as soon as possible. “Go for it – the world is your oyster once you have a trade!”

      Email Jodi
      0800 88 21 21

    • Vanessa Veart-Smith Māori & Pasifika Liaison, Connexis

      Having grown up with a roof tiling contractor for a dad and now married to a blacksmith, Vanessa (Te Ati Haunui-a-Pāpārangi) says learning a trade gives you opportunities you can take anywhere. “The effort you put in now is the reward you will reap at the end.”
      A mother, volunteer firefighter and keen show jumper, she also runs a small farm – a doc refuge for native birdlife – alongside her husband.
      With a background in teaching, Vanessa has a passion for helping people grow and develop. “Being in the trades industry in an education role gives me the drive to jump out of bed every day, engaging with people from all walks of life who are working exceptionally hard.”
      Through her role at Connexis, she wants to make a difference in Māori and Pasifika communities and see future generations succeed in the trades. “We can better ourselves, our people, our trades and our infrastructure.”
      Email Vanessa
      021 406 276

    • Leslie Gataua NZMA Relationship Manager

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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • Oceania Career Academy
    • 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.

    • Kiwa Education
    • 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

      Competenz is a work-based learning organisation, a business division within Te Pūkenga. We arrange training for apprenticeships and other on-the-job qualifications, supporting employers, job seekers and people with jobs in our industries. We can support you to get the training you need to earn your qualification.

    • 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
    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Kaea Consultants

      Kaea Consultants provide MPTT with navigation services.

    • Etco

      Etco (The Electrical Training Company) provides training for electrical apprentices and manages their employment. Instead of being employed by an electrician directly, tauira are employed as an apprentice by ETCO, which then finds a place for them to work (called a host company) – ensuring tauira gain the experience they need during the apprenticeship. Etco also provides off-the-job training, including night classes and block courses.