NZMA Media Release – 2 October 2017

Approximately 20 NZMA Construction students were warmly welcomed onto the Marae at Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, with a traditional pōwhiri to signal the beginning of a vocational and spiritual journey. Fifteen of the participating students are recipients of the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training: Auckland (MPTT Auckland) scholarships offered by NZMA, who has recently become a member of the MPTT Auckland consortia*.

The students will be working at the marae one day a week, to put into practice the skills they are learning during their Certificate in Building Level 4 programme at NZMA. Students started the 20 week programme on 28 August, which sets them up to enter the construction industry as an apprentice or entry-level employee.

Wyllis Maihi, Chairperson of Komiti Marae Ōrākei Trust says that the building projects that students will be embarking on at the Ōrākei Marae site will provide them with valuable hands-on practical experience, where they will have the opportunity to transform an old villa into a fully functioning multiple learning space, as well as perform reinforcement work on the Wharenui.

NZMA Senior Tutor, Aaron Reid will supervise and keep a watchful eye on the young men and women, alongside Ōrākei marae tradespeople, who will act as mentors to the young tradies for the duration of the joint venture.

It was the first time on a marae for NZMA student Nita Tuiaki, 24. He said, “This is really special, it’s cool and a good experience. I’m looking forward to understanding the Māori culture, and this will be a highlight of my course.”

NZMA staff and students were warmly embraced by the Ngāti Whātua whanau at the marae. Matt Maihi, Ōrākei Marae Manager, explained the significance of the 700 year old site, and how the city grew around it.  He also reinforced the respect for the land, water and air, and reminded students to be respectful when handling the materials they would be using.

NZMA Regional Manager, Monique Le Marque said, “We are thrilled to be working with Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei iwi. Gaining the hands-on experience in building, which the project offers, is integral to our students educational experience.  However, equally important is the spiritual understanding of their connection to the past whether Māori, Pasifika or any other ethnicity! The historical and cultural knowledge which Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei will impart to students will serve to enrich their knowledge, and will be a significant factor in these students becoming highly contributing citizens of New Zealand’s future workforce.”

NZMA will be monitoring the progress of the villa, and our next update will be when students are on the Ōrākai marae site, beginning the transformation.


We teach real skills for today’s professions. Across seven campuses nationwide we deliver employment-focused vocational training to 3500 students each year in the fields of hospitality, cookery, business, retail, contact centre, trades, sports, early childhood education and health.

For more information www.nzma.ac.nz or 0800 222 116

For further information please contact:

Evonne Geluk, Communications Advisor
Email: evonne.geluk@acgedu.com
Mobile: 021 538 984