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He Toki ki te Rika

Inspiring Māori leadership in trades

With a proud local history of Māori achievement in trades, He Toki ki te Rika is the next evolution of Māori Trade Training re-established after the quakes to ensure our people can play a distinguished role in the Canterbury rebuild.

“The hardest step is the first step they reckon, and we come down here and it was cool, the people at CPIT are easy to talk to, you can just come in and have a yarn – it’s just that whakawhanaungatanga that they have, they welcome you and they want to help you”.

Tihema Brown, plasterboard student.

The scheme aims to grow the next generation of Māori leadership in trades by building Māori capability in the building and infrastructure industries in Canterbury.

He Toki ki te Rika is a collaboration between CPIT, Te Tapuae o Rēhua, The Office of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, and the BETA cluster of Industry Training Organisations, and is supported by Te Puni Kokiri. These partners provide assistance for local Māori with limited trades experience to engage in a training programme or an on-the-job apprenticeship with an employer in addition to supporting experienced trades people to gain recognition of prior learning for their relevant industry experience.

He Toki ki te Rika places a high value on whanaungatanga and Māori culture whereby you will also learn te reo Māori, your whakapapa, a special haka written especially for Māori trades trainees and be helped to connect with your Māori heritage. You will be learning alongside other Māori passionate about being part of the rebuild and will be supported throughout your training by a Māori support team from the Centre for Māori and Pasifika Achievement.

The original Māori trade training programme harks back to the late 60s, 70s and 80s when hundreds of young Māori came to Christchurch from all over the country to learn a trade. It was a significant period of change that helped to grow the city at the time. In fact, graduates from those older programmes return to mentor and encourage the new entrants.

He Toki is a 12 to 14 week Māori pre-trade training course covering programmes in carpentry, painting and decorating, plasterboard, plumbing, masonry, fabricating and drainlaying.

The students are taught at CPIT’s Trades and Innovation campus and learn in a cultural environment, which involves tikanga and use of te reo.

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