Wintec trades students make Kōhanga kids’ day

Wintec Waikato Trades Academy students Kaahurangi Parker, Jayden Brake and Te Taitimu Anderson-Wakahoehoe.

Playtime: The tamariki of Kerepehi Te Kōhanga Reo test out their new whare tapere made by Wintec Waikato Trades Academy students Kaahurangi Parker, Jayden Brake and Te Taitimu Anderson-Wakahoehoe.

On a blustery, cold, wet September day this week, a group of Wintec Trades students and their tutor braved the weather to deliver a whare tapere (playhouse) to the tamariki (children) at Kerepehi Te Kōhanga Reo.

The students, Jayden Brake and Kaahurangi Parker from Waihi College, and Te Taitimu Anderson-Wakahoehoe from Thames High School, are enrolled in the Building Level 3 course at the Wintec, Waikato Trades Academy at Kopu near Thames.

At the Waikato Trades Academy, the students get a head start on a trades career, learn valuable skills, and experience what it’s like to work in an industry-based setting before they leave secondary school.

Making a whare tapere with their tutor, Bill O’Neill to be gifted to the community, is part of the experience for these aspiring carpenters.

Bill who has more than 40 years building experience says he is very pleased with the progress they have made, and he is not concerned about losing a few students during the year.

“We did have more students on the course this year, however some have left us as they have gained apprenticeships, which is fantastic and we wish them well,” he says.

Kaahurangi Parker says he has found the experience at Kopu Waikato Trades Academy really valuable.

“I have learnt great skills here, and I hope to get an apprenticeship as a carpenter. Doing this course has definitely helped me to confirm this.

“I also like the concept of working as a team, where you are all responsible for yourself and others in making sure things go smoothly,” says Kaahurangi.

Te Taitimu, Jayden and Kaahurangi loved seeing the reactions of the tamariki when they delivered the whare tapere, saying it was priceless and it made them feel very proud.

“I really enjoyed working on the whare tapere and felt very proud we are giving them to Te Kōhanga Reo’s in our community,” says Kaahurangi.

Three whare tapere were completed this year under Bill’s guidance. The other two are to be donated to Paeroa Te Kohanga Reo and Matai Whetu Te Kōhanga Reo.

The Level 3 Building students are in their second year at the Waikato Trades Academy. In their first year, they attended once a week on a 10 week rotation of electrical, plumbing and building modules, to give them an insight into different trades to help their career direction. This year they are specialising in their chosen career pathway. 

About the Waikato Trades Academy
The Waikato Trades Academy (WTA) is funded by the New Zealand Government to provide secondary students the opportunity to study at both school and Wintec. There are no fees and transport is funded from the school to Wintec’s Rotokauri or Kopu campus. WTA is a two year programme, with options in the following areas: Service Sector, Social and Community, Manufacturing and Technology, and Construction and Infrastructure. Find out more here.

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