Stakeholder News | August 2022

Kia ora koutou,

Work is underway now to prepare for another busy West Coast Pathways Careers Expo in August. The event involves dozens of West Coast and national industry representatives, employers and training providers who are available to talk directly to students and members of the public about career options and job opportunities. There will also be plenty of fun activities over the two events and we’re looking forward to seeing people there. A big thank you to our partners who are supporting the two events.

We’re continuing to develop our new Conservation Training and Employment Hub in consultation with the community and industry leaders. It was great to join a recent strategic environment restoration planning hui that was hosted at the Hub, with the Buller District Council and Ngāti Waewae welcoming Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance members from Te Tauihu / the Top of the South to discuss environmental proposals for the region.

Te Pūkenga will be engaging with all staff on the proposed operational model for the future from 15 August – 2 September 2022. Throughout the process, we have been supportive of the Reform of Vocational Education and the likely benefits for the regions; we are also keeping an eye on the potential impacts on the West Coast and will include feedback in our submission to the proposal.

Ngā mihi,
Alex Cabrera
Chief Executive


Career and training opportunities all under one roof at expo


 Dozens of local businesses, training providers and industry representatives will be available to talk through your future career options at this year’s West Coast Pathways Careers Expo.

Over two days in August, local high school students, members of the public and anyone interested in finding out more about jobs and training will be able to talk directly to those in-the-know. The two-day event in Greymouth and Westport is always a great day out, with interactive activities, a BBQ and more.

Hundreds attended last year’s event and enjoyed being able to talk directly to employers and trainers about options for their future.

Tai Poutini Polytechnic Leader Engagement Mequa Hourston says there’s a big team involved in putting the annual event together to provide as much information for people as possible under one roof.

“As well as having access to the people in the business, we try to make the event fun for attendees, with activities and opportunities to get involved. We’re expecting big numbers this year and we’re looking forward to offering students and members of the public a chance to get some great ideas and feedback that helps them in their career.

“Visitors will be able to take part in a hay bale time trial in the car park with Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s agriculture tutor or pit their nailing and measuring skills against our carpentry team. There will also be a free BBQ for students who attend the event, while Road Safety will be giving away free drinks to promote Students Against Dangerous Driving (SADD).

“By bringing everyone together in one place, the event also supports the reform of vocational education, as Tai Poutini Polytechnic prepares to become part of Te Pūkenga. We are putting learners at the centre of what we do, making it easier to access training and employment information and opportunities and avoiding duplication of services.”

The event is supported by: Coast Connect, West Coast Trades Academy, Upskill, Development West Coast (DWC), BullerREAP, WestREAP, Connected, Ministry of Social Development (MSD), Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (Grey, Westland & Buller), South Westland Area School, Westland High School, Greymouth High School, John Paul II High School, Reefton Area School, Karamea School.

Tuesday 9 August 2022, 10.00am - 2.00pm
Pulse Energy Centre - Cnr Pakington Street and Domett Street, Westport

Wednesday 10 August 2022, 10.00am – 2.00pm
Tai Poutini Polytechnic, 73-87 Tainui Street, Greymouth


Partnership helps automotive apprentices on the job


MITO apprentice Lachlan Stericker of Timaru uses an oscilloscope to test the electronic waveforms and signal patterns during an Engine Management System diagnostics check. 

Tai Poutini Polytechnic works alongside MITO to deliver short training programmes for automotive apprentices on the West Coast.

Eleven students from around the South Island took part in the most recent block course, organised by MITO and delivered by polytechnic tutors at the Greymouth campus. The course included training on aspects of automotive skills that some apprentices were unable to cover in their workplaces, such as electrical faults, body control systems, SRS safety (airbags), and using diagnostic tools.

MITO and Tai Poutini Polytechnic have collaborated to combine on-job and off-job training for a number of years and both will become part of Te Pūkenga next year, delivering vocational training on the West Coast that puts learners at the centre.


Westport to host environmental restoration hui

The Buller District Council and Ngāti Waewae are welcoming Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Alliance (the Alliance) members from Te Tauihu / the Top of the South to Westport this weekend for a strategic environmental restoration planning hui.

The hui will be facilitated by Alliance partner and global conservation organisation The Nature Conservancy, to develop investment-ready environmental proposals across Buller and the top of the South, in line with the Kotahitanga mō te Taiao Strategy.

The Alliance was established in 2017, to support an integrated approach to helping nature and people thrive across Te Tauihu / the Top of the South and northern Buller. Alliance members include eight iwi and five councils across Nelson, Tasman, Marlborough and Buller, and the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Key West Coast stakeholders, including Bathurst Resources, Tai Poutini Polytechnic, MBC Environmental and Development West Coast, are joining the hui. The Nature Conservancy will contribute an international perspective, as well as its expertise in affecting change by bringing together real-world solutions, sustainable financing and collaborative partnerships to realise the restoration goals.

The Buller District Council and Tai Poutini Polytechnic announced a partnership that will work with conservation employers to develop a conservation training learning and employment opportunities hub in March 2022.

In conjunction, a flagship restoration project will be established to engage learners, as well as potential sponsors and funders, and demonstrate conservation and restoration mahi in tangible ways.

Tai Poutini Polytechnic Chief Executive Alex Cabrera says: “It is a great opportunity to meet our partners and key West Coast stakeholders this week. This hui aligns with the hub’s intention to deliver training and education that is designed to meet the needs of the community and its local employers to prepare the Buller District for a future with growing conservation and biodiversity restoration sector activity.

There are a number of other initiatives in the pipeline that will see activities across the West Coast region. The reform of education in New Zealand is creating collaboration opportunities and reducing barriers to accessing training. I am encouraged by the work that has been done to pursue better education opportunities for our akonga.”

Read more here.


Mid-year intake


Mid-year intake kicked off on the 25th of July welcoming Hard Stone & Jade Carving Level 5 ākonga in Greymouth and Food & Beverage ākonga in Westport. At the beginning of August, we welcomed the start of the Greymouth Foundation programme and we are looking forwarded to welcoming our first Horticulture intake on Monday the 8th of August in both Greymouth and Westport.

The new horticulture training programme, aimed at those looking to turn their interest in growing into a career, is one of the first to be offered by Tai Poutini Polytechnic through the new Conservation Training and Employment Hub.

Covering the basics for growing plants from seeds, propagation, soil management, pest and weed control, pruning and landscaping, the programme is aimed at those looking to start a career in the horticulture industry, or people who want to grow their skills and knowledge.


Daffodil Day Fundraiser for the Cancer Society


 Our Cookery West Coast Trades Academy students are preparing the kitchen for a cupcake and coffee fundraiser for the Cancer Society’s Daffodil day on Friday the 26th of August.

Cupcakes are $2.50 each and this year you can also purchase a cup of filter coffee or tea to go with your cupcake for a donation.

To pre-order your cupcakes please contact the Greymouth Tai Poutini Polytechnic reception on 0800 800 411.

Cupcakes will be available for pick-up in the restaurant next to the main carpark at Tai Poutini Polytechnic Greymouth on Friday the 26th of August from 12noon to 1.30pm.

This fundraiser is open to the community so please share with your friends and family. All proceeds will go to the Cancer Society.


Grab a taste of Tai Poutini Polytechnic


 Locals can now book to sample the culinary skills of Tai Poutini Polytechnic cookery students at one of our Restaurant lunch events.

The Polytechnic restaurant is open for lunch bookings on Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 of September with three sittings available each day. Cookery students are working hard on the menus and details, including costs, which will be confirmed closer to the time. Keep an eye on our Facebook event page for all updates.

If you’re keen to sample a true culinary treat, contact our Greymouth campus reception to find out more – 0800 800 411.