Two graduates and a current tauira (student) from a new Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Forestry course in Rotorua have won top spots at recent awards from Timberlands Ltd in the Central North Island.
Graduates of the level 2 Silviculture course Truedy Taia (left) and Jaylin Kennedy (right), who now work for contractors CNI Forestry Management Ltd, received the best overall worker award and the best female planter award respectively. Truedy, the crew manager, and Jaylin are part of an all female team.
Current tauira Leon Mitchell (centre), who’s been doing work experience with CNI, was a member of the team that won the best planting crew award at the prizegiving at Lake Rerewhakaita in the Bay of Plenty.
Kaiako (teacher) Shand Edwardson, who’s been running the new course since February this year, says he’s really pleased at their success: “I’m very happy for them and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Many of our graduates pick up work with CNI and to have Truedy and Jaylin succeeding at this level is just great. Leon’s obviously also been gaining some really valuable experience with CNI.”
There are 10 graduates currently working in the bush and others are working in sawmills. The course has been attracting up to 17 tauira at a time over the past two semesters.
“We prepare our tauira for entry-level jobs, such as planting and pruning, in the forestry sector. It’s very satisfying to see these tauira secure employment and turn their lives around,” says Shand.