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Malachi Paku and Craig Scoble from Golden Homes Wellington

Building career firmly in sight for Maori trades training graduate

Malachi Paku got into a trade to help his whanau, but is now well on his way to becoming a fully qualified carpenter.


Malachi credits his family with developing his love of building and construction. “My dad was very strong and passionate about getting me and my brothers into the trades. In our family and in our community we didn’t have any tradespeople, so having a trade was useful for us, our whanau, and our community. We could give back,” says Malachi, who completed a pre-trade carpentry qualification at WelTec in 2016 with financial assistance through a Maori Trades Training scholarship.

“At first I didn’t know how to build a house at all. You always see new houses being built and it makes you think about how they do it,” he says. “I loved the whole physical side of it, loved being active and being outdoors.”

Malachi is now working for Golden Homes while he completes the National Certificate in Carpentry part-time at WelTec to become a fully qualified carpenter.

Craig Scoble from Golden Homes Wellington is pleased to provide employment opportunities for graduates. “To succeed in the building and construction industry the words of Pele come to mind: ‘Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and, most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do’,” Craig says.

Job broking service

The opportunity to work for a large building company came about through WelTec’s jobs broker service. “Golden Homes had a look at a few of us students,” says Malachi. “It’s a five-year plan: the first three years I’ll get my apprenticeship done, and years four to five I’ll be a subcontractor to Golden Homes. That matches my goals, as part of my vision is to own my own business. It’s fantastic as you really don’t get an opportunity like that straight away.”

Right now the 19-year-old works on the framework for new houses. “I’m doing wrapping, strapping windows, doors, cladding, you name it. I’m already on my seventh house.”
He is also focused on helping his family. “In our own house there are lots of opportunities. One thing we’re doing is building a deck soon and a BBQ area.”

Working for the whanau

While Malachi grew up in Wainuiomata and went to Hutt Valley High School, his family is originally from Gisborne. “I’m Ngati Porou on my mum’s side and I went back up to Gisborne in January. I did a few jobs at my grandmother’s place, like the gutters and windows. We’re building a deck there too,” he says.

Malachi is no longer the only one in the family looking at pursuing the trades. His twin brother Isaac has started in electrical engineering with WelTec and younger brother Jerry could also be doing plumbing in the future.

“It’s made a big difference for us personally and for our whanau, and the scholarship really helped out. It gave me more time to study and focus on the methods I was being taught by my tutors. I was very thankful I got that scholarship,” he says.

About the scholarships

The Maori and Pasifika Trades Training initiative, run at at WelTec’s Petone campus and Whitireia’s Porirua campus, provides scholarships to Maori and Pasifika learners to acquire the skills and attributes to gain employment in the trades, and to take up a New Zealand apprenticeship or other higher-level training programmes. The initiative also includes jobs brokerage.

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