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Council thrilled with Trades Academy work on playground

The Kakahi community have celebrated the opening of their new playground that was constructed by carpentry and farming Trades Academy pupils from Taumarunui High School (THS).

Residents together with Major Don Cameron, Deputy Mayor Karen Ngatai and the Council Property Team joined with Academy students and their tutors and support staff at an official opening ceremony today (Fri 24 May).

The playground equipment that had been is storage since the closure of the Kakahi Primary School three years ago was reassembled over the past two weeks on an area of road reserve made available by Council.

Team Leader Community Property Rebecca van Orden said that with the success of this project the Trades Academy has proven their ability to take on a real job from a real client and deliver an outcome equal to what we would expect from commercial contractors.

“I am now very keen to see what other suitable projects we can hire the Trades Academy for,” she said.

Community Property Officer Dean Hosking admitted that he was a bit apprehensive at first on using the Trades Academy for this project, however, he was really, really delighted at the outcome.

“I want to give a big thanks to all the students who worked on the job as well as Trades Academy Carpentry Tutor Steve Kernot.

Steve has been amazing at running the project given that they started out with a pile of bits and pieces and so for this to be the final result is pretty miraculous.”

Community leader and owner of the local General Store Manu Lala said he wanted to thank the Academy students, Council and everyone else who had a role in the project for what they had done for Kakahi.

“This is a great project and a great asset for Kakahi,” he said.

A spokesperson for the students thanked Council and the community for trusting them and giving them with the opportunity as well as, their tutors and other volunteers who helped them put the playground together.

Mayor Don Cameron added that this was a good example of Council using its purchasing power to help provide training and skill development for our young people.

“When we award contracts we have a number of non-price criteria we use to evaluate a supplier one of which is whether they offer apprenticeships or other training opportunities.

Supporting the Trades Academy with real projects is another way we can provide our young people with real work experiences and help provide a pathway from education to long-term employment,” said Mayor Cameron.

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