Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Graduating WelTec Engineer – A Great Role Model to Others


Graduating WelTec Engineer – A Great Role Model to Others

Ruth Tautari

Hard work and determination to succeed has meant a young Maori woman has unwittingly become a role model to other young women throughout New Zealand.

“Most young girls don’t think about engineering as an option in terms of a career. I’m here to show them it’s not only an option, but a great choice for women where you can get a degree and get a fantastic job, and yes, I am talking about engineering,” says Ruth Tautari.

Ms Tautari, of Ngapuhi affiliations, is one of fourteen students in the final weeks of the inaugural three year Bachelor of Engineering Technology at the Wellington Institute of Technology. She is also a Lieutenant in the New Zealand Army based at Trentham where she works giving support to the workshop which maintains the Army’s vehicles.

Ms Tautari decided to study engineering majoring in mechanical to enable her to provide more technical support in her role, a decision which was backed by her employer and her family, particularly an older sister who had also served in the New Zealand Army.

“Dad was shocked when I joined the Army like my sister had, but he is really proud about me gaining my degree,” Ms Tautari says. She admits to only having a patchy knowledge of physics and maths before formally studying engineering. “I was told when I enrolled that I would have to work harder to get up to speed.” To do this Ruth and three fellow students formed a study group which met most evenings during the week to hone their calculus and physics knowledge and understanding. “This provided the collegial support I needed and the motivation to keep going.”

Fortunately, hard work is something she was used to, Ms Tautari says. “As a woman you have to work harder to prove you are just as good. When people get to know you and your expertise, they treat you fairly.”

Having to combine military work with study was also difficult. Ms Tautari often studied into the early hours of the morning and had to keep up her physical fitness training for her army position. She spent term breaks working at Trentham and was also needed at other times during study terms.

For her third year engineering project Ms Tautari designed a “Suspend Towing Apparatus” for a Pinzgauer – a six wheeled medium all-terrain military vehicle. Weighing in between five to 7 1/2 tonne the vehicle is designed to carry personnel and equipment. At present should the Pinzgauer break down or become stuck, Ms Tautari explains, its recovery method is not standard, but the recovery solution is usually decided at the time by the soldiers in the field making use of whatever is available, like chains.

In 2013 WelTec has been awarded additional funding to meet the Government’s call for more engineers with 60 more places available on level 5 and 6 engineering programmes. WelTec is one of only two Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics nationally that offers all three majors (civil, mechanical and electrical) in the New Zealand Diploma of Engineering and Bachelor of Engineering Technology which are engineering qualifications in high demand by employers.


Please don’t hesitate to approach us for any contact details.
Caryn Ellis on WelTec +64-4-920 2539 or 027 301 4674
or Rochelle Maroon-Neale 920 0466 ext 484 or 022 069 4060

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


13/10: 40 Years Since The Māori Land March Arrived At Parliament

Traffic into Wellington came to a standstill as thousands of Māori and Pākehā streamed along the motorway into the capital on 13 October 1975, concluding the Māori land march to parliament. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news