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Free tertiary fees for Pacific Island students

Media release – 5 July 2013

Free tertiary fees for Pacific Island students

Pacific Islanders keen to get into the civil construction, scaffolding or mining industries could be eligible for free training as part of a government scheme.

Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s Certificate in Civil Plant Operation, Pre-trade Scaffold and Industrial Safety, and Certificate in Civil Construction, Quarrying and Mining programmes all qualify for the Pacific Trades Training Initiative with training starting in late July 2013 at campuses in Auckland and around New Zealand.

The government introduced the initiative to promote trades-related training for Pacific Islanders. Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s Northern Operations Manager for Industry Training, Vadim Spice says it’s a great opportunity to train for a new career at no cost to the student.

“TPP already has a good number of Pacific Island students undertaking training with us and this new scheme is a fantastic way for people to get into a new industry without having to pay fees. There is national demand for skills in these fields in Auckland and all over the country so there will be jobs out there when they graduate,” he says.

“These are industries that are great for guys who like to work in the outdoors, in an ever-changing work place and as part of a team. There is a real feeling of accomplishment when you do hands-on work where you can look back every day at what you have achieved.”

Cook Islander Uru Taparau graduated from TPP’s Auckland Civil Plant Operation programme last year. He is now helping build a new Warehouse at Takanini. “In the real mans world you need qualifications I reckon. I enjoyed the course very much and would definitely recommend it to anyone, male or female, there’s good money out there,” he says.

80% of the students from TPP’s 30-week Civil Plant Operation programme get jobs when they graduate. Students learn about how to safely operate machinery, build roads, surveying, first aid and pipes and services. The 10-week Pre-Trade Scaffold and Industrial Safety qualification covers working at heights, scaffold erection, truck loading and harness training and the 30-week Civil Construction, Quarrying and Mining also covers working on surface extraction sites.

TPP is holding an open day where prospective students can learn more about the programmes and whether they are eligible for the free fees on Saturday 13 July in South Auckland at the Otara Music Arts Centre, corner Newbury Street and Bairds Road, Otara.

For more information contact TPP 0800 800 411, text 027 467 5574, e-mail, visit or check out


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