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Waiariki to farewell stalwart of the community

1 December 2014

Waiariki to farewell stalwart of the community

Tomorrow Waiariki Institute of Technology will farewell an innovator and award winner.

John Walls, head of department for Engineering Technologies, is hanging up his tools after 27 and a half years at the institute.

John was instrumental in many of the department’s new and innovative offerings which include setting up the automotive retail workshop and extending Waiariki’s offerings beyond Rotorua’s campus and into Taupo, Tokoroa and Whakatane. Thanks to John, Waiariki has been producing graduates of automotive workshop and repair in Taupo and Whakatane, and engineering and automotive skills in Tokoroa. From 2015 onwards, Tokoroa students will be able to complete the Certificate in Welding and Fabrication in their very own, newly built workshop.

“I have many, many, many fond memories of Waiariki. There are lots of fantastic staff here and I’ve also been fortunate to be a part of all the changes that have occurred over the years,” said John, whose wife also retired a year ago after a long-standing career at Waiariki.

John says the biggest motivator for him in his career was the satisfaction of seeing young people succeed.

“I get a buzz every time I go out into the industry workplaces and meet engineering technology graduates who are now business owners, employees and making the most of the qualifications they have earned at Waiariki.”

John is confident that the future of engineering technologies at Waiariki is in good hands.

“We have a fantastic team of awesome tutors, some of them I taught myself. I am confident that the department will continue to grow and do great things.”

Last week John’s contribution to the Tokoroa community was acknowledged by South Waikato Mayor Neil Sinclair when he was awarded a Community Services Award for his contribution to the Engineering Steering committee and the South Waikato engineering industry.

Waiariki wishes John all the best as he begins his new journey into retirement.


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