Building and construction industry training organisation BCITO has announced it has a record of 20,000 apprentices in training.
BCITO manages apprenticeships for the building and construction industry in New Zealand, including the Bay of Plenty.
To mark this milestone, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and BCITO chief executive Toby Beaglehole visited a Holmes Construction housing project in Wellington, where they met with apprentices undergoing training.
The occasion also saw BCITO chair Mike King and Te Pūkenga council member John Brockies sign an agreement for the transfer of arranging training from BCITO to Te Pūkenga.
Speaking onsite, Beaglehole said BCITO had signed up more than 6500 apprentices in 2021 alone.
"We are immensely proud to have reached this milestone. If the number of apprenticeship sign-ups continues at the current rate, we could have enough to meet the demand for qualified construction workers in New Zealand in the longer term.
"We wouldn't have been able to achieve this without the Government's investment in free trades training, and support for employers with the Apprenticeship Boost."
The Apprenticeship Boost provides up to $1000 a month for first-year apprentices and $500 a month for second-year apprentices. Since it was rolled out in August 2020, more than 10,000 employers have signed up and received almost $97 million in subsidies for more than 21,000 apprentices throughout New Zealand.
"We thank organisations like Holmes Construction for taking on apprentices and their commitment to help build New Zealand's construction workforce," Beaglehole said.
"As we transition into Te Pūkenga, we expect opportunities for apprentices to continue to broaden as on-job and off-job learning come closer together to offer more flexible vocational learning."
Acting chief executive of Te Pūkenga Work Based Learning Limited (WBL) Fiona Kingsford said they were looking forward to welcoming BCITO to its Te Pūkenga whānau.
"BCITO brings a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience to Te Pūkenga as we take another step in this once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a vocational learning system.
"A system that is simple to navigate, responds to the needs of a diverse range of learners and employers, and is flexible enough to change as the future develops."
Te Pūkenga was established by the Government to unite Institutes of Technology, Polytechnics and Industry Training Organizations (ITOs) around the country into a national network.
When an ITO transitions functions to Te Pūkenga, it will become a separately branded business division within the WBL subsidiary of Te Pūkenga. Following transition, BCITO will be referred to as the BCITO Business Division within WBL.
Ben Holmes, managing director of Holmes Construction, said they have always valued bringing through the next generation of builders.
Bike tech brake sensor and app to seek investment at Rotorua Pitch Night
Potential investors have plenty of options to choose from at the Rotorua Pitch Night on July 28.
Six businesses are lined up to pitch, from a range of industries, including bike tech, tourism, gin and vodka distilling, ag tech and peer lending platforms.
Matt Miller is pitching his company BrakeAce. He has developed a brake sensor and app to help mountain bikers improve their speed.
Miller said BrakeAce has been five years in development and has been trialled extensively by riders at all levels.
"The sensor measures the data and the app does the number-crunching to provide riders with the top three things to improve their speed.
"Users have averaged a five-second improvement in just one day from using BrakeAce."
Miller said the global mountain bike market is projected to be worth US$10 billion by 2026 and is worth $13.5 million per annum in Rotorua alone.
"I'm pitching to raise funds to take BrakeAce to this market and help mountain bikers get faster without the need to get fitter."
The Rotorua Pitch Night event aims to introduce investment-ready businesses to prospective investors and be the start of an active local investor community in Rotorua.
The event is being run by Firestation, Rotorua X and Rotorua Economic Development Limited and businesses had to apply to pitch.
Event director Darren McGarvie said interest in pitching was high and they only accepted half of those that applied.
"We were blown away with the level of interest in pitching, and the calibre of the businesses. We had more than 10 applications and had to make some tough decisions on who should pitch on the night.
"Pitch Night will be an interesting evening with a wide range of industries covered, with a mix of some asking for equity investment, some for lending or a combination of both."
Other pitches on the night include Wire Adventures, a new tourism adventure offering, Copperhead Road Vodka Distillery, CipTech an ag-tech for better dairy plant, vat cleaning and milk quality, Indigishare a peer-to-peer lending platform and Pink and White Geothermal Gin.
An expert panel will provide feedback to the pitches on the night and ask questions. The panel includes Destination Rotorua CEO Andrew Wilson, commercial lawyer Mark Copeland, StokedNZ founder Debs Brocklesby, Rhythm & Vines founder Andrew Witters and Rotorua deputy mayor Dave Donaldson.
Audience attendance is limited to genuine individual and corporate investors, pitch team supporters and event partner sponsors and members.
People interested in attending must register to attend to receive event details. Audience registrations will be accepted until venue capacity is reached. To register to attend go to www.thefirestation.nz/pitch-night/
Liam Messam announced as Ebbett Rotorua Kia ambassador
The Ebbett Group have signed up All Black legend, Liam Messam, as an ambassador for their new Kia dealership in Rotorua.
Messam, a proud Rotorua man, comes on board to promote their new dealership, which opened recently at the old Honda premises in Lake Rd. He will be driving the seven-seater, Kia Sorento Hybrid EX.
Ebbett branch manager, Ricky Brackfield, said the company was "delighted" to have Messam on the Ebbett Rotorua team.
"We want to contribute to the Rotorua community and Liam will be fantastic in helping us to make those connections as he's a legend in these parts.
"We're going to use this partnership to bring some real benefits to our customers and the local area."
Messam said it was great to be representing Ebbett back in his hometown.
"They're a great team, with strong values, and I'm looking forward to seeing how we can make the most of this partnership."
Ebbett opened its new premises on July 17, the fifth Kia dealership to open in the network in the last 12 months.
New Chief Executive Appointment for New Zealand Disability Support Network
Peter Reynolds has been announced as the new chief executive of the New Zealand Disability Support Network (NZDSN).
Reynolds will take on his new role on August 16.
NZDSN chairperson Sean Stowers said the disability sector was about to go through a period of great change as it navigates system transformation and wider reforms of the health and disability review.
"We look forward to Peter taking up the reigns at a crucial time for our members as they navigate these changes and to further NZDSN's vision of an inclusive New Zealand where all disabled people are included and valued."
Reynolds leaves his current role as chief executive of the Early Childhood Council (ECC) that he has held for the last 12 years.
He has also held leadership roles within the not-for-profit, and the wider health sector, which has had a crossover with the disability sector and has been a community broadcaster for various public and private radio stations.
"We look forward to Peter furthering the objectives of NZDSN when he commences next
Competenz appoints new director
Industry training organisation Competenz has appointed Amanda Wheeler to the newly created role of director.
Wheeler will lead the organisation through its transition into Te Pūkenga, The New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology and beyond.
Currently general manager of industry training with Competenz, Wheeler will start her new role as director on August 2.
Competenz board chairperson George Adams said the board was excited by Wheeler's vision and commitment.
"Amanda's passion for industry training is clear in everything she does. She is a vocal and proud champion of the mahi the team at Competenz does and is extensively versed in the intricacies of the 38 industries they serve.
"We know Amanda will be a strong advocate for vocational education and Competenz within Te Pūkenga, at all levels, as the organisation navigates the changes ahead."
Wheeler has held chief executive and senior roles for the past 18 years in medium-sized corporate and non-government organisations.
She joined Competenz in 2017 in a stakeholder management role and has led the core field-facing team since 2018.
During this time, Wheeler has worked to cement the connection between the training advisory, forestry, and customer teams and businesses across the 38 industries they work with.
"I am proud to be entrusted with leading the new Competenz business division within Te Pūkenga – it's a truly thrilling opportunity and one that I will relish," Wheeler said.
"I'm particularly excited to help shape the future of vocational education: the bringing together of work-based, online and classroom learning will bring massive benefits to learners and employers alike."
Wheeler is the first person to be appointed to the role of director, Competenz business division, work-based learning subsidiary, Te Pūkenga.
The position has come about as part of the Reform of Vocational Education (RoVE) which sees all industry training organisation and polytechnics joining together by December 2022.
The director takes the place of the Competenz chief executive position, currently held by Fiona Kingsford, which has been disestablished.
Kingsford said she knows she was leaving the organisation in great hands.
"I've had the pleasure of working with Amanda closely over the last four years. She innately understands industry training and has led the field team through times of both incredible growth and also an incredible challenge – Covid-19 and the need to adapt quickly to new ways of working while continuing to offer the same outstanding levels of service is just one example.
"I look forward to watching her and the Competenz business division flourish."
Rotorua chiropractor presented with life membership
Rotorua chiropractor Dr James Burt has been honoured with the presentation of a life membership to the New Zealand Chiropractors Association (NZCA).
The life membership was in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the NZCA and the chiropractic profession.
The award was presented to Burt by NZCA president Dr Hayden Thomas at the recent AGM and conference.
Burt graduated Suma Cum Laude in 1975 from Palmer College of Chiropractic, better know within the profession as the Fountainhead of Chiropractic.
Since joining the NZCA in1977, he has held many portfolios within and outside of his professional body.
He also served on NZCA Council for 23 years with two terms in 1984-1985 and 2007/2011as president.
He was also a NZCA delegate to the biannual World Federation of Chiropractic Congress in Brazil and Montreal.
As well as serving on the Chiropractic Council on Education Australasia, Burt also was the Chiropractic Advisory Representative to the Health and Disabilities Commission and the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Medical Misadventure Committee.
In 2013, he was appointed to New Zealand Chiropractic Board by then Minister of Health Tony Ryall and he is currently chair of continuing professional development in his third term on the board.
Chiropractic of the Year in 2012, Burt completed a Bachelor of Law at university and admitted as a barrister and solicitor in The High Court of NZ Rotorua Registry in 1999. But he does not hold a practice certificate in this domain.
Forestry course helps young father turn life around
Charlie Wallace has turned his life around after completing a forestry course through Te Wānanga o Aotearoa in Rotorua.
It was a meeting with course kaiako (teacher) Shand Edwardson outside the Rotorua courthouse that paved the way for him to make changes in his life.
Shand periodically makes himself available at the courthouse to answer questions from any rangatahi (young people) interested in upskilling and working in the forestry industry.
That meeting led to Wallace, 18, completing a Level 2 Certificate in Foresty Industry Training during Semester A this year.
A few days after chatting with Shand, Charlie was enrolled on the course and is now two months into his job at Mahi Rākau Forest Management.
"It's been a good transition from the books, to going out and doing the practical work," says Wallace.
Securing full-time work has helped Wallace provide for his partner and newborn baby.
He's just been able to buy a new car for his family, saying this took a big weight off his shoulders as a new father.
"I don't know where I would be now without this job. I'm loving it."
The course caters for about 15 tauira (students) each semester, with the hope that many will go straight into full-time work. Twelve out of the 14 tauira from the Semester A course are already in full-time work.
Shand says there is still a high demand for those who are keen to work in the forestry industry.
"All they really want is people who are going to go to work five days a week and be drug-free," says Shand, who will run a 22-week Semester B course out of the Waiwhero campus in Rotorua.
The deadline for applications is August 2 and the course starts that day as well.
Ōpōtiki's Harbour Project wins local government award
An Ōpōtiki District Council project was awarded winner of the MartinJenkins Excellence Awards for Economic Well-being in the 2021 Local Government New Zealand Excellence Awards.
The Ōpōtiki Harbour Transformation Project as Catalytic Capital for Further Investment into Economic Growth project also took out the top honour on the evening as the overall Local Excellence winner.
The awards in Blenheim on July 16 recognise and celebrate outstanding work by local councils around the country to promote and grow the well-being of their communities.
Ōpōtiki mayor Lyn Riesterer, who attended the awards along with several councillors and the chief executive, said it was an "absolute thrill" and a privilege to be chosen from so many outstanding projects.
"The community, the council, Whakatōhea, and private enterprise have worked so hard on this project for such a long time.
"With the financial backing of central government and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council we have been able to achieve something of this scale and really make a difference in our local communities."
Riesterer said the project was the result of a lot of collaboration, conversations, and hard mahi - two mayors, two chief executives and more than 20 years of work.
"Now we are finally seeing the changes in our communities and the changes in our economic outlook thanks to the vision of many others before me, particularly John Forbes and Robert Edwards and many councillors over those years.
"The biggest thanks of course goes to our community who have been with us on this journey and have backed this vision throughout."
The mayor said the awards were an opportunity to celebrate success, acknowledge councils who are doing things differently and share stories and lessons with other councils.
"It was an amazing evening and I'd like to thank all those that made it happen."