Errol Kalmancsi works as an offender recruitment consultant for Corrections.

One of his passions is sharing good stories about the people he works with who are doing some amazing things to change their lives. One young woman we want to celebrate is Vailili Hunuhunu.

Vailili is of Kahungunu descent, born and bred in Heretaunga and she currently resides in Hastings.

Vailili is one of four women who work as a line mechanic at Unison. Unison is the power network that serves the Hawke's Bay, Taupo and Rotorua regions.


Vailili started her apprenticeship at Unison early this year. She wanted a challenge and that's what's driven her to keep going.

Last year Vailili had attended one of Kalmancsi's job seek seminars as part of her rehabilitation programme. While there she saw a brochure about working at Unison. She thought about it and decided to go along to the information meeting at Te Aranga Marae to find out more.

She was quite impressed and even though she believed the odds were against her, being a woman and a young mother of a 4-year-old son, she was determined to sign up which she did, along with everything she was asked to do to make the cut.

It wasn't all plain sailing, but she was given the opportunity to work and has not looked back.

Vailili is excited about her job and looks forward every day to the opportunity to learn and apply her new skills.

She also looks forward to the places this job takes her.

Recently Vailili spent two days working in Taupo and Rotorua. She loves that she can travel with the job. She is an apprentice and full training is given at the Unison training centre of excellence at EIT Hawke's Bay.

Her trainer James Aranui teaches them about the skills needed to distribute networks for overhead power lines, power poles, digging holes, placing pin insulators and so forth.


It takes two years to become fully qualified. Vailili has completed block one and two training. She plans to graduate in 2020.

Vailili has a supportive family who help out with her son Napier when she needs to start early or when she is called out.

Son Napier attends a kohanga reo and will start school this year.

"I have early starts and sometimes long days, but I am thankful for my supportive family who help me out," says Vailili.

"If there are other women out there who are interested in pursuing a job like this, I highly encourage you to give it a go."