Congratulations – Māori trades training student

Sharlane Smitheram Manawatu from Koukourārata started her He Toki ki te Rika (Māori Trades Training) painting and decorating course just four weeks ago and has already been offered a job with one of her work experience providers.

Sharlane Smitheram Manawatu.

“This opportunity is amazing and I just want to keep going and learn everything I can. I’ve been offered a job and I haven’t even finished yet,” she says.

Now that her daughter is at school, Sharlane wanted to help with the Christchurch rebuild by getting started on her career. She found out about He Toki through friends and couldn’t believe the courses were free. The advice and mentoring from He Toki staff and tutors has made Sharlane feel confident about her job prospects and her future.

“The support offered to us is awesome. We have people here at CPIT telling employers to come in and check us out. I’m telling everyone about it,” she says.

Sharlane also has plans for international travel using her qualification. The 12-week certificate in pre-trade painting and decorating means she can work in the industry anywhere in the world.

“I plan to work hard when I finish, save and eventually go on holiday. I could go to Europe and paint in Europe,” she says.

She wants to encourage more young Māori to enter He Toki programmes to make a better life for themselves and their whānau.

“I’ve been talking to my brother about it and pushing him to get involved too. I want us all to show what we as Māori can do,” she says.

To find out more about He Toki visit or call 0800 24 24 76. New courses start in May and there is an open evening on Friday 5 April starting at 6pm at CPIT’s trades and innovation campus.