More opportunities for Maori and Pasifika Trades Training

  • Te Ururoa Flavell
  • Steven Joyce
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Maori Development

Changes to the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training (MPTT) programme from next year will open the door to trade careers for more Māori and Pasifika learners, Tertiary Education Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell announced today.

Māori and Pasifika Trades Training is one of the key programmes in the skills section of the Business Growth Agenda, to lift the participation of young Māori and Pasifika in meaningful employment, especially in regional New Zealand.

The changes will allow young people to progress directly to MPTT from school or other training at 16 or 17, rather than waiting until they turn 18. The maximum age for entry is also being raised from 34 to 40.

“Younger people who are not engaged in the classroom will have the opportunity to progress into a career that will set them up for life. Slightly older learners will gain skills they need for sustainable employment. Providers believe the older students will provide leadership within groups of MPTT learners and become advocates for trades training in their communities,” Mr Joyce says.

Brokerage funding will increase from $733 to $1,000 per student, with 30 per cent of this paid only when MPTT learners progress to workplace-based training such as a New Zealand Apprenticeship.

“Brokerage is used to connect learners with employers. It will also help providers tailor MPTT programmes to meet the needs and aspirations of learners, communities and potential employers.”

MPTT provides a $1,000 tools grant for learners who enter a New Zealand Apprenticeship. From 2016, the grant will be available immediately, without the current 90-day delay on entry to a New Zealand Apprenticeship or other approved forms of workplace-based training.

“Employers expect apprentices and trainees to bring their own tools. The earlier tools grant will help them to hit the ground running,” says Mr Joyce.

“MPTT is about helping provide proven pathways to sustainable employment for Māori and Pasifika people, while also meeting the needs of employers who require more skilled workers.  The changes we’re making to MPTT will further help towards addressing skills shortages,” Mr Flavell says.

There are 14 MPTT consortia of employers, communities and tertiary education providers offering fees-free pre-trades training to young Māori and Pasifika. The number of places offered through MPTT reached 1,900 this year, and Government is setting aside funding to support more growth.

Notes for editors:

  • MPTT uses a partnership approach to support Māori and Pasifika to enter workplace-based training. Regional consortia of tertiary education providers, employers, and Māori and Pasifika communities:
    • build new pathways for developing skills and transitioning into employment
    • involve employers from the beginning, identifying skill needs, screening applicants, influencing the design of programmes and connecting with learners
    • provide additional support to learners, including fees-free training, employment brokerage, and tools grants after a learner has transitioned into an apprenticeship.
  • MPTT was built on two pilot programmes: Christchurch-based He Toki ki te Rika and the Pasifika Trades Training Initiative, which operated in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
  • The initial seven consortia, in 2014, have grown to fourteen in 2015, covering most regions with a significant population of Māori and Pasifika including Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay and the East Coast, Wellington, and Canterbury.
  • Around 1,900 places were available in 2015. The government has set aside $8.4m over four years to support this growth.
  • MPTT has:
    • deepened linkages between communities, employers, and tertiary education organisations
    • connected to people who are disengaged from tertiary education, often with high needs and requiring significant pastoral care and support
    • lifted the profile of trades training in Māori and Pasifika communities.
  • Provisional 2014 results suggest that students participating in MPTT are more likely to complete courses and qualifications than a comparison group of similar students.
  • MPTT supports young people to achieve NCEA Level 2 and the Better Public Services Result 5 target (85 per cent of 18 year olds with NCEA Level 2 or equivalent in 2017), and puts many on a pathway to achieve a Level 4 qualification, contributing to Better Public Services Result 6 (increasing the number of 25-to-34 year-olds with a Level 4 or higher qualification).

MPTT consortia, by region, 2015



Tertiary Education Provider


Te Matarau Education Trust



Auckland Maori and Pacific Trades Initiative

Manukau Institute of Technology / Unitec

The Southern Initiative

Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty Consortium

Bay of Plenty Polytechnic

SkillMe Maori and Pasifika Trades Training (also in Taumaranui)

Waiariki Institute of Technology


Waikato Maori and Pasifika Trades Training

Waikato Institute of Technology

East Coast

Te Toka (Te Rūnanganui o Ngāti Porou)

Eastern Institute of Technology (Tairāwhiti Campus)

Tairāwhiti Farm Cadetship Initiative

Turanga Ararau

Hawke’s Bay/Gisborne

Te Ara o Tākitimu (Hawke’s Bay Youth Futures Trust)

Eastern Institute of Technology / G&H Training


Taranaki Futures Trust

Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki


Wellington Māori and Pasifika Trades Training

Wellington Institute of Technology / Whitireia New Zealand


He Toki kit e Rika Māori (Te Tapuae o Rēhua Limited)

Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology

Whenua Kura (Te Tapuae o Rēhua Limited)

Lincoln University

Canterbury Pasifika Trades Training

Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology