A trainee checks the quality of all plants being dispatched for an order. This builds accountability and a sense of pride in outcomes. Te Whangai focuses on capacity building to create future opportunities.

About the project

This person came to us as a very shy Tongan man who spoke English as his second language. His background was as a teacher back in the islands, but was unable to do this work in NZ  and had been doing market garden work with occasional security work to help provide for his wife and 6 children. He fitted in very well with the team, quietly getting on with the tasks at hand and developed an interest in horticulture after helping out on a couple of the contracted plant outs.


His goal was to set himself and his family up as a contractor for council type contracts. Together we made a plan to help him gain his Horticulture level two and four and looked for suitable work that would allow him to put the time into his studies as well as provide income.


He was successfully interviewed by an employer who owns a retail outlet for top end wines. This employer gave our trainee additional training in so he could speak knowledgeably to customers around their requirements. He was started off on a good wage ($20 per hour) with the promise of increasing  hours to full time employment in the lead up to Christmas and over the summer months.