Fraser Mihinui, On Work Experience While Studying Carpentry

29 Jul 2015

"Working at Great Lakes Aluminium (G.L.A.), while studying the Certificate in Carpentry at Waiariki, Taupo is great. I always take my work home and think things out at the table. I not only love building, I want to breathe it.”

Fraser Mihinui is no stranger to construction sites. Built off a lifetime fascination with the industry and his experiences as a labourer, he turned to Waiariki to take his skills to the next level. Now partly employed even prior to graduation, we'd say he's succeeding.

“The grasshopper is only as good as the master, so I give thanks to my tutor, Alistair Penrose for much of my success. Through him, I’d recommend this qualification to anybody. Once you have these practical skills, you walk away feeling pretty chur.”

Turning to talk on his work placement, Fraser continues. “I buzz out. The guys at G.L.A. are a really good bunch. They are really precise and that helps me in learning too. I’m keen as and the boss is awesome.”

That ‘boss’ is Bronek Szpetnar, who as a third year partner of the Waiariki Charity House, is thrilled to be partnered with Waiariki in a project that allows his team to give back to the community and exposes students to all the other aspects of the building industry at the same time.

“Waiariki’s carpentry courses are 80% practical. Being able to build a house while you are a student is quite unique - and for the students themselves a massive source of pride. The kudos is just huge."

With his business currently going “off the charts”, Bronek states that his challenge has become finding staff to cope with their exponential growth, while not upsetting their clients or reducing their quality. A challenge Waiariki’s carpentry qualifications are helping him face.

“We are highly impressed with Fraser. We are stoked with his attitude and his work ethic, and we are hoping to have a position for him once he has finished his studies.

“My guys have well over 100 years’ experience in the joinery game, so it’s really good to be able to leverage off that and pass that experience on. Because of this experience with Waiariki, I’d like to take on more students to allow us to do just that.”

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Page last updated: 02 May 2017