Thu 21 Feb 2019

Melody moves up

It’s familiar territory but new ground for a training coordinator assigned to assist Māori and Pasifika students at WITT in 2019.

Melody Te Patu has switched from Whanganui based UCOL to Taranaki’s WITT after being appointed by Taranaki Futures as its new Māori Pasifika Trades Training Coordinator.

The role is delivered in partnership with WITT and Melody is based on the New Plymouth campus, where she will focus on student care and strengthening employer connections.

Her move has been 12 months in the making – the mum of four has been waiting for the opportunity to venture into Taranaki and join her partner Anaru Wilkie, who is on the Iwi Partnerships team at the New Plymouth District Council.

Melody (Te Atihaunui ā Papārangi and Taranaki) is responsible for coordinating recruitment, pastoral care, education liaison and industry placements for Māori and Pacific students studying selected trade courses at WITT.

Students aged 16 to 40 can apply, and placements are still available.

“I am passionate about education and empowering Māori and Pasifika people and communities,” she said. “The role of MPTT Coordinator allows me to support and guide whanau, hapū, iwi and communities to upskill and engage in education that can lead to higher education, employment or apprenticeships.”

Board member Will Edwards said Taranaki Futures looked forward to supporting her development of Māori and Pasifika students.

The trades training programme is one of several run by Taranaki Futures to improve the transition from education to employment.

Melody entered tertiary education in hospitality. She is a trained chef and before taking on a Māori coordination role at UCOL she spent eight years as a chef tutor.

She says her role is important because it provides her with an opportunity to guide Māori and Pasifika students through courses and into trades while exposing them to higher education.

“We are a hands-on people.”

Melody also has a green thumb - she is a keen gardener and can be seen at Waka Ama gatherings, as the manager of one of the senior men’s teams of the Taranaki Outrigger Canoe Club.


Pictured: Melody Te Patu had one eye on the live streaming of Te Matatini this week.