Breaking down concrete barriers

Todd Maitland is a BCITO | Te Pūkenga Concrete apprentice working at Brownmore Concrete in Waihi. Despite having an intellectual disability, autism, and being blind in one eye, Todd is excelling in his studies and is working through the units in his apprenticeship. We spoke to Todd, his employer, and his mother about his concreting journey.

Before starting his apprenticeship, Todd worked in a range of hands-on roles. When looking for further work experience, he started working one day a week in an un-paid capacity at his friend’s father’s business, Brownmore Concrete. But Todd really impressed the team, and it wasn’t long before he was offered a paid part-time role while completing NCEA. This progressed into the full-time apprenticeship he is undertaking today.

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Tina Maitland, Todd’s mother, says that his colleagues are great in supporting him to be the best he can be.

“They have welcomed Todd into the business and created a safe learning environment for him. He feels comfortable telling them when he doesn’t understand something, and they will happily go over it again until he masters the new skill or competency.

“The business also has a rule that no-one is hired unless everyone agrees. We were really pleased when everyone said they would love to take Todd on-board and help him through his apprenticeship.”

Rex Podmore, owner of Brownmore Concrete, says that it is great to have Todd on his team.

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“Todd is a great apprentice who is always contributing. Just like everyone else, he deserves the opportunity to prove himself, and he has done that. We have really enjoyed learning his preferred ways of working and adapting how we do things to support him. Having Todd in our business is a huge advantage.”

Todd says that concreting is interesting and that he really enjoys being part of the team.

“It is great to learn new skills and work at Brownmore Construction. My BCITO training advisor Bill Airey is also fantastic at helping me through my qualification.”

Todd also excels in other activities, especially the sports field. He has played for the Tauranga Representatives, won the 2022 Freemasons National Summer Games, placed third at the 2023 Māori Basketball Nationals, and is in the running for playing for New Zealand in an Australia competition.

BCITO needs more people from all backgrounds to consider a career in the trades. To learn more, head to

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