Exciting New Sign-Up for AAJ

Recently BCITO had the pleasure of signing Tamara Tuhiwai into a new apprenticeship within the AAJ sector. Tamara will complete her apprenticeship at Vistalite Windows and Doors in Taupō under the careful guidance of owner/operator, Bronek Szpetnar. Support from within the industry will also come from Darren Craig who is a Technical Service Representative from Altus. 


Tamara’s employment with Vistalite began in November last year after she completed a Level 3 Carpentry Qualification at Toi Ohomai Polytechnic in Taupo that same year. This experience played a key role in motivating Tamara to pursue a career in the building and construction sector.

Tamara became interested in the role at Vistalite when she noticed an advertisement on Facebook for an Aluminium Joiner at their company. She quickly dropped off her CV and was subsequently offered a trial and then offered a full-time job. “Bronek gave me a go and now he can’t get rid of me,” says Tamara jokingly.

When asked what Tamara finds appealing about the job she shares, “It’s just satisfying building stuff for people. I feel quite chuffed when I see something I’ve made.” When asked whether or not she sees a long-term future for herself in the industry she says, “Oh definitely. When I enjoy something I put everything into it.”

Tamara has no qualms about being a woman in her workplace. “I look at what men can do and I know I can take that one step further.” This sentiment is supported by her employer who considers her being a woman an advantage more than anything else. She also dispelled the misconception that women aren’t strong enough for some of the lifting required. “Once you are taught the correct techniques it becomes easier."

With regard to her whakapāpā, Tamara originates from Kawhia in the Waikato. She has lived in Taupō for 14 years, having brought up her children there. From a Māori perspective, Tamara is encouraged by the feelings of manaakitanga, (support and nurturing), and of whanaungatanga, (a sense of belonging), that she is experiencing at Vistalite.

Tamara stands as a good role model to other women and Māori considering a career in the AAJ trade.

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