He Awhina is a forestry skills programme to help support Level 2 and 3 secondary students (Years 12 and 13).
At the start of 2019, the He Māhuri Toa education programme run by Lake Taupō Charitable Trust signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Tongariro School to commence a Forestry Skills programme at the school for Years 12 and 13 (Level 2 and 3 students).
Run by Sharlyn Holt, the two-year programme aims to not only teach students the skills necessary for working in the forest but also take them out to visit forestry silviculture and harvesting crews in the forest.
There will be opportunities on the course for students to visit a seedling nursery and SCION in Rotorua, visit a pulp mill and a sawmill, work with silviculture crews in the forest planting and pruning as well as site visits to harvesting crews in the forest to find out first-hand what it takes to select and harvest top quality logs out of the forest.
Lake Taupō Forest Trust has agreed to be in touch with the forestry crews and there may be job placements that come out of it.
The course will be supported by Competenz, the national industry training organisation, with training materials and resources, together with New Zealand Forest Managers.