Constructive kids in Oranga

20 Dec 2021
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Being part of a Kāinga Ora development in Tāmaki Makaurau can be an eye-opening educational experience. Earlier this year, a group of year 5-8 students at Te Papapa Primary had an opportunity to gain some in-depth knowledge about the work happening in their area.

They were part of a Junior Careers Day with Construction Plus, a programme run by Kāinga Ora. Students were able to talk to construction professionals about why the changes are happening, about how the development comes together – and about their own potential futures.

The Oranga Development programme team, headed by manager Nigel Chandra and Education Advisor Katie Dobson, worked with the students alongside members of our partner organisations Piritahi and Modul Homes. There were plenty of interactive, hands-on activities designed to plant the seeds (whakatokia ngā purapura) of ideas for possible career pathways.

Eight stations were run by engineering, urban design and project management teams. The students were divided into groups, then rotated through the stations, finding out what each team’s day-to-day involvement was within the development, then spending ten minutes engaged in each activity – a fast-moving learning experience is a fun one!

Piritahi’s job is to prepare the land for building houses; they also upgrade infrastructure and public spaces. They ran three of the stations, where kids learned the rules of construction, literally from the ground up. They looked at excavating, the ins and outs of pipework, and how big machinery works – finishing with photo opportunities on a digger.

Our urban design planners had students thinking like architects and designers by drawing a map of the neighbourhood, with the first group starting with their own homes. Each group contributed another piece of the puzzle: schools, libraries, hospitals, shops and restaurants were gradually added to the new community.

At the project management station, the team had the kids looking at the big picture. A lot of work goes into ensuring all the projects needed to create a new housing development come together at the right times. By the end of the day, students had come to realise that developing a new community requires plenty of planning and collaboration.

There are many different roles within Kāinga Ora developments like Oranga, and it’s just one of many projects happening around Tāmaki Makaurau. Construction Plus Junior Careers Day is a great way to get kids understanding some big ideas at an early age – a step towards their dreams of future careers.

Click through to the gallery below to see some snaps of the day!