The New Zealand government is providing nearly five million US dollars for trades training for Pacific people so they can assist with the rebuilding of Christchurch.
The initiative is part of the wider Skills for Canterbury contingency package which will provide up to 300 fees-free places in trades training throughout New Zealand.
Eighty-four Pacific Trades Scholarships have been awarded in Wellington, 105 in Auckland, and 56 in Christchurch; with further places to be awarded as required.
The Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Steven Joyce says it will allow the government to reach Pacific students who may not normally consider entering into trades such as carpentry, joinery and plumbing.
The Minister of Pacific Island Affairs Hekia Parata has praised Pacific church leaders for encouraging Pacific young people to get involved in this initiative.