A trades training programme for Maori and Pacific carpenters has been launched in Timaru.
The Toki ki te Rika is an iwi-led programme that was first created in response to the needs of post-earthquake Christchurch in 2011.
Since then over 800 Maori and Pasifica students have completed training in Christchurch and started a trades career.
Director of Maori and Pacifica at CPIT, the Christchurch Polytechnic Instutute of Technology, Hana O'Reagan said the course was not just focused on skill training but has a cultural base as well.
"So really celebrating being Pacifica, being Maori within the construction context and so the programme itself has these other layers of expectation around both the cultural side but also we run a work-readiness programme which is over and above the core curriculum."
Ms O'Reagan said the students needed to commit to learning about the wider community and the history of the place.
16 Maori and Pasifica students who want to become builders will train in carpentry free of charge.
Hana O'Regan said the course in Timaru is being reagrded as a pilot.