A Ngai Tahu woman has made a commitment to rebuilding Christchurch - sacrificing a degree course to undertake a trade's training programme.
Tessa McGregory, 20, completed He Toki ki te Rika, a programme aimed at boosting the number of youth working to redesign Otautahi, in June.
The certificate course is run in conjunction with Ngai Tahu, the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology CPIT.
Ms McGregory has now secured an apprenticeship with a local painting and decoration firm.
She said the decision to put her hands to some hard work to remodel her hometown is a 'no brainer'.
Ms McGregory said in the end, all it come down to was turning up for course and getting stuck in.
Ms McGregory said she dropped out of her degree course and joined, He Toki ki te Rika, partly because of her love of Christchurch as well as her strong tribal connection to the South Island
She said she wants to help other young Maori people like herself who are contributing to the rebuild.
Ms McGregory said she rates He Toki ki te Rika very highly because it gives rangatahi or young people excellent mentoring and plenty of "awhi" to make sure the students succeed.
Ms McGregory also affiliates to Ngati Mamoe and Waitaha.