Westland High School can’t provide practical experience in engineering as it no longer has a metalwork teacher, so the students come to the park to get their NCEA credits. “It’s a bit like a pre-apprenticeship. They get to use our machines and learn a bit of geometry and trigonometry along the way,” says Mort, who has done a lot of apprentice training as well as being involved with the Boys’ Brigade for more than 30 years. “They love it up here and often come up in free periods too.”
Thirty students are coming to do a variety of activities over 13 weeks at the end of the year. As well as helping in the workshops, they will be involved with DOC’s wetland project. The park also runs courses for REAP House, including women’s welding classes. One woman who originally did the course so that she could make outdoor furniture is now helping weld railway tracks.