Close to home – twins learn construction basics in their own neighbourhood

Brothers Zane and Trent Brookes
Brothers Zane and Trent Brookes

Twin brothers Zane and Trent Brookes had a particularly short commute to their construction industry work experience during the recent school holidays.

The Year 13 Northcote College students took part in the Construction Plus Mahi Ora programme at the Kāinga Ora Northcote Development in Potter Ave, which is currently being prepared by Piritahi, the civil works alliance for Kāinga Ora.

The twins recently shifted from an older Kāinga Ora home in Lake Road, Northcote, which was removed to make room from more warm and dry homes.  Their new home is close to the site where they donned work boots and hard hats, learned about permits and the importance of safety protocols, and even had a go operating a digger (under the expert guidance of a trainer). 

Zane enjoyed this part of the work experience immensely. 

“I learnt how to move the bucket and scoop up a lot of dirt. I also learnt to safely park the bucket before speaking with anyone outside the digger,” he said. 

“It’s quite exciting that stuff. It’s something I have wanted to do for a while to learn how to operate a machine like that.” 

Trent also enjoyed the experience. “I’ve learnt a lot and enjoyed it quite a bit.” 

Construction Plus helps local communities impacted by urban development, by connecting people with training, employment and industry opportunities across Auckland. The scheme is also designed to educate communities about large-scale developments in their area.   

It involves secondary school students in Gateway or Trade Academies working over the school holidays on large-scale projects around Auckland to gain valuable experience in the civil infrastructure industry.

The Potter Ave site is being prepared for 88 new warm, dry homes, which are due for completion in 2023.