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Source: NorthTec

Sunshine Homes and Cabins, a Northland-based business that has been building homes for more than 30 years, has teamed up with NorthTec to create an initiative to benefit both learners and the community.

The company plans to have NorthTec ākonga (learners) working to produce quality buildings while getting on-the-job experience, setting them up for the future as industry-ready workers.

Changes to the Building Act last year added new consent exemptions for low-risk building work like sleep-outs, sheds, carports, and more. The new exemptions mean building owners do not have to gain local council consent for common projects, saving them time and money. However, this change has caused a dramatic increase in demand for small  dwellings, putting more strain on an already busy industry sector.

Sunshine Homes and Cabins now has an overflow of orders for stock of 30m² buildings. Its new initiative enables Level 3 carpentry learners to develop their skills producing small dwellings at NorthTec’s Future Trades depot. The 3000m² space can have two small dwellings under construction at a time, as well as many smaller projects.

The aim is to have all projects completed by the end of the year. Further construction at the Future Trades depot, currently scheduled for 2022, will include two plus-size roller door openings that will enable the site to accommodate houses with two or three bedrooms.

Sunshine Homes and Cabins Managing Director, Brett Rodgers, said his team is excited to play their part in developing building apprentices while having the opportunity to model an initiative that could benefit the Te Tai Tokerau Northland community. Additionally, they can keep an eye out for talent among the students and line them up for work on their main builds at their Te Kamo site, as well as possible future employment.

NorthTec’s construction kaiako (teachers) are also excited about the partnership, seeing the potential for a long-term relationship. The ability for their carpentry ākonga to get on-the-job training with a company which has been in the business for 25 years is invaluable, and will allow learners to progress in their career aspirations while staying close to home and with the support of their community.

Although the new building work does not require building consent, Sunshine Homes and Cabins is overseeing the work to ensure it complies with the Building Code and other legislative requirements, such as those under the Resource Management Act 1991, the Electricity Act 1992, and the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.