Tereora College and Air NZ staff at the Pilot Information evening in Auckland. From left: Turori Matutu, Ben Taule’ale’ausumai, Kanoa Kermode, Danni Tixier, Vaine Arii Nooana, Troy Matutu, Amelia Sio, Stevenson Safotu, Christine Ody, Louise Taylor. STEVENSON SAFOTU/23081839
A group of ambitious students from Tereora College reached for the skies when they participated in the prestigious Air New Zealand Pilot Information Evening in Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, last week.
The initiative, which is part of Air New Zealand’s
Pathway Programme, offers aspiring young aviators a valuable opportunity to
pursue their dreams of becoming pilots.
Six Tereora College students were selected to
represent the school and the country at the event.
Rarotonga’s Air New Zealand team leader Stevenson
Safotu said the event was a great opportunity for the students to attend
presentations from Air New Zealand pilots and learn about the role and life of
a pilot, as well as learn about pilot training pathways.
Safotu delivered a presentation to Tereora College
Year 13 students, which was followed by internal vetting conducted by the
He then conducted further interviews to narrow down
the list of interested students to six: Athina Karika, Kanoa Kermode, Elogan
Arokapiti, Troy Matutu, Danni Tixier, and Vaine-Arii Nooana.
Safotu and Turoru Matutu, also from Air New Zealand,
accompanied the students from Rarotonga to Aotearoa last week on Monday, August
13, and returned on Wednesday, August 16.
Aspiring pilot Kanoa Kermode, 17, said the information
evening was a great experience.
“It was a great experience which really heightened my
vision and interest in the field of aviation,” Kermode said.
“I learnt a lot of things about aviation that I didn't
know. I know it is a tough career but I know it's not impossible, and speaking
to the pilots and people on the flight deck has opened my mind to the aviation
career and other pathways at the airport.”
Kermode said he “enjoyed the whole experience” of
visiting the engineering and maintenance crew, and watching the cabin and
flight deck crew and how the boys work on the ramp.
“The aviation presentation was great and I would
recommend this information evening for students who want to be pilots in the
future,” he said.
Safotu said the aim of the event was to “open doors”
for students who are passionate about a career in the aviation industry.
The students also experienced watching movement
operations from the tower, and visiting the domestic fleet.
Safotu noted that it was wonderful to see former
students who have come through the Pathway programme on Rarotonga now working
in New Zealand, continuing their careers.
After the information evening, former Rarotonga Air NZ
pathway students now working at Auckland airport: James Niua (flight
attendant), Matthew Browne (engineering), Michael Mokoroa (ramp), and Eshan
Taio (ramp), took the Tereora students out for dinner, sharing with them their
experiences and encouragement.
Safotu said there is a desperate shortage of pilots
across airlines, and now that travel is spiking again, Air New Zealand needs