RSE Education with Vakameasina

Vakameasina, meaning “treasures we carry together,” is an educational program that empowers seasonal workers from Pacific Island nations like Fiji, Vanuatu, and Samoa. Working alongside the NZ Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme, Vakameasina equips these individuals with valuable skills and knowledge for their time in New Zealand and beyond.

Logo for Vakameasina RSE Programme


Our courses are offered in various locations throughout Aotearoa New Zealand, including:
  • Northland
  • Pukekohe
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Hawke's Bay
  • Nelson
  • Marlborough
  • Canterbury
  • Central Otago
Also available in other regions depending on tutor availability. Get in Touch for more information.

What is
Hei Whanake ?

A 16-week course focusing on the soft skills required to function successfully in the workplace, as well as acquire basic horticultural skills.
This is a fully funded programme and has a work-integrated learning approach that prepares Youth/Rangatahi (16-24 years) to enter the workforce in New Zealand’s Primary industry, in particular horticulture. Pastoral care is provided throughout their student journey which includes a pick-up and drop-off service for the duration of the programme.
Successful graduates will  gain the New Zealand Certificate in Primary Industry Skills (Level 2) on completion which will open employment opportunities in the industry. 

Level: NZQA Level 2
Credits: 41
Locations: Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay
Duration: 16 Weeks

This programme would suit Rangatahi who have no formal qualifications or have only completed NCEA level 1. If you have already completed NCEA Level 2 you may still be eligible. Applicants who have completed NCEA Level 3 are not eligible for Youth Guarantee Funding and will need to pay fees for this programme. Please Contact your Regional Coordinator if you would like to discuss your eligibility. To be eligible for the course, and the free funding, you must meet the following criteria:
  1. I am a resident of Aotearoa New Zealand.
  2. I am at least 16 years old and at most 24 years old, or I am 15 years old and can get an exemption to leave school.
  3. I live in an area where the course is offered.
  4. I do NOT have NCEA level 3*.
* Those with NCEA level 3 are ineligible for Youth Guarantee Funding and will need to pay fees for the programme. Contact a tutor to discuss your eligibility.

We offer the course in multiple locations, including:

Bay of Plenty:

  • Tauranga
  • Te Puke
  • Western Bay of Plenty

Hawkes’ Bay:

  • Napier
  • Hastings
  • Central Hawke’s Bay
  • Wairoa
  • Te Puke | Start 22 January 2024 until May 17 2024 | Tutors: Mike Hauraki and Missy Grey
  • Hastings | Start February 14 2024 until June 10 2024 | Tutor: Teri Bird
  • Central Hawke’s Bay | Start February 7 2024 until May 31 2024 | Tutor: Jordan Hetterley
  • Napier | Start February 26 until June 20 2024 | Tutor: Anthony Taueki
  • Hastings | Start August 5 2024 until November 26 2024 | Tutor: Teri Bird
  • Napier | Start August 5 2024 until November 26 2024 | Tutor: Anthony Taueki
  • Te Puke | Start August 12 2024 until  December 2 2024 | Tutor: Mike Hauraki

A typical day during the Hei Whanake course will either be in the classroom, onsite completing work experience, or on a  field trip or other out of class activity.

Akonga will be picked up in the morning and driven to either the classroom or to an orchard or packhouse to complete a practical component of the programme. During the day you will be taught by an experienced Tutor who will guide you through each Unit Standard and work experience, supporting your learning needs. Lunch will also be provided as part of the programme.


Meet Our
Amazing Tutors

Missy Grey

Bay of Plenty Regional Coordinator

Anthony Taueki

Napier and Northern Hawke's Bay Regional Coordinator

Teri Bird

Hastings and Southern Hawke's Bay Regional Coordinator

Mike Hauraki

Bay of Plenty/Te Puke Tutor

Jordan Hetterley

Hastings and Central Hawke's Bay Tutor

From our students

Frequently Asked Questions

The course is designed to set you up with practical skills that will help you in the workplace across many industries. Your main focus will be horticulture, spending time in the orchards, packhouses and the classroom. You will graduate with a New Zealand Certificate in Primary Industry Skills (Level 2).

You may be eligible to have the Govenment pay for your course fees through their Youth Guarantee Fund.

Contact us via the website form and explain that you want to apply for the funding, and our team will do their best to get it approved on your behalf.

The course is 25 hours per week, across 16 weeks of study.

To apply for the Hei Whanake programme simply complete the application form online:

  1. Complete the application form and submit the completed form along with your ID. Your ID can either be your passport or birth certificate.
  2. Your application will be reviewed by the Regional Coordinator.
  3. The Regional Coordinator will contact you to discuss the programme and your eligibility.
  4. If accepted into the programme, the Regional Coordinator will send you an offer letter and Confirmation of Enrolment.
  5. You will need to read the Confirmation of Enrolment, check the details are correct and sign it.
  6. Return the signed Confirmation of Enrolment to the Regional Coordinator.
  7. You will then be officially enrolled in the programme and ready to join the class for orientation week!

Check out Hei Whanake on Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok for regular updates from the classroom, orchard and field trips to get an insight into what the course looks like and the skills you will acquire.

Ready to take the next step? Apply today, or talk with a course advisor.

Missy Grey

Kia ora, ko Missy tōku ingoa. 

I am one of the kaiako for the Hei Whanake programme. I am a qualified teacher with a background of teaching at Intermediate and Secondary schools. My own experiences as a learner and teacher has lead me to becoming involved with supporting rangatahi who don’t fit into mainstream education or are faced with certain barriers that inhibit them from learning. 

I am passionate about supporting rangatahi to become self confident life long learners. The most rewarding part of being a kaiako is seeing learners apply new skills and believe in themselves and their potential. Our Hei Whanake programme is suitable for those who struggle in mainstream, prefer hands-on experiences, enjoy outdoor activities, or want to be in a small class of learners. Our core values, Manaakitanga and whanaungatanga are important and enables us to create a safe space to learn in. 

Come and join our Hei Whanake programme!

Anthony Taueki​

Kia ora whānau. I’m Anthony Taueki, I serve as the Kaiako for Hei Whanake Napier and Northern areas. With over 13 years of experience in Horticulture and the primary sector, I’ve been engaged in multiple aspects of the industry including training and employability. My journey in the primary sector has enabled me to explore the world and continually strive for excellence.


My passion is people and this is driven by the desire to create meaningful pathways with whānau. Hei Whanake offers learners the opportunity to develop essential soft skills, foster friendships, engage in fun hands-on learning experiences, enjoy outdoor and fitness activities and have the opportunity to earn 41 credits at level 2. Our network’s capabilities are geared towards helping learners set and achieve their goals whilst being guided towards career opportunities or higher education. I look forward to joining you along your journey.

Teri Bird

Kia ora /Kiaorana

Ko Teri Bird toku ingoa.  I am one of the facilitators for the ‘Hei Whanake’ course based in Hawke’s Bay. “The Fruit Bowl of New Zealand”.

I have worked in this space for many years, working alongside many different age groups, and ethnicity’s. During my time to date I have managed to upskill myself, not just on paper, but within my own whare tapa wha. I have managed to develop a strong connection with the other providers here in Hawke’s bay.

This year our region was hit very hard with the Cyclone. We as a community and as a whanau, managed to keep our youth engaged, by utilizing what our community has to offer and what can we also do as a provider.  Seeing our youth out in their own backyard, showing support by ‘Making cuppa tea, sorting clothes and moving silt’ Humbled my manawa, knowing that I played a small part of that moment, by making sure “our youth” are safe, their whole well being, and then us as a whanau checking in on everyone in our community.  Its stories like this, that makes me smile.

I am not just working with our youth, I AM WORKING WITH OUR WHANAU.

Nga Mihi

Mike Hauraki​

Kia ora, Ko Mikaere Hauraki toku ingoa.

I am a level 2 Tutor for Fruition Horticulture based in Te Puke, the Kiwifruit capital of the world.

Although I haven’t had a background in teaching, my whanau have been working with Rangatahi and whanau support services in this area for generations, I guess this is where I get my passion for working with Rangatahi from.

I find working with our Rangatahi, especially the ones that may not fit the school mould, giving them the soft skills they’ll need to transition into work, all while gaining a L2 Certificate in Primary Industries in a safe, and comfortable surrounding hugely rewarding. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.

Ma te huruhuru, Ka rere te Manu.

Adorn a bird with feathers so that it may fly.

Jordan Hetterley

Kia Ora/Talofa/Malo e lelei/Hello

My name is Jordan, I am 33 years old, I am the tutor for Hei Whanake CHB/Hastings south.

Why do I enjoy my job? Horticulture has been a passion for me since I started as a teenager. School was never my thing, and I left at 15 to join a course similar to Hei Whanake.

During the 16 weeks on Hei Whankake CHB, you will be given the opportunity to earn while you learn and have the opportunity to gain 41 NZQA level 2 credits. You’ll meet some meke people along the way and learn some basic life skills.

We also work alongside networks to help you achieve your license and other targets to get you ready for full time employment.

I look forward to meeting you, and working alongside you!