Meet Charma, the Industry New Entrant

Meet Charma, the Industry New EntrantYes, she’s a woman, yes she’s young and yes, she’s proving she’s got what it takes to make it in the civil construction industry. Working on the rebuild as part of the SCIRT Fulton Hogan Delivery Team, Charmaine (Charma) is here to make a difference to the community, her employer and to herself.

It’s openly acknowledged that women think differently to men, but what’s not often appreciated is that their ability to multi-task and approach things from a different perspective adds a useful dimension to the workplace. Charmaine’s workmates, many of whom have been in the industry for more than 20 years, acknowledge that she’s taught them a thing or two about how to approach a job and that she can handle a shovel as well as any man. Stereotypes aside, Charmaine is proving that as a person, she’s a real fit for the industry.

Having completed the Taua Mahi youth employment transition programme in 2012, Charmaine holds a number of qualifications including her Site Safe Passport, TC and STMS traffic management and once she has completed her full license, Fulton Hogan have shoulder tapped Charmaine for further training, with a view to her becoming a crane operator.

Dennis Casey, foreman for Fulton Hogan, sees Charmaine as having a real future within the industry. “She’s proven herself as having the stickibility that the industry demands. She’ s worked on some pretty shitty jobs and hasn’t once complained; she’s still turning up and working hard and without fault. And let’s face it, there’s a long way to go in rebuilding this City.”

If you have any questions, please free to leave a comment on our Facebook Page: Christchurch For Real

MacDow snap up For Real recruit

Gregory during the For Real training programme at CPIT Gregory

Gregory Parker had his life all mapped out, and has done so for the past 31 years. Like many he lived through the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes, he picked up the pieces of his life and he carried on best he could. Now he’s part of the horizontal rebuild.

Until very recently, Gregory was a long serving employee in the food industry. For three decades he’d be at work before dawn and worked his way up from floor sweep to baker within the same organisation. The day he resigned to take up the opportunity with For Real, his employer of more than 30 years cried.

Gregory lives by the philosophy of a good honest day’s work. He knows what it is to graft and he understands that if you prove yourself in the trenches, you will climb the rungs of the ladder.

He has recently finished the For Real training programme at CPIT.  While still completing the training he was snapped up by MacDow and has now commenced the practical component of the course before heading onto full time employment as part of the MacDow team.

Caroline Gilhuus-Moe and Greg Wichman from MacDow both regard Gregory Parker as having ‘stand out’ qualities ‘…he’s got a proven track record of hard work, loyalty and commitment. When we saw him he was just one of those guys that stand out in a crowd and you just know that he’ll be a leader.’ And from their perspectives, such qualities can only enhance the MacDow culture and the long-term performance of the company in the Christchurch Rebuild.

If you have any questions, please free to leave a comment on our Facebook Page: Christchurch For Real

Training Programmes Underway

Levels of interest in the For Real opportunity remain high and our team is committed to acknowledging those who have registered an interest as quickly as possible.

There have been instances, however, wherein we have been unable to contact people since we don’t have the right or best contact number for candidates. If you have registered with For Real but have yet to hear from us, please email  with as many contact options as possible (home number, mobile number, email address) and we’ll get back to you without further delay.

The first of the training programmes are now up and running, with more beginning this week and next.  Note that we have many courses staggered throughout the year.

If you have any questions, please free to leave a comment on our Facebook Page: Christchurch For Real

Questions and Answers on the Christchurch for Real Programme

Over the holidays, we have received additional questions about the programme, which may be of interest to you.

I’ve been working overseas, but am going to be coming back sometime soon. Is there a schedule for when courses/apprenticeships begin or is it all on an adhoc basis? I’m looking to plan dates for my return journey. Thanks.

We do have staggered intakes and they do occur throughout the year. Training begins once a relationship with an employer has been established and cadidates move straight from training into employment. Our workplace tutors provide further support once in the workforce. The best thing to do is to apply when you’re ready and someone from SCIRT can discuss training dates with you.

I was just wondering if this course is available part time ?(As I don’t finish my job until March). I understand that it’s unlikely as “For Real” is more interested in getting people into training and work fast – which is great. Just curious… 

Unfortunately, these courses cannot be completed part-time. But given there are regular intakes throughout the year, this might provide some flexibility for you.

 I currently am employed full time, and would find it difficult leaving my paid job to get trained up for several weeks without knowing where the income will come from during that period. I’ve wanted to get into this line of work, mainly driving heavy machinery for some time.

There is a small living allowance that is paid during study.  This is something to be discussed with your prospective employer on acceptance into the programme.

For Real Bus at the Canterbury A&P Show

When is the bus back in Christchurch?

Here is the bus schedule.  It will be back in time for the Buskers Festival – located at Busker Park on Sunday 20 and Monday 21 February. For further Christchurch dates, keep an eye on the website,

What Happens Over the Christmas Holidays

As that time of the year best spent with family and friends draws near, we’d like to let you all know that we’re taking a Christmas break.

We hope to  have been able to contact those who have registered before we close for the Christmas holidays on 20 Dec. Thanks to the 1,650 who have registered to date.

You can, nonetheless, still register online while our offices are closed. Don’t forget that the For Real Bus will be stopping in key cities and towns in the South Island over the Christmas and New Year period. Check our Bus page for the For Real bus schedule.

To those who register over this period, we will contact you early in the New Year.


Looking to Rent in Christchurch

Moving to Christchurch? Check out the best websites for available rooms, flats, apartments, and houses.  Plus, some tips to help you find the right accommodation.

TradeMe remains to be the best source for accommodation. As of writing, there are 759 rentals listed for Christchurch, a third of which are already furnished with beds and essential white ware.

Another good source of available rentals is , as well as that currently has 224 listings.

If you’d prefer to rent a house, property management firms also have their own listings, like Cowdy & Company. Janice Cowdy advises home seekers to submit applications in person. That is, to be in Christchurch already to look at properties they’re keen on, and presenting themselves to property managers face-to-face.

“We need to see how a person interacts, his or her presentation, and for them to bring along with them their rental references, completed application form (which they can download from our website), and proper IDs,” she explains as how they choose the best possible tenant, which she says is akin to applying for a job.

Whittle Knight & Boatwood has a good number of properties listed on their website, as well as, HomeAds, and Christian Accommodation NZ.

Single workers do tend to share accommodation to save on cost, while benefitting from the comfort of living in a home. Check out Gumtree and a listing particularly for flat sharing, EasyRoommate.

If you would like to come to Christchurch before finalising a more permanent place to stay, Turuhi Accommodation offers fully furnished apartment units for singles, couples, and families — at competitive rates to those of motels, that already include water, gas, power, and Internet access. Proprietor Bob says their self-contained flats, units, townhouses, and apartments are perfect for travellers, tourists, students, whether for short or long term stay.

Other websites that offer similar short stay accommodation are and Christchurch Accommodation.

Although the demand for rentals is pretty high, Judith Honeybone of JH Property Management says that companies continue to seek accommodation for recruits and put pressure on the city, so there will certainly be more apartments and flats will be made available in the near future.

Have you been searching already for a place to live in Christchurch? What type of accommodation are you looking for?


Top 5 Things to Do in Christchurch

Okay, so you’ve heard about the earthquakes and aftershocks and wonder if there’s anything left of Christchurch to see. Well, you’d be glad to know that despite such, it remains to be one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Christchurch is the only part of the planet that you can get up close and personal with wildlife on land and in water, ski at a first class alpine resort, visit posh wineries and gardens, and engage in other physical activities like wind surfing, golf, bungy jumping, and cycling – as often as you want.

With so much that Christchurch has to offer, we reckon these are the top 3 things you can do when you visit or decide to stay in the city.

Cruise Along
Hands up all those who want to 1. Swim with Dolphins! That’s right, with Black Cat Cruises you’ll get to swim with some of the smallest, friendliest, rarest dolphins in the world.

If, however, you’d rather watch them, instead, and see other sites, the 2. Akaroa Nature Harbour Cruise will bring you around an extinct volcanic crater, other brilliant scenery, and wildlife like Hector’s Dolphins, penguins, and other sea birds.

Got sea legs? Go on a picnic at Quail Islanda recreational reserve home to many native birds like the fantail, kingfisher, silvereye, and rare white flippered blue penguins.

Check the City Scenes
We asked the Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism (CCT) what they think would be the top attractions, particularly for young adults and the say,  ”The city is currently in an exciting transitional stage, a great example of this is a creative urban regeneration initiative called 3. Gap Filler. Gap Filler temporarily places creative projects in vacant sites to make for a more interesting, dynamic, and vibrant city. Examples of past projects include a bicycle powered theatre and a dance-O-mat, where a washing machine is used to play music and allow a space to dance. They are always changing, but you can keep up to date with that is currently filling gaps on the Gap Filler website.”

After work and on weekends when you just want to chill, the 4. Re:START Mall in Cashel Street is the place to be, according to CCT.  Brightly coloured shipping containers have been transformed into the funkiest place to shop in Christchurch; with an eclectic mix of high end retail, food caravans, buskers, and much more.

After the quake, many restaurants and bars have relocated to suburbs, but there is also a host of new ones within the four avenues of the CBD, including those that are housed in containers, trucks, and buses. How cool is that? CCT says Cargo barCBD BarThe Smash Palace, and Revival Bar are among the new favourites.

Get High on Adrenalin and Go Out
If you’re into thrills and aren’t afraid of heights, CCT recommends that a good way to spend the weekend would be at the 5. Adrenalin ForestIt has 6 pathways and over 102 challenges, including a multi-level aerial obstacle course. So you and your friends can keep going back.

For nature lovers, Christchurch is a haven. You can go punting on the avon, hike and explore the great outdoors, ride a gondola or quad bike, dip in a thermal pool, or just bask under the sun.

In Christchurch, there’s always something to do, somewhere to go that you’ve either not yet been to or just can’t get enough of.

Have you been to Christchurch? What are your favourite spots?



CONTEST: What do you know about the Christchurch For Real Programme

728 ‘likes’ on our Facebook Page. Boo yeah! To say thank you for your support (and because we are feeling generous. Hey, Christmas is just around the corner after all ;-) , we’re running a contest on our Facebook Page!

It’s something fun to do, yeah?

Christchurch For Real Contest

All you need to do is answer this question:

What do you know about the Christchurch For Real Programme?

It’s easy to find the answers, just have a look around our website ;-)

Once you have an answer, go to our Facebook Page’s Christchurch For Real Contest Tab
to enter.


15 lucky entrants will get the chance to win $30 Vodafone Top up card. Thanks to Vodafone for the support!

Things to note:

1. All eligible entries will go into the draw on 14 December and will be announced on our Facebook Page.

2. You must be 16 years or older and live in New Zealand to participate

3. Contest closes on 13 December 2012 at 11.59pm.

Any questions, leave us a comment on this post.

Over and out!

What kind of jobs do we need to fill in Christchurch?

Great news! We’ve now had over 900 registrations since our training and recruitment programme launched at the start of the month. Isn’t that great?

For Real Bus in Ashburton

We need to hire 900 workers to help with the Christchurch rebuild so the more registrations we get, the better chances we can meet our target.

We’ve been asked quite a number of times what kind of jobs are needed for the rebuild in Christchurch. 

The underground repair work that needs to be undertaken are in the following areas:

  • Roading: 1,021km
  • Water piping: 51km
  • Drains: 196km
  • Sewers: 528km
  • Foot bridges: 45
  • Road bridges: 18
  • Sewer pump stations: 100

If you are successful in your application, you will:

  • have full training & great skills
  • have your course fees paid
  • be set up with a job with an awesome employer
  • have on-the-job continued training
  • gain a national qualification
  • receive good income and career prospects
  • gain skills you can use elsewhere
  • be fast-tracked into a promising future

What are you waiting for? Apply NOW.

This weekend (24 & 25 November), you’ll find our bus at the Nelson A&P Show. If you’re up there, come and say gidday!

Questions and Answers about Christchurch For Real Programme

In the last 10 days that the Christchurch For Real Bus has been on the road, we have received a number of questions about the programme.

Christchurch For Real workers

The following are the latest questions we have received from the general public that we’d like to share with you.

I only have restricted licence. Is this ok? Do I have to have a full licence? Can I work towards my full licence while undergoing the training?

A restricted license is fine and yes you can work towards your full license while under going training. However, this may not be part of the training programme that you are selected for, so you should look to continue to pursue this themselves.

What happens after training? Do I have to stay and work for 4 years?

After training, the details of your employment contract will be subject to discussion with the contractor that takes you on.

I live in Christchurch, if I get accepted to the programme, would I train in chch too?

Absolutely you can train in Christchurch if this is where you live.

Now, on to the For Real Bus schedule ;-)

For Real Bus at the Canterbury A&P Show

The For Real Bus is currently at the Canterbury A&P Show until 16 November.

For the week of 19 November, the bus is going to the following towns:

19 Nov, Monday
Caroline Bay, Loop Road carpark, Timaru
20 Nov, Tuesday
Geraldine Domain, Pavillion carpark, Hislop St, Geraldine
21 Nov, Wednesday
Council/public carpark, cnr Havelock St and West St, Ashburton
24 Nov, Saturday
Nelson A&P Show, Site 91, Nelson
25 Nov, Sunday
Nelson A&P Show, Site 91, Nelson

For a complete list of bus schedule, go to Christchurch For Real – Bus. 

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