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Truedy Taia story

Truedy Taia is all about empowering women to achieve in a male-dominated industry. Truedy leads the first all-women crew for Rotorua-based forestry organisation, Mahi Rākau after being invited to start one a few years ago.

“I originally started as a cook for the travelling crews, but I didn’t realise I was actually being guided towards starting an all-women crew,” says Truedy, who now manages a crew of up to 11 women of various ethnicities.

After making the switch from cooking, Truedy was immediately connected with Te Wānanga o Aotearoa to begin learning theory to complement the practical on-site skills she was learning in the forest.

Truedy has now completed the Certificate in Forest Industry Foundation Skills Level 2 and Thinning to Waste Level 3 through Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, with kaiako Shand Edwardson in Rotorua.

“Shand takes the time to work with us. He made us feel comfortable enough to be able to achieve. He’s just really good, he will work one on one, and work with everybody to find a solution.”

Truedy has loved her time studying at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. While she admits it can be a little challenging juggling study with work and family commitments, she is grateful for the experience.

“It’s so welcoming. Every time I pass anyone in the hallway, I get a kia ora, hi, how are you doing. From anyone – students, kaiako, kaiawhina. It’s a positive environment which you don’t get everywhere.”

Forest management is the next goal for Truedy. She wants to help others, especially women, get to where she is, managing their own crews.

“I’ve built the reputation of non-saw women working in the bush, I don’t want to throw that away. I want to be able to move on and know that someone else can carry on that legacy for me.”

When she thinks back 5 years, she can’t imagine she’d be where she is now. She definitely didn’t envision herself paving the way for other women to empower themselves.

“I’m about paving the way for you women, you younger girls to empower yourselves and have courage to put your foot out there and have a go. If I can do it, they are more than capable of doing it too. I love it, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love being in the bush.”

Find out more about our Professional Skills and Trades programmes. 

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Published On: 24 June, 2024

Article By: Gemma Bradly-Jacka

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