Fiona Daniel - Founder, Hapū Housing Solutions
Where did your passion for the built environment start?
I saw the housing crisis in Aotearoa getting worse and worse and a lot of Māori displaced in the community as a result. I used to be a property coordinator, so I was in a position where I understood the industry and I knew I had to do something.
I knew change had to happen right at the beginning of the house creation process which is where quantity surveying and architectural technology come in.
What does a quantity surveyor do?
Quantity surveyors manage the finances for construction projects. We calculate budgets based on clients’ requirements and prepare estimates to ensure budgets are sufficient for each stage of construction.
At WelTec I learnt a range of skills like how to create preliminary cost estimates and cost plans, how to administer contracts and measure and manage quantities of resources, how to prepare construction projects and so much more.
What was your study experience like at WelTec?
WelTec provided a learning environment that made students feel like they really mattered – they were flexible and understood that life happens. The whānau support was incredible and the team felt like the aunties and uncles that you know. This was important to me as I had a young daughter at the time that I was able to enrol at Te Whare Ako, the childcare centre at WelTec which made studying so much easier.
I also have to credit the talented tutors – they know a lot about the industry which was really key to my success.
Juggling the responsibilities of parenting and study can be difficult, which is why we offer childcare at our Porirua and Petone campuses, for children aged between three months and five years.
What is your business Hapū Housing Solutions all about?
We are focussed on creating affordable housing solutions for Māori to return to their whenua. Hapū Housing Solutions takes a holistic approach by looking at ways beyond housing to create a financially feasible ecosystem for Māori to exist in.
What did you learn at WelTec that helps you in your job today?
The most important thing I learnt was to be unashamedly Māori. WelTec allowed me to bring my lived experience into the classroom and have a place inside the built environment whānau which felt really unique.
What would you say to someone considering studying built environment?
There’s a lot of sacrifice you have to make but it’s completely worth it. All the stats say the industry is in demand and one that anyone at any age should be jumping in to.
Study Quantity Surveying at WelTec
Study quantity surveying and learn skills that are in high demand. Learn about quantifying projects, estimating building costs, tendering and administering contracts. Many of our students get the chance to work in industry while becoming qualified.