16 December 2022

ATNZ are thrilled to announce Caleb Hokai of Red Stag Timber in Rotorua as the Inaugural Rookie of the Year. ATNZ created this award for the best ATNZ Apprentice within the first eighteen months of their apprenticeship. A hot field was attracted in which Caleb, the Central Region Rookie of the Year, narrowly beat the Northern Region Winner Samara Robson-Beard of Active Engineering in Auckland and Southern Region counterpart Jayden Tipu of DBC Building Services in Dunedin.

Caleb became interested in engineering at High School, inspired by his teacher Mr Whitby. However, after initially planning to study engineering at university, Caleb decided he would instead get paid while he learnt. So, after three months working at Red Stag, he started a Mechanical Engineering apprenticeship. Acknowledging the support of his father, Caleb has excelled and made significant progress, much to the delight of his host company.

Shane Motley, Maintenance and Workshop Co-ordinator, was glowing in his praise of Caleb, saying, “I have been involved in training apprentices in this industry for over twenty years, and I can confidently say this man can go a long way. His attitude and demeanour are rare traits, and I am sure he will succeed in anything he chooses to do.” He has been fast-tracked to far greater responsibility than an apprentice of his relative inexperience. When the tradesman running his department left Red Stag, Caleb’s skill and leadership meant he was the first choice to take over.

ATNZ Account Manager Jo Brierley said, “I believe that Caleb has a great future in the engineering industry, and when he completes his apprenticeship, I will be encouraging him to begin a new journey and study towards an advanced trade.”

ATNZ want to pay special thanks to Ko-Ken Tools, who not only sponsored the award but were also heavily involved in judging the competition.

Congratulations to Caleb Hokai. It is apprentices like him who place the future of engineering in capable hands.