Introducing Fiona Street, Relationship Manager

Fiona Street joins Waihanga Ara Rau Construction and Infrastructure Workforce Development Council as Relationship Manager, working with Finishing Trades, Plumbing, Drainlaying, Gasfitting, Demolition and Health & Safety.

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“I want to build really strong relationships with the people that I’m working with, and to help them make a difference, for the people that they serve and provide for.”

We are very pleased to introduce Fiona Street who has joined Waihanga Ara Rau as a Relationship Manager, working with Finishing Trades, Plumbing, Drainlaying, Gasfitting, Demolition and Health & Safety.

Fiona’s role with Waihanga Ara Rau is to form strong relationships with the sectors she services, identify future industry skills and workforce needs. In her words, to connect the dots, so that the right things happen. Although it hasn’t been a straight road to us by any means, as is often the case, the stars have aligned, and her varied experience lends itself perfectly to this role - not to mention her outgoing and personable nature and get-it-done attitude.

Fiona has spent over 20 years in construction related roles, primarily adult education and capability building. Her previous mahi also included navigating the requirements of setting up a Private Training Establishment (PTE) for a membership organisation. Prior to coming to Waihanga Ara Rau, Fiona spent time with the Ministry of Education where she held various roles which included procurement, web site management, property sector forums and reference groups and latterly as a Senior Health & Safety Advisor where her main focus was on the Ministry-led construction projects and developing health and safety practice for front-line kaimahi.

Fiona derives energy from working with other people and is looking forward to building new connections and ‘getting it done’. And given her history of tackling new challenges head on, we have no doubt that she will!

Fiona has a teenage son who is football-mad, which isn’t that surprising given his mum’s active background. Fiona is much more likely to be found catching a sports match on TV than a movie, and undertook “everything sports” until her physio told her to slow down! She still enjoys her tennis, and going to the Australian Tennis Open when she can.

Fiona says that seeing her son navigate the pathways to employment and his future has given her a great appreciation and insight into the challenges faced by people currently looking to join the workforce, as well as the challenges faced by her sectors. She sees young people thriving in different learning environments today and being more willing and capable of engaging beyond simply reading a linear textbook.

Fiona would like to see qualifications be more relatable to young people, as well as to older learners, and then for training providers to guide and support all kaimahi to fulfil their potential. Her key advice to her son is to look into careers that he will enjoy. Fiona believes that if people apply themselves, opportunities will come their way – and that when provided with passionate and committed people, employers and New Zealand, will thrive in turn.

Fiona says she feels very privileged to be in her position, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a difference, and that she still has lots to learn. Fiona also says she needs to make sure she does not try to change the world overnight - but we already know that she will tackle this challenge with gusto and a smile. Ngā mihi nui Fiona, we cannot wait to keep on growing with you.