Literacy Auckland North
Te Raki Paewhenua
A member of Literacy Aotearoa Inc
Who We Are
Literacy Auckland North is a not for profit organisation based in Glenfield, Auckland. We work with employers, community organisations and individuals.
Our tutors are trained and certificated literacy specialists.

What We Do
We provide professional, accessible, student-centred literacy and numeracy support to improve employment opportunities and quality of life for individuals in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Our Programmes
Small group and one on one support with reading, writing, spelling, maths, basic computing, financial literacy and learner driver licence.
Student stories

Ioka Autagavaia gets her Certificate in Employment Skills.

Ioka Autagavaia

In 2011 Ioka registered with Literacy Auckland North. Her immediate goal was to secure employment but her long term goal was to become an early childhood teacher.

After joining the English for Work group class she quickly gained confidence and started to develop her skills. Within a few months she secured employment and it wasn't long before she was given more responsibility at work. Her skills and ability had been recognised.

Since this time she has continued to attend to her literacy skills and she has taken on other programmes of study including the Open Polytechnic Get Ahead Start programme in 2013. This gave Ioka a taste of success and on completion of this course she was keen to enroll on the Certificate in Employment Skills which she studied throughout 2014.

Despite a heavy workload (often being called up to work additional shifts), managing the demands of a large family and suffering a family tragedy late last year, Ioka is still wishing to continue to build on her skills and work towards her ultimate goal of becoming an early childhood teacher.

It was with a great sense of pride and joy that we celebrated Ioka's determination to overcome adversity to gain this qualification which brings her closer to her ultimate goal.

Determined to be a cop

HARD WORKER: Wenbo Gong, 26, pictured with his tutor Susanne Furst,
is inspiring others to improve their English and seek entry to the police force.

Wenbo Gong refuses to give up on his dream to become a cop.

He's found time - in just three months and despite working a 60-hour week as a builder - to improve his English skills to a level acceptable for possible entry to the police force.

He felt frustrated after being turned down by recruiters in November because of his poor literacy.

Now he is much closer to achieving his dream after asking for help from Literacy Auckland North.

The non-profit organisation helps people improve their literacy and work prospects, but Gong couldn't attend daytime courses because of his job.

It was stroke of luck that his "angel" tutor, Susanne Furst, offered to help him at times that suited.

Gong works from 7am to 7pm on an average day, so Furst teaches him in the evenings and during weekends and holidays.

"Most nights he will show up at my house with something to eat, still in his work clothes and ready to learn.

"I don't mind doing it because he is so committed," Furst says.

Gong's passion for police work began shortly after he moved to New Zealand from China three years ago.

He was involved in a car accident and the police were the first on the scene.

"They were so kind to me and so helpful. I will never forget how good they were to me."

Gong is still working on his English skills but has progressed through to the formal interview stage of recruitment and joined the Asian Safety Patrol.

The patrol allows aspiring Asian recruits to work alongside frontline police twice a week.

Gong's patrol colleagues wanted in on the action after hearing about his success.

Literacy Auckland North manager Jane Rigby has designed a programme to help them and others in similar positions.

"We are now working with the police to help over 40 individuals who fulfil the fitness criteria but are hampered by poor literacy," Rigby says.

"With Auckland now home to over 100 different nationalities it is becoming important for the police to reflect the changing demographics," she says.

"I feel safer already, just knowing that these guys will become police officers someday," Furst says.

North Shore Times 10 June 2014

Maria’s success in getting her learner licence leads to job

My interest in learning to drive started only after our company moved to Highbrook early this year. Since I couldn't drive and didn't want to relocate, I decided to resign. Since then I looked for jobs nearby, around the city and the North Shore area. I was asked if I want to do a job at Onehunga for 3 months and it was a good job with the potential of becoming permanent. It took me 2 hours to get there and I had to walk 15 minutes. In the end, the company decided not to give it to me as it would be hard for me to commute.

My movements were controlled. Whenever I was asked by recruitment agencies I would say that I can work around city, inner city and North Shore area. It was really hard. Then I realised that I missed all the opportunities and decided to get my learner licence (no matter what) and was thankful that Literacy Auckland North offered an evening class.

After 3 months of looking for a job, I was able to get one. The job needed somebody who could drive but I was honest with them about my situation and the company gave the job to me allowing me time to get my learner licence and eventually my restricted licence before the year ends. The course that Literacy Auckland North offers is really helpful especially for those without any background in driving.

Thank you very much for the wonderful opportunity and I am very fortunate to benefit from the course. I have advised my friends who are interested to learn that they can send an expression of interest too. I do hope that they will also be given the chance like what you have done for me. More power to Literacy Auckland North.


Mandalinna prepares for future study while looking after her daughter

Mandalinna, a young solo mum, approached Literacy Auckland North in July 2010. She had recently moved to the North Shore with her daughter, and a friend, knowing she was not able to read very well suggested she contact Literacy Auckland North. She had over the years started a number of courses but had not completed them due to her poor reading skills.

Mandalinna loves children and she dreamt of working in the early childhood field but not having support with childcare or transport made life complicated! Mandalinna started working with a volunteer tutor, Elaine Tassie and it wasn't long before she started making significant gains.

With her improved confidence she decided earlier this year to use this time before her daughter starts school to prepare for her future. She registered with the Open Polytechnic and started the National Certificate in Early Childhood.

Mandalinna has made excellent progress and has already successfully completed 9 Unit Standards! She is also volunteering at a local childcare facility a few times a week.

Well done Mandalinna, we are so proud of you! Keep up the good work and you will soon reach your goal.




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