Summer of roading for Ashton

Published 27 Feb 2024

The Careers Expo at Dannevirke High School last year paid off for Te Uri local Ashton Ward, after he got chatting to some young engineers from Tararua Alliance. Ashton had been thinking about a career in engineering for a couple of years and the expo showed him there was a local opportunity on his doorstep.

“After the Expo I went into the council to see what they could do for me and low and behold I got connected with Fontayne Chase at the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs and she found me a job at Tararua Alliance,” Ashton says from Christchurch, where he is preparing to start his first year of a four-year engineering degree.

Ashton spent the summer being part of the engineering team at Tararua Alliance. Engineering Services Manager Ray Cannon says Ashton was a pleasure to work with and any employer would be lucky to have him. “Over the few months he was with us, Ashton got to see a lot of what we do here. He got involved with the bridge inspections, surveying, pavement testing and working on engineering drawings. He will be an asset to anyone in the engineering world, and it’s great that he now has an understanding of the local opportunities that are right here.”

A highlight for Ashton was getting out in the field: “Every day was different. I loved the field work – being able to drive out to a road you’ve never been on before and to see what they’ve done to make it what it is. It’s given me an insight into what goes into making our community.”

He’ll be spending the winter back in Dannevirke doing an internship for Ernslaw One forestry and would like to spend his third study year overseas. All the best to you Ashton - thanks for all your hard work and enthusiasm.

For any rangatahi who are interested in local opportunities or employers wanting to get involved, please contact our new MTFJ Coordinator, Jaron Vince on 0273 780 543 or email