Paraparaumu College 2016 Careers Day was fortunate to have some very special guests speak to the students which included some of the following past pupils. Here are some of the biographies from the day.

Chris Barber


Chris is a 38 year-old former Paraparaumu College student who lives in Raumati South with his wife and 7 year old daughter. He has had the privilege of leading the Securely business for the past year or so. Prior to that he was involved with some great little businesses, General Manager at Te Horo Foods, Managing Director at the Kāpiti Company, and CE of Nature Coast Enterprise, the Economic Development Agency and Regional Tourism Organisation serving the Kāpiti Coast and Horowhenua.
He is an entrepreneur at heart, having completed (finally…) his MBA in 2012. He has been a member of the NZ Institute of Directors since 2013, and has sat on a number of local Boards including The Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce, The Kāpiti US Marines Trust and Club Vista.

Nicola Stoddart-Edmonds – Beauty Therapist

Nicola is 32 and has been a fully qualified beauty therapist and electrologist for 14 years with international qualifications. She trained at the Wellington School of Beauty Therapy and holds both Cibtac and Cidesco diploma (international qualifications). She has a particular interest in electrolysis and skin. Nicola loves what being a beauty therapist has taught her and the confidence and knowledge she has gained through this industry has been vast.

Craig Pashby – Estate Agent


Craig works for Leaders Real Estate on the Kapiti Coast and is an ex Paraparaumu College old boy.  At 34 years old, he has been selling Real Estate locally for 11 years, currently he is the Number 1 individual salesperson from Leaders Real Estate Kapiti for two consecutive years and a consistent local performer, receiving the Platinum Award for 7 years straight for selling between 30 and 50 homes annually! Craig is keen to share with you the necessary qualifications you need these days to get started in the industry, some helpful advice to set yourself up now and for your future, a few things to implement along the way, as well as telling you how he started out both financially and results wise as well as sharing some of the systems he has in place that has allowed him to build up the successful business he runs today.

His question to you is; are you interested in being part of an industry where you can work locally, whenever you want, as hard as you want and have the ability to earn as much money as you want?  At home or in the office… it doesn’t matter (he has done both), as long as you have self drive, determination and commitment to get the job done (and done well!),  this could be your career path. Real Estate sales is an industry where the sky IS the limit and you get out of it, what you put in.

So, what does “Sky IS the limit” actually mean?  Craig has personally seen Local/Wellington based sales people during his career earn over $1,000,000 between them and their team, some having only been in the industry less than five years, and if the team comprises of just them and their spouse, then mostly it’s all theirs after expenses. Two salespeople he knows that fall into this bracket don’t even host open homes on Sundays or work Saturday’s either!!!  
As an individual salesperson, it is an industry where you can earn $80,000 – $200,000 and have a lifestyle all at the same time (sport, leisure, holidays, socialising – it all helps get business if you do it right)!

Luther Hunt – Musician


Luther started playing the drums when he was in Yr 9 at Paraparaumu College, 2010, but he has been into music ever since he can remember. He was lucky enough to grow up in a very musical environment and now music is his passion and has led him to pursue this dream. For the last 4 years Luther have studied Jazz Performance (Drums) at the NZ School of Music, which means he has a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance. He has been put on the ‘2015 Dean’s List’, which is Victoria University recognising excellence in academic achievement and will go on his academic transcript. He is currently completing his BMus with Honours and his goal is to achieve First Class Honours.

Luther considers himself a professional musician and has been performing professionally (earning money) for 7 or 8 years and loves it. He is currently in a few different bands playing both covers and original music and has been doing session work and private teaching. It is a hard road to sustain but with the right focus, commitment, passion and help, Luther has managed to find his feet and thinks the future will be filled with learning new ways to improve in all aspects of this lifestyle.

Lauren Brazier – Solicitor


Lauren was a student at Paraparaumu College between 2004 and 2008 and was Head Girl in her final year. She then attended Victoria University, Wellington, where she studied for her LLB (Hons) and BA (majoring in Political Science and Economics). In 2013 she was the top graduating student in her law class and during 2014, she began work as a lawyer at Bell Gully in Wellington. Lauren has worked as a litigator, preparing for and attending Court hearings and is about to leave Bell Gully and undertake her Masters in Law at Harvard University.




Connor Tieman – Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade


Connor is a former Paraparaumu College Deputy Head Boy. He currently works in the Trade Negotiations Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, MFAT. Connor will share insights about his career path, how pure luck led him to work at MFAT, his travels around the world, and that one time he met Hillary Clinton in Rarotonga.

Along the way he will share tips and tricks, do’s and don’ts, and lessons learned from his short career in diplomacy.


Emma Petley – Scientist


Cures and better treatments to diseases such as cancer, asthma, allergies and gut health are discovered and researched every day,  imagine if you were the one discovering the next cure for cancer. Do you have an interest in science and the wonders of living organisms? Come and hear how scientific researchers are developing new cancer therapies at the Malaghan institute of Medical Research, and what study choices you should consider for a career in a micro-biology.


Toni Tregoweth – Hairdresser at Hairworkz


Toni has been in the hairdressing industry for 8 years, starting her apprenticeship straight from school. She now manages a salon in Waikanae and will discuss the ups and downs of hairdressing and what skills are required to be successful in this vibrant career path.




Amber Adam – Mechanic at Rutherford & Bond


Amber is in her final year of an automotive technician apprenticeship (otherwise known as a mechanic). She left college at 16 and tried a few industries before finding her path in the automotive trade.  Over the last 6 years, Amber has completed a variety of roles in the auto industry but enjoys working on cars and is looking forward to getting her qualification.



John Best & Angus Macaulay – BCITO


John has a trades background completing a building apprenticeship in 1991 and having years of experience in the building trade. His last role prior to becoming a training advisor was in a leadership role as the leading hand on a commercial building site. During John’s working career he has also had other roles outside of the construction industry. He has a commercial pilot licence and spent time as a pilot trainer teaching people how to fly. Gaining experience in working with learners from all walks of life has helped him with his current job which he has been in for the past nine years. In his current role he mentors, assesses and empowers apprentices to progress through their qualifications.

Angus is an ex Paraparaumu student, he played 1st XV rugby and 1st XI cricket for the school. On leaving he applied for a position on the M2PP project. At first Angus was on a shovel then was added to the structures crew. His first real project was constructing a culvert, when he was offered an apprenticeship through BCITO. Angus was really enjoying what he was doing so he accepted. Angus enjoys the construction industry mainly because you can see your hard work in a project and 50 years down the track you can still be proud as you drive past, and seeing it still there!’

Virginia Fallon – Journalist


As a reporter you get a license to literally go where other people aren’t allowed to tread. In the last six months Virginia has interviewed celebrities, questioned politicians, witnessed a chimpanzee have surgery and was the only reporter within the police barricades during the Porirua siege. Journalists consistently rate below politicians and car salesmen as ‘the least trusted profession’ but they’re the ones telling everybody else what they want to know. The wages are bad, the hours are terrible and nobody likes them so why do they do it? When you watch the news and see people running from danger invariably you will see a reporter and cameraman running towards it…. When a weather bomb hits and everyone battens down the hatches the reporters are outside in the elements….It’s dangerous too, since the beginning of the year 26 journalists have been killed in the line of duty. Come along and have a chat about death knocks, making sure the police can’t make you leave a public place and why we can take your information straight from your Facebook page. Virginia is a 38 year old reporter with two children attending Paraparaumu College, the same place she used to go.

John Kelly – Plumber


John has over 20 years experience working as a plumber, gasfitter and drainlayer on the Kapiti Coast. His daily work life covers everything from changing a tap to plumbing large commercial buildings.





Anthony Ransley-Engineer


After finishing at Paraparaumu College in 2010, Anthony studied for a BAppSc majoring in Environmental Management at the University of Otago. During this time he studied coastal geomorphology, planning, climatology, soil science, GIS, statistics and ecology amongst other subjects. In 2014, Anthony was employed by Fletcher Construction as an Environmental Engineer on the M2PP expressway, and has since taken on the additional role of Environmental Advisor. He is responsible for managing the effects of construction in regards to hydrology, ecology, noise, vibration, contaminated land, air quality and erosion and sediment control. He designs methodologies, site layouts and treatment systems to assist the team in conducting earthworks, building bridges and culverts, and constructing new rivers and wetlands. He is constantly conducting tests and gathering environmental data to record our activities and find ways to improve how they perform.

Nicholas Heslop – Refinery Planner


Nick is a Refinery Planner at Z Energy. He has worked in the Downstream Oil Industry for 12 years in a variety of Supply & Distribution based roles, specialising in Refining, Optimisation, Planning, Scheduling & Linear Programming for the last 5 years. He was tortured for 5 years at Paraparaumu College, before progressing to Victoria University where he studied Science. In his spare time he enjoys creating and performing music with friends in his home studio, attending live concerts, and day dreaming about squirrels!

Georgia Carver – Young Person’s Life Coach


Georgia currently works at Forever New (women’s clothing) in Lower Hutt, a tough but rewarding job.  A big passion of hers is working with people and she absolutely loves it. She is now working towards a promotion and her world is full of amazing training and life opportunities at only 18 years old! When she was younger and attending Paraparaumu College, she admits she wasn’t the best behaved student of all. She would hang around the wrong people, skip school, have a terrible attitude etc… she was taking herself down a very bad path. Georgia went through a lot of struggles including anxiety and depression and if it weren’t for the teachers and programs at this college, she would not be in such a good place (as she is now) today! She knows a lot of students can relate to her, be it her behaviour or mental health so she wants to come and speak to you about not only what she went through, but what incredible and positive changes can be made now, to better your own future!