Team effort helps former refugees show true colours

Published: 29 August 2016

A group of former refugees recently participated in a painting workshop that could open the door to new jobs while also helping address a shortage of painters in the Wellington region.

Geared for action

GEARED FOR ACTION: Former refugees and workshop recipients (L-R) Nixon Triana Lozano (Colombia), Hla Aye (Mayanmar), Tanveer Khair Mohammad (Afghanistan), Rangashri Ranganathan (Sri Lanka) and Zin Mar Oo (Myanmar) with their painting kits from Dulux.


And it’s all thanks to the enthusiasm and combined efforts of the NZ Red Cross, Programmed Facility Management (PFM), Solutrades, Dulux and Housing New Zealand.

The workshop, which started on August 22, kicked off with a joint induction carried out by Housing New Zealand and its paint supplier Dulux at Dulux’s Lower Hutt premises.

The operation then moved to a four-bedroom Housing New Zealand property in Stokes Valley where PFM’s Exterior Paint Co-ordinator  Daniel Smith, and staff from Wellington property maintenance company Solutrades, took the workshop attendees through the process of painting a Housing New Zealand home over a two-week period.

Solutrades also used the workshop as an opportunity to assess the skill and potential of the attendees and will look to employ at least two or three of the former refugees.

Other methods covered during the workshop included preparation (sanding and scraping), priming and brush painting.

The former refugees who took part hailed from countries ranging from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan to Myanmar and Colombia.


Workshop participants in action at our property in Stokes Valley.

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