About us

Building Futures Kirsten Newton

Kirsten Newton

I have been working in the wider timber processing-building products industry for over 20 years.  With a background in operations, human resources and health and safety management roles I have a good overview and understanding of the barriers that can hinder a person’s ability to enter or remain within the industry.

Not everyone has the same opportunities or ability to forge a prosperous future for themselves or their families. The Building Futures programme is a purposeful way for me to contribute to the wellbeing and enduring lifestyles of rangitahi here in the Hawkes Bay community.  Helping someone to secure a job within this industry is satisfying and rewarding.  Knowing that could have a positive impact on their future, makes it priceless.

I am a wife, mother, and grandmother so I have amassed a wealth of experience in life and many of its stresses.  I don’t believe I have all the answers, but I have learned that having listening ears is invaluable and sometimes a hug goes a long way towards making things better.

If you or someone you know might be interested in learning more about our programme, you can call, email, or send in an application to join our next intake.

Bernie Gunn

The two roles I have been in over the last 5 years have set me up well to help others take positive steps in their own lives. My previous role as an Outward Bound instructor allowed me to see just how much growth people can achieve given the right environment and opportunities. I am excited to be a part of a small passionate team creating an environment at Building Futures where trainees can take up opportunities that open future possibilities.

Since March 2020 I have also been completing a building apprenticeship. Through doing an apprenticeship in varying building environments I have been able to see what skills and attitudes set trainees up well for success in their own learning & development as well as being a key part of any team. Building Futures is an opportunity for me to help others gain a start in an industry that has given me so much.

I am excited to help others gain a start in an industry I see as being a vital part of Aotearoa’s prosperity and an industry I know is crying out for good people who want to make good things happen.

Building Futures staff Bernie Gunn
Building Futures staff Dylan Urlich

Dylan Urlich

School just wasn’t for me, I left at 16 and went shepherding for a few years before moving to the construction industry. I’ve had a wide range of building opportunities from building high-end architectural homes on the hills of Havelock North, to log cabins on the edge of the artic circle in Canada, with a few years forming high rises in Australia.

My love for the outdoors, (mainly hunting) and having a couple of successful mentors kept me on the straight and narrow growing up. As father of four I enjoy sharing my knowledge of hunting and gathering and my love for the outdoors with my children by taking them hunting, fishing, and diving, and teaching them respect and sustainability.

As a husband, father, stepfather & business owner, I’m very much aware of the life struggles and the lack of support some experience. This has led me into helping with the Mates for Life HB a suicide awareness and prevention programme. From there I was introduced to the Building Futures vision of helping rangitahi learn some fundamental skills to assist them into sustainable mahi.

I’m honoured to be a part of this work and seeing the personal improvements of the cadets in the few short weeks of our involvement is the most rewarding part of the job.

Feel free to contact us if you want more information.