Paving the way for girls in infrastructure at AKL: Group of 80 young wāhine tour construction sites

20 June 2024

Auckland Airport yesterday hosted 80 female high school students across three of its major development sites, for Infrastructure New Zealand’s ‘Girls in Infrastructure®’ program. The event highlights the significant contributions of women in the infrastructure sector and aims to inspire the next generation of female leaders in this field.

Teens from 10 south Auckland high schools, aged 16 – 18 years old, were given tours in rotation across three key construction projects that are integral to Auckland Airport’s once-in-a-generation upgrade, delivering more resilience and smoother journeys for travellers.

Students had a chance to speak with women working in the infrastructure sector at an exhibition area supported by over 20 organisations working in the industry. They also were able to walk through a special area at the Ara Auckland Airport Jobs and Skills Hub where they were able to see heavy machinery and talk to the female drivers that operate them.

“Auckland Airport is one of the region’s most active construction sites, with a thousand people currently working on our infrastructure pipeline at the precinct. This includes 600 working on the programme to integrate our international and domestic terminals and build for the future generations of travel. However, a fraction of all these workers are women,” said Auckland Airport’s Chief Infrastructure Officer Susana Fueyo, speaking at the event.

“Women have a key role to play in infrastructure and we’re delighted to support the Girls in Infrastructure® program. It's an incredibly exciting sector to work in.

“For me personally it’s about the opportunity to transform New Zealand’s largest gateway. It's being part of an initiative that makes a difference, it’s planning for climate change, bringing better roading, renewable power and new technology to people and it’s about building a better future. We hope today’s tour helps to inspire the next generation of infrastructure workers,” said Ms Fueyo.

Site visits included ‘the stitch’ – a three-storey, 95 metre structure that will act as the connection point between international and domestic jet travel with the integrated terminal opens. Students also had a behind the scenes look at the now closed Inner Terminal Road, where vital utilities such as water, stormwater, power and telecommunications are being upgraded, while a third site visit was at the new Western Truck Dock, which will be the new entry point for all goods and services going between landside and airside at the international terminal.

“We hope the students came away from their visit with us with a new sense of purpose and drive to be in the infrastructure sector,” said Ms Fueyo.

Katrina Smith, Infrastructure New Zealand Corporate Services Manager and organiser for Girls in Infrastructure® said their vision was to showcase a diverse range of infrastructure opportunities and drive more female participation.

“The idea of the day was to create an engaging experience amongst Year 12 and 13 girls. We want to give students the opportunity to step onto a live construction site, gain hands-on experience with heavy machinery and engage in meaningful conversations with people in the industry. We hope the day ignites their interest and passion for a diverse and rewarding career path in infrastructure.”

Students were visiting from:

  • Alfriston College
  • King's College
  • Macleans College
  • Mt Roskill Grammar School
  • One Tree Hill College
  • Papakura High School
  • Papatoetoe High School
  • St Mary's College Ponsonby
  • Tamaki College
  • Wesley College

Safety gear was sponsored by contractors, including high vis vests and eye wear from Infrastructure New Zealand and RSEA Safety, and hard hats from Hawkins and Built Environs.


Notes to Editor:

Images will be available from Infrastructure New Zealand. Please let us know if you would like images.

About Girls in Infrastructure®