A Christchurch Iwi-run training scheme has seen such a surge in young Maori getting into construction, it's now expanding.
He Toki Ki Te Rika, modelled on the old Maori trades training of the 1950s and 60s and backed by Ngai Tahu, has been running for four years now and is not only saving lives - it's saving the Government millions.
Of the 800 pre-trade trainees, 640 are now employed, meaning an $11 million saving each year in benefit costs.
ONE News spoke to Amos Neate, one of the programmes many success stories.
He told us five years ago he was homeless, with just the clothes on his back to his name, blowing all his benefit money on alcohol.
"I was just getting by however I could, stealing meat to eat, sometimes I wouldn't eat meat for three or four days."
The then 21-year-old hit rock-bottom, but says the trades course saved his life.
"I'd hate to know where I'd be now," he said.