Thanks to Covid-19 closing the nation's borders, meeting New Zealand's massive shortfall in crane operators has been a tall order, but one Rotorua business is helping out by training up locals.
QJ Ohia owns his own company and set up New Zealand Crane Academy.
Its first intake saw 100 people apply for just 10 positions.
“Any business owner can offer a job. We're looking to offer career pathways and the difference is long term — the ability to grow and make a lot of money for themselves and their families and the industry that they're part of,” Ohia told 1 NEWS.
Experienced operators can earn more than $100,000 a year.
Nationally, New Zealand is training just 200 crane operators and there’s a chronic shortage.
Government funding means training's now free.
The move has made a difference, but the industry says immigration still has to plug the short-term gaps.