Te Mahi Ako Apprentice of the Year competition: Khiry: Shaping the future of AV and events

Published 13 October 2023
Khiry has been contributing to the audio-visual (AV) industry ever since high school, with his first job being a part of the AV squad helping deliver the iconic production; Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat. Now, Khiry is a senior technician at VIDCOM.

Khiry is one of three candidates for the 2023 Te Mahi Ako Apprentice of the Year Award. This award, now in its eighth year, goes to a highly skilled individual with commitment, passion and diligence, who is working to improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders, through the medium of active recreation, leisure or entertainment.   

When COVID-19 hit, Khiry’s entire industry was left without work overnight “whilst this was a huge shock to me, I knew that I had to use this time productively...the first opportunity that presented itself was the level 3 certificate in entertainment and event operations”. After completing this qualification and returning to the office post COVID-19, many of Khiry’s Colleagues were made redundant “I was the only technician in my branch...when I heard that the (level 4 entertainment and events qualification) was going to be made fees free, I jumped at the chance...”   

When asked why he wanted to pursue further education was to “obtain a nationally recognised certificate as well as wanting to inspire other people to be a part of the industry”  

Another challenge Khiry faced was that he had to overcome “being the only technician at my work, this meant I had to reach out externally to find knowledge, inspiration and guidance”. Khiry also noted that the switch from practical, hands-on work to pen and paper forced him to change his perspective “from how we do certain things to why we do certain things in this industry”. 

The level 4 qualification Khiry undertook has made him “more aware of how to reduce the risk of a show failing through building resilient audio-visual systems – gaining a deeper understanding of these systems meant that I could effectively communicate with my team and any potential stakeholders”.  

Khiry’s colleague Paul sings Khiry’s praises and states that “I have been working in the industry for 18 years and I am very impressed with the knowledge he has for his age. He has a professional attitude, enjoys his work and has a high work ethic - I predict he will go far in the events industry”.  

In the next five years, Khiry plans on supporting others to learn and grow; something he is deeply passionate about. Khiry would also “love to be in a role that I can use my current technical knowledge on whilst working outdoors. Professionally I would like to take the next natural step in my career and become a technical director”.  

About the apprentice of the year award  

The Te Mahi Ako Apprentice of the Year will be announced in November at the Recreation Aotearoa Awards.  

Media contact: Frankie Dale | frankie.dale@skillsactive.org.nz | 021 198 4612 

Skills Active Aotearoa Group is a not-for-profit organisation, 50% owned by Māori shareholders, supporting capability development in te ahumahi ā-rēhia: the active recreation, leisure, entertainment and events sectors. 

Te Mahi Ako is part of the Skills Active group and supports individuals to develop themselves through real-life learning within businesses, iwi and communities.