Two young men just back from a six-week Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) course describe their recent experience as a big culture shock but it is something both are very proud to have achieved.
Terrance Nash and Henry Algar were signed up for the course at Burnham through Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ).
Both of them were seeking employment and looking to further their chances of being employed, and the course has certainly given them renewed discipline and motivation.
For Terrance, 24, the course was a taste of military life which he had already been interested in.
"I had been looking to join the army for a few months. It was a real culture shock at first but after the first week we got more time to do more fun stuff," he says.
Henry agrees the start of the course was not much fun, although it got better the further into the course he got.
"For the first couple of weeks it was really about the discipline. They would yell at you and keep you busy every minute of the day."
But looking back over the course and the self-belief it has given him, Henry has no regrets. He knows he and Terrance will have increased their chances of being employed by proving they can do it.
"I had been trying to get motivated and get up earlier, get myself into a routine, and this has really helped. I now just want to get a proper daytime job, get up early and do a day's work."
Henry, 19, is now looking for employment and is feeling much better about his chances with the LSV course completion as proof he is reliable and has honed his workplace values.
Along with instilling some serious discipline, the six-week course included first aid training, a confidence course and a four-day trek through the alps carrying a heavy pack.
They even visited a veterans' rest home where they did some gardening and Henry, an accomplished pianist, played for the residents.
From the 99 young people who took up the LSV course, just 70 graduated, so Henry and Terrance are rightfully pleased with themselves.
Many who dropped out were either not physically fit enough or had attitude problems.
- © Fairfax NZ News