He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR)

He Poutama Rangatahi is a pilot initiative focused on tackling youth unemployment.

This cross-agency pilot is facilitated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. It aims to support communities develop pathways for rangatahi (aged 15-24) that are not currently in employment, education or training (NEETs) and take them through to sustained employment underpinned by intensive pastoral care.

The rangatahi targeted by HPR are those most at risk of long-term unemployment. They also may need more individual, ongoing support so they can better connect to training and employment. Evidence tells us that Māori rangatahi are disproportionately affected and need more targeted support that is designed around their needs.

In January 2018, the Government announced $13.275million in funding for pilot HPR programmes in Te Taitokerau, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay. HPR will support communities to take advantage of these opportunities by helping their young people become ‘work-ready’, while supporting employers to invest in bringing local NEET rangatahi into their workforce.


HPR’s approach is to support communities, including employers and industries, iwi, trusts, NGOs and other community groups, through the development of local youth employment plans that:

  1. highlight current interventions which could be scaled up or redirected
  2. identify gaps in the provision of support, particularly pastoral care for both NEET and for employers to connect, and
  3. develop interventions targeted at those gaps.


Applications for funding should align with HPR priorities and criteria, and answer these questions:

  1. How does the proposal support and coordinate a purposeful and effective system that enables sustained employment?
  2. How does the proposal provide effective support for rangatahi most at risk of long term unemployment?


The proposal should also demonstrate how the proposed activity:

  • Is Relevant: by being community-led, with goals that address community aspirations and local opportunities by making use of relevant expertise to link rangatahi to employment, and that is responsive to local rangatahi, local employers and the local context.
  • Is Inclusive/Collaborative: by creating partnerships between and within communities and government, and those most impacted (employers and youth) who can make a difference.
  • Is Coherent: by making use of local knowledge, relationships, and relevant expertise, using existing services, programmes, and infrastructure wherever possible.
  • Is Credible/Transparent: proposals must adopt clear, credible, transparent processes and be evidence based for learning and accountability purposes.


The Fund is overseen by the Minister of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) with operational governance by relevant Senior Regional Officials and regional coordinating groups to ensure fit with regional priorities. The head of MBIE’s Provincial Development Unit oversees alignments with investments made through the Provincial Growth Fund. This ensures a more lasting approach to reducing NEET levels, while improving employers’ ability to employ locally, and ultimately improving standards of living.

The other core agencies involved in HPR are the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) and Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK), together with the Ministries of /for Education, Primary Industries, Women, Corrections, the Tertiary Education Commission, the Treasury and Oranga Tamariki. This board range of agencies is involved at both regional and central level to enable a systems-level view of the barriers and opportunities. To support HPR’s implementation, several groups have been established:

  1. Regional HPR Steering or Advisory groups - to provide guidance around regional fit, access to community networks and to ensure coordination of government systems for communities.
  2. An HPR Officials Working Group (Wellington-based) – to ensure central government agencies are working together to provide effective and tailored support for young people leaving school, right through to achieving sustainable employment outcomes.

Both levels of groups will provide views and recommendations about the HPR proposals received. It is critical that regional perspectives drive priorities while government systems are adapting to feedback. Final funding decisions are made by the relevant Senior Regional Official and the Head of the Provincial Growth Fund, or Ministers where appropriate.

How to apply

Projects will be assessed to ensure these criteria are being met and that outcomes are being delivered to rangatahi, employers and the broader community. There are no application rounds for the Fund.

Application forms

All HPR applicants must complete an application form.

Application form [DOCX 101KB]

It is recommended that applicants also read MBIE's terms and Conditions for funding before applying to HPR.

MBIE’s Terms and Conditions [PDF 79KB]

Please email HPR@mbie.govt.nz for any further advice and information, and to send your completed application form.