Northland is rich in natural resources and cultural heritage, but its geographic remoteness, low population density and low labour force participation have contributed to lower than average economic performance.

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The Regional Growth Programme in Northland

The Tai Tokerau Northland Regional Growth Study was released in February 2015, with the subsequent Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan launched a year later, in February 2016. The plan is now being implemented by regional bodies, central government agencies, industry groups, and local businesses and iwi.

Focus areas

Northland’s action plan the plan sets the stage for business growth by prioritising infrastructure improvements relating to transport, digital infrastructure, skills and capability, and water.

Key sectors of opportunity are:

  • Tourism - increasing international and domestic visitor numbers
  • marine
  • forestry and wood processing
  • agriculture
  • aquaculture
  • horticulture and honey
  • Māori land productivity through forestry, wood processing, honey, mānuka and horticulture.


Improving the platform for growth goes hand in hand with sector development. Some examples of this include:

  • developing pathways to employment through the Kaikohe GROW Programme, placing and supporting young unemployed people in training and with employers in key sectors, such as tourism and horticulture
  • planting mānuka using long term unemployed workers in Kaikohe
  • working with New Zealand transport agencies and regional tourism agencies to revitalise the Twin Coast Discovery Route
  • the QRC Tai Tokerau Resort College working with schools to provide a training pathway for young people to develop careers in the tourism and hospitality sector.


An advisory group comprising business, iwi/Māori and local government is overseeing the implementation of the action plan.

Northland workforce stocktake and planning report

As part of the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan, MBIE commissioned a current stocktake of labour and skills in the region, and forecasts of additional workforce needed to meet growth expectations.

The Northland workforce stocktake and planning report [PDF 538KB], completed by consultants MartinJenkins, combines qualitative research (interviews with local Northland employers) with information MartinJenkins has gathered through work on the Northland Regional Growth Study. The Northland Labour Market Dashboard [PDF 592KB] is a compilation by MBIE of the key statistical indicators on Northland’s workforce.

For more information