New issues and barriers

The regions issues and barriers are set out below.

Cyclone Gabrielle

On 14 February 2023, the New Zealand Government declared a National State of Emergency to assist in the response to Cyclone Gabrielle which caused significant impacts to the northern and eastern parts of the North Island, including:

  • Northland
  • Auckland
  • Bay of Plenty
  • Waikato
  • Tairāwhiti
  • Hawke’s Bay
  • Tararua.

The National State of Emergency was extended on 27 February 2023 for a further 7 days. The Regional Skills Leadership Group (RSLG) is staying engaged with sectors that are directly reliant on the environment to function, such as Horticulture via engagement with New Zealand kiwifruit growers (NZKGI) to ensure situational awareness is maintained and action is provided via its coordination, influencing and advocacy role on any labour market implications.

Global economic conditions, inflation, and other financial pressures

Recent economic disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, extreme weather events, and the war in Ukraine have wreaked havoc on economies and societies across the world and contributed to higher inflation and cost of living pressures. Locally, this has translated into dampened business confidence, which negatively impacts the labour market, increasing the cost of doing business and global competition for skills and labour. This presents a persistent shortage of talent on Aotearoa New Zealand shores, affecting labour market capabilities and output continuities.

Schools are struggling with student retention

School attendance numbers have declined dramatically due to the pandemic, with some struggling to engage students in the school curricula. They are facing challenges such as:

  • self-esteem issues
  • low interest levels
  • the demand to bring income into the home because of pandemic impacts.

If low attendance levels are not addressed in terms of attracting and retaining young people in education, they miss placement onto future ready-to-work pathways.

Supply chain impacts

As a small, open, and geographically distant economy, Aotearoa New Zealand has benefited from integrating into global supply chains over the last 3 decades. However, recent events, including the Global Financial Crisis and Covid-19 pandemic have continuously disrupted the supply chains that industries (including workforces) and communities rely on. Firms, from large to local, have been working alongside governments to keep supply chains operational. However, disruption and change will continue as geopolitical, environmental, social, infrastructural, and health risks continue to emerge.