Annex 1: Additional information on central government agency programmes relevant to Regional Workforce Plan themes

Agencies have provided a wealth of information on existing initiatives relevant to the themes raised across RWPs. The initiatives that were highlighted by agencies in workshop sessions feature in the text of the response, while some additional information on those initiatives as well as other initiatives of interest are provided in this Annex.

Lead agency Existing initiative
Ministry for Pacific Peoples


Toloa Programme

Toloa supports Pacific peoples in STEAM pathways (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) over a whole of life approach – early childhood, primary, intermediate, secondary, and tertiary education through to the workforce. This programme currently comprises nationwide scholarships, Auckland-focused job-placement pilots and other digital equity initiatives.

Toloa(external link) — Ministry for Pacific Peoples

Tupu Aotearoa

Tupu Aotearoa is a regionally delivered programme that supports Pacific people to gain tools and skills that enable them to thrive. It connects Pacific people with local providers who will support them to access work or learning opportunities on their journey to employment, further training or study. The programme is currently working with rangatahi not in employment, education or training (NEETs) and Pacific peoples at risk of becoming NEETs to provide sustainable employment – predominantly delivered in Auckland, although expanding to Nelson Marlborough and Tairāwhiti.

Tupu Aotearoa(external link) — Ministry for Pacific Peoples

Ministry for Primary Industries


Te Ara Mahi Hou programme

This programme supports Māori agribusiness by providing workforce skills development and training and is currently working on an innovation fund to support new ideas in the primary sector.

Māori Agribusiness Extension Programme

The Māori Agribusiness Extension Programme supports interested Māori landowners and agribusinesses to work together in clusters towards common goals, including improving land use, growing new crops, and looking for collaboration ideas. These clusters generally run from 6 months to 3 years.

Māori Agribusiness Extension Programme(external link) — Ministry for Primary Industries

Māori Agribusiness Pathway to Increased Productivity Programme

The Māori Agribusiness Pathway to Increased Productivity Programme supports feasibility studies on ways to increase productivity of Māori land and looks at funding business/strategic planning, understanding pathway to market work and completing an information memorandum.

Māori Agribusiness Pathway to Increased Productivity Programme(external link) — Ministry for Primary Industries

Regional Sector Workforce Programme Delivery

South Auckland: Akongoue: Pilot Pasifika horticulture programme

This programme aims to offer 20 to 24 Pacific youth in South Auckland an opportunity in the food and fibre sector beyond the roles they often walk into such as picking, packing and pruning.

Canterbury: Secondary School Employer Partnership Programme (SSEP)

SSEP is a collaboration between SmartNZ and MPI to facilitate a food and fibre-focused programme within Canterbury schools. Food and fibre businesses connect with their local school to support the alignment and delivery of the curriculum through contextualised learning activities relevant to the world of work.

Kerikeri: MPI and Kerikeri Fruit Growers Association “Workforce Model”

MPI has a dedicated resource to work with Kerikeri Fruit Growers Association to develop a ‘workforce model’ that develops a group of skilled horticulture workers that small to medium growers can employ for up to 10 months of the year. The first phase will include the model development and fiscal model. The second phase will include a capability training model to ensure the skills needed are developed in this group. Phase 3 (2024) is the exit of MPI and self-sustaining model is BAU.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment


Just Transitions

A key focus of Just Transitions Partnerships is to ensure that regions are activated and supported to manage the effects of a transition to a low carbon economy. This includes supporting displaced workers, including providing career guidance.

Just Transitions Partnerships

Economic Plan

Objective 3 of the Economic Plan, Increasing capabilities and opportunities, looks to deliver quality education, training and upskilling, so that all New Zealanders, regardless of where they live, have the capability and opportunities they need to live the lives they value.

Economic Plan [PDF, 1.8 MB]

The Sector Workforce Engagement Programme (SWEP)

A cross-government initiative to develop a shared understanding with industry on the key labour market and skills issues they face.

SWEP was established in 2016 in response to limited industry leadership in workforce planning and preparation during a period of high labour demand. These conditions contributed (in some sectors) to increased reliance on temporary, low-skilled migrants while there were also pockets of high unemployment for some population groups.

SWEP is currently engaged in 9 sectors:
  • Construction
  • Horticulture
  • Viticulture
  • Road freight transport
  • Tourism
  • Residential aged care
  • Dairy farming
  • Aquaculture
  • Red meat sector
SWEP(external link) — Grow Regions

Construction Sector Accord Industry Transformation Plan

The Construction Sector Accord is a joint commitment from government and industry to work together to create a high-performing construction sector for a better New Zealand. The Construction Sector Transformation Plan 2022-2025 is a 3-year action plan for change focused on tackling the sector’s systemic challenges while building resilience across the industry.

The Accord(external link) — Construction Sector Accord

Construction Sector Transformation Plan 2022-2025(external link) — Construction Sector Accord

Ministry of Social Development


Skills for Industry programme

Providing short-term job-focused training to for job seekers requiring up-skilling for specific requirements identified by industry. This includes delivering through industry partnerships.

The Industry Partnerships model is a way for industry and government to work together to minimise skill and labour shortages and maximise job opportunities for job seekers.

Skills for Industry(external link) — Work and Income

Industry partnerships(external link) — Work and Income

Social Sector Commissioning 2022-2028 Action Plan

The purpose of the Action Plan is to transform the way social supports and services are commissioned so they best support people, families and whānau to live the lives they value.

Government is working with non-government organisations and communities to transform the way supports and services are commissioned, by championing a relational approach to commissioning. An approach where people’s aspirations, experiences, lived realities, and goals shape the services or support they receive.

To enable the transformation across the entire social sector, we have created a 6-year Action Plan.

The Action Plan:
  • will work on removing current barriers that make a relational way of commissioning difficult
  • will build on existing initiatives and successes, and support major social reforms underway
  • will use continuous learning, monitoring, and information sharing to ensure change.
Social Sector Commissioning: 2022–2028 Action Plan [PDF 3.99 MB](external link) —

Connected Service

The Connected Service aims to help New Zealanders connect to the wide range of employment, education and training support and advice available through government agencies, including region-specific support and opportunities. The initiative consists of website at, 0800 number and face-to-face services at over 35 MSD sites and Jobs and Skills Hubs in regions across the country. link)

Māori Trades and Training Fund

The Māori Trades and Training Fund (MTTF) is designed to encourage Māori organisations to try different approaches to engaging and keeping Māori in employment-focused training opportunities. The MTTF funds kaupapa Māori projects so they can offer employment-based training alongside support services, such as pastoral care. The Fund is available across Aotearoa New Zealand.

Māori Trades and Training Fund(external link) — Work and Income

He Poutama Rangatahi programme

He Poutama Rangatahi is a work-readiness and skills initiative. It is for young people who are hard to reach and most at risk of long-term unemployment. He Poutama Rangatahi can help with individualised and ongoing support into training and employment.

He Poutama Rangatahi closed for general applications on 26 August 2022.

Within He Poutama Rangatahi, there is a new funding stream, called Whakawātea te ara Poutama. This is available now for programmes in South Auckland, West Auckland, Northland, Bay of Plenty or Waikato. It is specifically to help young people involved in criminal activity or with gang affiliations overcome barriers so they can get employment, education or training.

He Poutama Rangatahi(external link) — Work and Income

Mana in Mahi programme

Mana in Mahi supports people at risk of long-term benefit receipt into long-term sustainable employment while gaining an apprenticeship or formal industry qualification. Employers can receive a wage subsidy to take on an eligible people and access funding to help with the employee’s pre-employment and industry training.

Mana in Mahi(external link) — Work and Income


The Flexi-wage initiative provides a wage subsidy and extra assistance to support employers to take on people who do not meet the entry level requirements of the job, to help them get the employment skills and experience they need to achieve unsubsidised employment.

Flexi-wage(external link) — Work and Income

Education to Employment

The Education to Employment brokerage service focuses on connecting ākonga to the world of work. The initiative aims to build strong local relationships with businesses and schools through brokers, located in regions right across the country, acting as a liaison between schools and employers to highlight local trades and vocational opportunities for students.

Education to Employment(external link) — Ministry of Education

The Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill

The Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill, currently before Select Committee, aims to progressively identify, remove and prevent barriers to disabled people’s participation across all areas of life, including employment and education.

Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill(external link) — Ministry of Social Development

Youth Service

The MSD-led Youth Service supports taiohi into education, training and work-based learning. Youth coaches provide intensive, tailored support to identify their goals and find the best path to reach them. Coaches are employed by a mix of community organisations, iwi/Māori, private training institutions and 2 Work and Income In-House sites. The programmes focus on 3 target groups including youth not in education, employment and training, for 16 to 17 year olds who are either not in education, training or employment or are at risk of dropping out.

Youth Service(external link) — Ministry of Social Development

Mix of community organisations(external link) — Ministry of Social Development

Ministry of Social Development and Office for Seniors

Older Workers Employment Action Plan (OWEAP)

People aged 50 and over make up one third of the workforce in Aotearoa New Zealand, and many are working over the age of 65 either because they want to or need to. MSD leads the implementation of the OWEAP, which is for people aged 50 and over who are working or want or need to work but experience challenges in doing so. The purpose of the OWEAP is to ensure that older New Zealanders who want or need to work can find sustainable employment that fulfils their needs and aspirations and contributes to their overall wellbeing. Many of the actions will also support older workers who face compounding barriers in the labour market, including Māori, women, Pacific peoples, disabled people, former refugees, recent migrants, and ethnic communities. The Minister for Seniors is the responsible Minister for delivery of the 11 actions in the OWEAP, and progress is monitored through quarterly reporting to the Minister and 6-monthly reporting to EET Ministers.

Older Workers Employment Action Plan [PDF 926 MB](external link) — Office for Seniors

Office for Seniors

The Better Later Life (BLL) Action Plan He Mahere Hohenga

The Office for Seniors (OfS) leads the implementation of the Better Later Life (BLL) Action Plan, which includes an initiative to help older entrepreneurs establish sustainable businesses research into age discrimination in the workplace with a particular focus on the experience of older Māori and work, advice on employment service eligibility for people over 65, and discussions with the Public Service Commission on leading good practice in the employment and support of older workers. Progress on the delivery of the 7 actions in the BLL Action Plan is formally monitored through quarterly reporting to a Ministerial Steering Group chaired by the Minister for Seniors.

Better Later Life (BLL) Action Plan(external link) — Office for Seniors

Essential Digital Skills Training for Older People

The Office for Seniors is leading a Digital Skills Training for Older People initiative as part of the BLL Strategy. OfS developed an Essential Digital Skills (EDS) evaluation framework to evaluate effectiveness and quality of digital literacy training programmes for older people. Following the promotion of the EDS evaluation framework, OfS established the Digital Inclusion Action Group for Older People in May 2022 to increase the reach, impact, quality, and consistency of digital literacy training programmes. The focus of this group is to align sector focus in the digital space and encourage providers, businesses and government agencies to help older people progress from offline to online. OfS is seeking to engage with a diverse range of providers to deliver the programme to population groups that experience overlapping characteristics of digital exclusions, including Māori, Pacific and rurally located older people.

Digital Skills Training for Older People(external link) — Office for Seniors

Te Puni Kōkiri    He Takunetanga Rautaki Strategic Intentions 2020 to 2024

Te Puni Kōkiri’s He Takunetanga Rautaki Strategic Intentions includes the employment focus area, with a goal to influence partner agencies to maintain labour market attachment and get more Māori into higher skilled jobs.

Te Puni Kōkiri’s He Takunetanga Rautaki Strategic Intentions [6.38 MB](external link) — Te Puni Kōkiri

Cadetships Programme

Te Puni Kōkiri’s Cadetships Programme provides development, mentoring, and training to Māori staff at all career stages across a range of businesses. The programme aims to support Māori to achieve their full potential in the workplace and contribute to thriving, innovative and resilient businesses.

Cadetships Programme(external link) — Te Puni Kōkiri

Pae Aronui

Pae Aronui is an initiative aimed at improving education, training and employment outcomes for Māori 15 to 24 year olds not in education, employment or training (NEET) or are at risk of becoming NEET (at key transition points). The programme involves Māori providers each working with at least 20 rangatahi and supporting them to/through learning and/or employment outcomes within the calendar year.

A key objective is to grow the ‘capital’ (confidence, capability and connectedness) of rangatahi, enabling them to make informed choices about the quality of lives they will lead (including their self-defined ‘wellbeing’), and how they can take advantage of obvious development and employment opportunities.

Pae Aronui(external link) — Te Puni Kōkiri

Taiohi Ararau – Passport to Life

Taiohi Ararau is an innovative programme that supports young Māori NEET aged 15 to 24 who are not receiving a benefit. Through the programme, taiohi and their whānau work with community leaders to get essential documents including:
  • birth certificate
  • driver’s license
  • IRD number
  • bank account.
These documents are tools to assist young people on the pathway to further education, training or employment.

Taiohi Ararau(external link) — Te Puni Kōkiri

Cross-agency programme with funding administered by the Ministry for the Environment; Department of Conservation; Ministry for Primary Industries; Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment; and Toitū te Whenua Land Information New Zealand.

Cross-agency coordination by Jobs for Nature Secretariat.

Jobs for Nature Programme

The Jobs for Nature Programme is a cross-agency $1.219 billion investment in nature-based employment, established in 2020 as part of the Government’s support to economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 420 projects have been approved to date.

Many projects funded through Jobs for Nature include formal and informal training components to build capacity in environmental management. 240 projects approved to date report capability building as an objective. As at 30 June 2022, 9,262 people have been reported as employed nationally and 1495 people were reported as currently being in formal training. These numbers are expected to increase as the programme continues delivery.

Government funding for the Jobs for Nature programme is time limited, and projects vary in length, with the majority due to be completed by the end of June 2024. RSLGs can connect with projects to identify ongoing regional employment opportunities and pathways for people employed and trained through the Jobs for Nature programme. There are multiple funded projects across regions.

Jobs for Nature Programme(external link) — Ministry for the Environment

Funded projects across regions(external link) — Ministry for the Environment
Lead agencies identified next to each Industry Transformation Plan

Industry Transformation Plans (ITPs)

These were created in partnership between business, workers, Māori, and Government to set an ambitious long-term vision for a transformed future for each sector. The plans identify actions partners can invest in that will drive a step change to realising these visions. ITPs are a key mechanism for implementing the Government’s industry policy.

Tourism – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

The Tourism ITP has an objective to enable a transition towards a regenerative tourism system, which is one that gives back more to New Zealand’s environment, infrastructure and people than it takes away. Initially, the ITP will focus on Better Work: maximising the benefits that tourism employment delivers.

Tourism ITP

Advanced Manufacturing – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

The Advanced Manufacturing ITP aims to increase investment to lift productivity and wages; make innovation, R&D and science work for manufacturing; attract and develop a diverse high-skilled, high-wage workforce; create a sustainable circular net-zero emissions sector; and enhance global competitiveness, connectivity and opportunities.

Advanced Manufacturing ITP

Agritech – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment & Ministry of Primary Industries

The Agritech ITP is centred on creating a world-leading agritech industry to establish agritech as a high-value export sector in its own right while supporting increasing the productivity and sustainability of the New Zealand primary sector.

Agritech ITP

Digital Technologies – Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

The Digital Technologies ITP aims to bring together industry and Government to drive long-term growth in the digital technologies sector, which will increase export revenue and provide high-quality jobs in the digital technologies industry. The ITP includes actions to accelerate growth in sub-sectors such as Software-as-a-Service, build our national reputation around tech and innovation, invest in digital skills, and support Māori participation in the sector.

Digital Tech ITP (external link)

Fisheries – Fisheries NZ

The Fisheries ITP has been initiated as part of reform to ensure commercial fishing is sustainable, productive, and inclusive. While the scope is currently under development, Cabinet has directed this ITP will focus on reducing the environmental impacts of fishing and increasing the value received from fisheries.

Fisheries ITP — Fisheries NZ

Food and Beverage – Ministry for Primary Industries

The Food and Beverage ITP will enhance the innovation and sustainable economic development potential of our food and beverage sector for the benefit of New Zealand through supporting the development of emerging food and beverage industries and products to go global and lifting the productivity and sustainability of our existing food and beverage industries.

Food and Beverage ITP(external link) — Ministry for Primary Industries

Forestry and Wood Processing – Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forestry Service

The Forestry and Wood Processing ITP is focused on shifting the industry from producing commodity resources by increasing domestic processing, with the aim of generating high-value jobs and low carbon products in New Zealand. The ITP covers the entire forestry and wood processing supply chain.

Forestry and Wood Processing ITP(external link) — Te Uru Rākau – New Zealand Forestry Service