Local insights report: October/November 2022

Hawke’s Bay local insights report for October/November 2022.

Top regional insights

The Electrical Training Company Ltd (ETCO) officially opened their new electrical training centre on 8 November. ETCO apprentices in Hawke’s Bay currently travel to ETCO’s Rotorua training centre for block courses. This new electrical training centre will mean ETCO students will not need to travel outside of the region for training. The facility includes a classroom and a state-of-the-art workshop. The new training centre will also help ETCO toward their goal of engaging and encouraging more women, Māori and Pacific peoples into the electrical industry.

The Wairoa Community Partnership Governance and Implementation Groups (WCPG) discussed the findings of the recent Te Haerenga Report. The report reviewed the health of education in Wairoa, and a key finding linked the performance of the Wairoa education system to accessing jobs. The report found that Wairoa does not experience parity or equity across a range of dimensions and recommended that a rethink, driven by community, is required. Rather than defaulting to a deficit approach, the report described this as an opportunity to move forward to create sustainable educational pathways based off whānau voice. Discussion at the hui supported the need to elevate the whanau voice through a wananga approach, and the need for it to be driven by whanau themselves. The report recommends that a key aspect to improving outcomes is that it must be achieved through a process of reconciliation that acknowledges past performances in order to clear the way for the future. The WCPG is exploring the idea of a 'Wairoa Learning Centre' where they can build their own workforce. For starters, the community is looking at partnering with Te Wānanga o Awanuiarangi to train teacher aides.

Regional workforce plan update

As we progress Regional Workforce Plan actions, our focus is on brokering working arrangements with important partners and coordinating a number of actions. Since our last update, we have engaged with the following partners to progress our actions:As we progress Regional Workforce Plan actions, our focus is on brokering working arrangements with important partners and coordinating a number of actions. Since our last update, we have engaged with the following partners to progress our actions:

  • Matariki
  • Food & Fibre Centre of Vocational Excellence
  • Skills Consulting Group
  • Hawke’s Bay Youth Futures Services Trust


  • We have brokered an arrangement with the Food and Fibre Centre of Vocational Excellence (FFCoVE) to support the Hawkes Bay RSLG with research and evidence gathering to progress some of the RWP actions. 

    As part of this, we have collaborated with FFCoVE to engage the Skills Consulting Group to produce a ‘critical findings’ report which identifies best workplace practices in the pre-employment space.

  • The RSLG is providing direction around the development of a co-lab hub which involves the coordination of pre-employment research, a regional map of services, a network of practice and an understanding of what works really well in our region.

  • The RSLG is partnering with Matariki to explore the potential that progressive procurement has to provide opportunities for Māori and Pasifika businesses. 


  • A wānanga by Waihanga Ara Rau Workforce Development Council (with RSLG support) took place on 15 November where we brought construction employers together to discuss their workforce issues, employee retention, pre-employment support and transition to work.

  • On 13 September, the Hawke’s Bay Youth Futures Services Trust (with RSLG support) held a hui with pre-employment support/pastoral care providers to complete their pre-employment Services Mapping Report – the foundational information from this hui will support the RSLG’s scoping of Hawke’s Bay pre-employment programmes.


  • Feedback to RSLG members indicate a significant proportion of workers have valuable work experience but no formal qualifications, and that this limits their career options.

  • At the 26 October RSLG meeting, the group agreed to scope a collaborative pilot with Matariki Pou 2 to investigate how to do more to recognise prior learning through options like provider assessments and micro-credentials. 

Key sectors – Primary and Construction

  • We are progressing work to scope leadership development programmes in the primary and construction sectors.  We have identified the opportunity to align this action with the Food & Fibre Excellence Framework, and the Training and Career Framework Project (under the FFCoVE) that are looking at leadership development programmes.

Regional activities


Napier City Business Inc. is leading the preparation of local businesses to cater to the Cruise Ship 2022-23 season. Part of the preparation process has involved surveying local businesses about their views on the economic benefits and capacity to respond to visitor numbers. Generally speaking, businesses view it as a great economic opportunity for the region but acknowledge it will place pressure on already stretched sectors in hospitality and retail. The 3 key skill areas identified are for drivers, hospitality and retail staff. Forecasts are for an estimated 88 cruise visits between October 2022 and April 2023, and this season is seen as an ideal opportunity to reset what cruise tourism is to Hawke’s Bay. Given the pressure on resourcing, businesses are working hard on timing staff rosters to maximise visitor foot traffic, which could mean opening earlier or closing later depending on when people come ashore.

Hawke’s Bay aged care facilities are concerned about the shortage of nurses. There are currently between 50 to 60 vacancies for registered nurses across Hawke’s Bay - and this is in keeping with the national shortages. Although no one has had to close any beds yet, it is common for nurses to work double shifts to ensure that the quality of care isn’t compromised.
The privately run facilities say that they are struggling with pay parity. For senior nurses there is between a $20,000 – $30,000 difference in pay between the private aged care sector and public hospitals. Another problem is that the younger less experienced nurse graduates, as well as registered nurse immigrants coming into the country will work in aged care until they have the qualifications they need, and then they chase bigger money and a more exciting role in the public sector.

A picture of the Hawke’s Bay landscape.


Approximately twenty employers attended an ‘Inclusive Employer Evening’ on 13 October. The event was designed to support diverse workforces by embracing people living with disabilities. Inspired by NZ’s Disability Confident Campaign and the Working Matters Disability Action Plan - 2022, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) led a myth busting session on employing people with disabilities and show cased relevant MSD products and services. The principles of enabling good lives were promoted through success stories from guest speakers and via video. MSD work brokers and employment coordinators were also on hand to offer advice and support.

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) worked with local high schools in September to showcase the range of careers on offer for local students. They hosted senior high school students for a half-day orientation which offered ‘a taste of local government’. They met with the Regional Council executive leadership team and spoke with a range of employees from science; finance; communications and marketing; people and capability; climate change; and parks/open spaces. Participants were impressed by the large number of roles and wide range of career options, ranging from marine biologists to engineers and accountants. HBRC offers cadetships for university students in the summer and provides senior high school students with a half-day orientation session to give them an opportunity to learn about careers in local government.

Prepared by the regionally led Hawke’s Bay Regional Skills Leadership Group.

For further information, please contact: HawkesbayRSLG@mbie.govt.nz

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