Pou 1 – Primary sector

Te Rāngai Ahumahi

The primary sector consists of many sub-sectors. This first iteration of the RWP will focus on 2 prominent industries: Horticulture and Meat Processing. Other primary industries such as viticulture, forestry, and fishing may be in scope in later tranches of the RWP.

Horticulture | Ahuone

As an industry mainstay its contribution to the regional economy and the workforce is substantial. The horticulture industry can no longer rely on migrant labour and needs to focus on attracting New Zealanders who can see it as a career that provides on-going skill development and progression. It is crucial that whānau, hapū and Iwi have a say in how local talent is developed. The RSLG will ensure that these voices shape this process through active partnership.

The sector lacks sufficient existing workers with fundamental horticulture skills and knowledge. This creates a constraint with fewer people who can train on the job and help develop wider skill sets. When looking further into the future, the industry is preparing for new technologies such as robotic harvesting. This evolution will drive a need for more specialised skills that will require training providers to teach people about robotics. Stakeholders have identified a lack of tutors and training programmes that are equipped to teach in this specialised area.

It is likely that the future workplace will have to adjust to support learners with softer skills including design thinking, problem solving, collaboration, cognition, and cultural connection. Industry is anticipating a need for more middle management positions to support all of this.

When imagining a workplace which is shaped by new technology (including undiscovered technology), the RSLG is committed to keeping whānau, hapū and Iwi in the conversation. Improving our human capital as a rohe can only be done in partnership and with the ongoing views and experiences from all communities, tangata whenua, and tauira (students) alike.

Fruition is a training provider in our rohe focussed on ensuring that the required horticulture skills are being delivered to new entrants. The case study below showcases what Fruition can deliver to local learners:

The Tū Te Wana programme
Te hōtaka o Tū Te Wana

The Tū Te Wana programme, run by Fruition Horticulture, focuses on the needs of rangatahi in the rohe. Te Whare Tapa Whā underpins the delivery of the programme, making a big difference to the outcomes for the rangatahi. Rangatahi graduate with a driver’s license, horticultural industry knowledge, and the soft skills required to effectively participate in the labour market. Tū Te Wana teach rangatahi the foundations for a horticulture pathway, but also provides the skills relevant for other industries, such as construction and transport.

Tū Te Wana focuses on the pastoral support that is provided throughout the programme. The journey for each rangatahi starts with a two to three day noho (overnight stay), followed by four weeks of learning about themselves, their peers, and their whenua. “Tū Te Wana is not restricted by decile level, ethnicity or sex, we take them all”.

Reviews of the course have identified that rangatahi living in emergency housing struggle to have stability in their lives, as the motel set up is not an environment for rangatahi to study and learn. The instability of accommodation, having to move motels all the time and not being able to go to the same kura (school) affects their ability to stay enrolled in a course, to learn at kura and go into employment. “We need increased support for our rangatahi that are struggling”.

Haumako, the Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa horticultural subsidiary, subcontracted the Tu Te Wana programme for delivery in Wairoa. This from, for and by Wairoa approach, actively supported by Wairoa Young Achievers Trust and Fruition, showed true partnership in action. All 12 rangatahi started full time employment with Haumako and have completed their Level 2 qualification as well as first aid, GrowSafe and moving one up in their driver licensing, plus working on Haumako’s first commercial apple development in Wairoa. Full wrap around support of these rangatahi to remove the barriers to entry to work and learning has been critical in the success of this cadetship.

This te ao Māori approach is a positive example of how the RSLG can support whānau centred solutions to engaging with employment. Facilitating meaningful connections to whakapapa and whenua gives rangatahi the strength to address barriers that prevent them from entering the workforce and pursuing careers.

Meat Processing | Mahi Mīti

Our rohe has a rich history in meat processing and many households can tell stories about raising whānau as meat workers. In 2021, the Meat and Meat Processing industry contributed $200 Million to our regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP). [Reference: Hawke’s Bay Regional Economic Profile. (2021). Infometrics] Hawke’s Bay has 6 meat processing plants, stretching from Wairoa through to Central Hawke’s Bay. The peak season demand for all meat processing plants requires around 2,500 kaimahi. Engagement with industry has identified significant challenges in meeting peak labour demand. This worker shortage results in a decrease of productivity as plants are unable to run at desired capacity.

Employers struggle with negative perceptions of the industry and people are unaware of the quality careers available and they can also be put off by negative word of mouth. The historical provision of “seniority” across the Meat Processing industry means that upskilling opportunities for newer staff can be hindered, resulting in dissatisfaction, boredom and potentially employee churn.

Whilst some flexibility has been introduced around seniority and training, this needs to continue to evolve in order to meet the job satisfaction expectations of the new generation of meat process worker and also enable the industry to grow its high skill base. To encourage people to start their career in the meat industry, the association body has launched the “Meat Your Career” website to help promote the career opportunities such as scholarships and apprenticeships.

A significant technology and automation shift  is difficult as it is fairly limited in the red meat industry, due to the variation in the size of the animals and the money it takes to invest in automation. Industry do not expect a big shift to happen in the short-medium term but understand the importance of technology and automation for future developments and workforce requirements.