Regional data snapshot

Hawke's Bay Regional Skills Leadership Group Regional Data Snapshot

This is the web version of our regional data snapshot. It should be read alongside our Regional Workforce Plan to gain the most comprehensive understanding of the story of our region.

Download the PDF version:

Hawkes Bay data snapshot [PDF, 1.1 MB]

Labour Force Participation Rate Employment  Rate Mean household Earnings Highly Skilled Jobs
Hawkes Bay 68.6% 65.6% $94,300 35.5%
New Zealand 71.7% 68.5% $106,600 38.4%

Source: Stats New Zealand – 2022 data

The Region

The Hawke's Bay region is made up of 4 districts. It has an estimated population of 182,700 people and 61.2% are working age. Ngāti Kahungunu is the Iwi for Hawke’s Bay and has a number of Post Settlement Governance Entities representing mana whenua and Taiwhenua representing Marae.

Data source: Infometrics



  • 2022 GDP contribution $210.6m [1]

There are approximately 4,200 kaimahi employed in the sector. Typically, the workforce grows over 3 times the size during the height of the picking and packing season but these numbers are expected to be impacted as the full extent of the damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle is realised.

Meat Processing

  • 2022 GDP contribution $187m

In 2022 there were 2,490 filled jobs in the meat processing sector. The demand for kaimahi by the 6 processing plants in Hawke's Bay grows between 30% to 40% during the peak summer season.

Construction & Civil Infrastructure

  • 2022 GDP contribution $1,097m

Waihanga Ara Rau (Workforce Development Council) estimated a labour supply gap of 6,952 in the Hawke's Bay construction and infrastructure sector as at June 2023. Whilst their current workforce shortage projections have taken into account the workers needed for the $1.1b of housing planned for the region, they have not yet factored in the significant workforce demands of the cyclone recovery and rebuild.

Source: Infometrics

Hawke's Bay NEET rate

Rangatahi 'not in employment, education or training' (NEET) is 12.5%.

There are 74 pre-employment programmes operating in the rohe:

  • Careers and employment skills: 43
  • Social support services: 8
  • Horticulture: 4
  • Construction:4
  • Conservation:3
  • Other sectors: 12

As outlined in the 2022 Regional Workforce Plan, the RSLG wish to support successful rangatahi employment programmes already in place which will develop our future workforce such as the:

  • Taiwhenua
  • Wairoa Young Achievers Trust
  • Topline Academy
  • Te Aratika.

2022 HB Youth Futures Trust Survey

Māori-Owned Businesses

In the Hawkes bay, there is 303 Māori-Owned Businesses.

Top Sectors:

  • transport, postal & warehousing: 22%
  • construction: 14%
  • agriculture, forestries & fisheries: 13%

Te Puni Kōkiri (TPK) National Office is building an up-to-date regional directory of pakihi Māori.

Source: TPK Te Matapaeroa 2020 - Māori-owned businesses are those where at least 50% of shareholder wages were received by Māori shareholders.

  • Total Working Age Benefit Recipients – 14,500
  • Jobseeker Support Work Ready – 3,800

There has been a 7.8% increase in work ready beneficiaries since Cyclone Gabrielle. This number is expected to rise as primary sector businesses look to cut costs or exit the market.

Source: Ministry of Social Development – 16 June 2023

Wāhine in Hawke's Bay

  • 8,419 wāhine in Hawke's Bay are receiving a benefit compared to 5,962 tane
  • over 35% of those wāhine are sole parents.

There is concern the economic shock of Cyclone Gabrielle will disproportionately affect wāhine in the workforce, as demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Women are less likely to be in the trades, and therefore more likely to miss out on benefitting from the increased labour demand for the rebuild programme.

Source: Ministry of Social Development - May 2023

Focus areas

Cyclone recovery

Early estimates in the Councils' locality plans put the cost of the cyclone recovery programme of works to be at least $2b. This number will be updated later in 2023.

Environmental impact

115mT of soil was estimated to have been eroded by land slides, with 50% estimated to have entered waterways and 30% deposited on flood plains.

Rural properties

Impact on 500 [2] rural properties:

  • Fencing damage: 92%
  • Track damage: 75%
  • Water supply and irrigation: 71%
  • Slips: 68%

Horticulture impact

  • Impacted hectares: 10,887ha
  • Lost production in 2023: $230m
  • Clean up and damage repairs: $169m
  • Re-establishment: $536m
  • Lost production future: $546m
  • Total: $1,481m

Source – Hawke’s Bay Regional Council

  • 99 red stickered buildings.
  • 1,151 yellow stickered buildings.

Source: MBIE – 21 June 2023.

Infrastructure impact

Over 120 bridges were either significantly damaged or destroyed across the region.

Source: Hawke’s Bay Recovery Agency.

Drivers licencing in schools

144,000 New Zealand licence holders have not progressed through the Graduated Driver Licencing System.

Source: Driving Change Network.

Licencing test volumes

Region Theory Restricted Full
Wairoa N/A New New
Napier 2657 2302 1415
Hastings 2691 2021 1578
Central Hawke's Bay  460 New New
Total 5808 4323 2993

Source: Driver Licencing Improvement Programme – Dec 21 to Nov 22


The Health Care and Social Assistance workforce for Hawke’s Bay has grown 20% since 2012. In 2022 there were 10,482 jobs filled in the sector. It is the third highest employing sector in the region, making up 11.7% of the total workforce.

Source: Infometrics

Te Whatu Ora Hawke’s Bay Nursing and Allied Health departments account for 6 of the 10 highest vacancy rates across their workforce.

Source: Te Whatu Ora -Te Matau a Māui Hawke's Bay

Our population is ageing and will demand more of the healthcare sector

In 2022, approximately 19% of people in Hawke’s Bay were 65 or over. In 2028, it is forecast that around 22% of the region’s population will be 65+ years. By 2050 this group could make up over one-quarter of the population.

Source: Stats NZ


[1] There is variability in the GDP value and employment size of the Hawke's Bay horticulture sector reflecting different methodologies, definitions and scope.

[2] Circa.

Last updated: 12 July 2023