Regional Workforce Plan: Actions Update

July 2023

This is the web version of our Actions Update. 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:

Hawke's Bay Regional Skills Leadership Group 2022 Action Update [PDF, 193 KB]


It has been one year since the publication of the first Regional Workforce Plan (RWP) in June 2022. The RWP conveyed labour market skill needs in our rohe and was the start of a collaborative journey to increase the wellbeing of our whānau.

In this RWP we committed to delivering 5 actions and two recommendations that would create positive change within our region. The following update details the progress we have made in implementing these actions.

Mahi on the first 3 actions has been undertaken as a joint project with the Food and Fibre Centre of Vocational Excellence (FFCoVE). The FFCoVE has supported the Hawke’s Bay RSLG with the research and evidence gathering elements that underpin these actions. The RSLG has requested further work be undertaken to develop a mātauranga Māori view on workforce planning.

Action 1

Undertake a current scope of pre-employment programmes available across the rohe. We will provide evaluative endorsement from which the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) can concentrate funding to programmes that best support skill development and cultural safety for all different threads of the community. This will be done in collaboration with:

  • Iwi
  • PSGEs
  • Muka Tangata (People, Food and Fibre Workforce Development Council)
  • Waihanga Ara Rau (Construction and Infrastructure Workforce Development Council)
  • local government
  • Ministry of Social Development (MSD)
  • Te Puni Kōkiri
  • other relevant parties.


The Regional Skills Leadership Group (RSLG) worked alongside the Hawke’s Bay Youth Futures Trust and Hastings District Council to determine the breadth of the regional pre-employment support network. We also gained an understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing rangatahi and providers. Using this information, the RSLG were able to work with the FFCoVE to complete a detailed stocktake of regional pre-employment programmes. A dashboard on the FFCoVE website displays the data relating to the 74 pre-employment programmes currently operating in the rohe and will help stakeholders better understand this landscape. In the 2023/24 year the RSLG will determine whether this mahi will be progressed in the form of a longitudinal project that identifies the success rates of the region’s varied employment pathways.

Action 2

Lead the development of a co-lab Hub in collaboration with:

  • regional and national agencies
  • Iwi
  • PSGEs
  • Taiwhenua organisations, providers, and employers.

To ensure consistency, collaboration and effectiveness of resources, funding, and advice. The Hub will provide a place where job seekers, rangatahi, wāhine and employers can connect and access skills and job support. This will be based on Te Tiriti o Waitangi foundation principles and centred on the concept of lifelong learning. The Ministry of Education curriculum, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), Trade Academies and transitions from school to employment or further education will be included in the scope of the Hub.


Building on the partnership with the FFCoVE, the RSLG asked for an analysis of the differing national and international co-lab models. Review of the analysis showed co-labs are a popular way of linking labour market actors in the ecosystem, and pre-employment activities are a key function of most models. Research showed there is limited data and/or models that reflect mātauranga Māori and Pasifika co-labs and much more must be done in this space. The report has been shared on the FFCoVE website and will be a resource to assist other groups and organisations looking to develop co-lab models. The RSLG supported the establishment of the Ministry of Social Development’s Jobs and Skills Hub and will continue to do so as they develop their kaupapa to meet the needs of the residential build and cyclone recovery and rebuild programme of work. Looking forward, the RSLG will support the development of other regional hub models to meet the workforce needs of the cyclone recovery and has identified this as an action under the ‘Cyclone Recovery’ focus area in the RWP refresh 2023.

Action 3

Source current local, national, and international best practice resources and advice to enable a distinct regional needs analysis to be published annually, through active engagement with Iwi, the Regional Economic Development Agency (REDA), local government, and relevant providers.


The RSLG commissioned the FFCoVE to produce a report that outlines workforce planning methodologies that would achieve quality regional analysis for the rohe. The report has been published on the FFCoVE website. In 2023/24 the group will determine how best to use this information to support workforce planning activities in the rohe and is working on the next phase of this mahi to develop a mātauranga Māori view.

Action 4

Develop a better understanding of Te Ōhanga Māori (Māori economy), including the identification of Māori businesses, to support them to engage in a wider range of social procurement opportunities. This will include increasing access to more relevant and accessible training and development for kaimahi. This will be achieved through working with:

  • local and central government
  • Iwi
  • PSGEs
  • Taiwhenua
  • regional business associations
  • Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce
  • other interested parties.


The RSLG has gained a strong understanding of progressive procurement and associated initiatives in our rohe. Using this knowledge and established relationships, for example with Amotai, and Te Puni Kokiri, the RSLG has been instrumental in progressing the mahi being led by the Regional Economic Development Agency to bring key stakeholders together. This partnership will ensure progressive procurement is in place for cyclone recovery procurement activities and to grow a sustainable Hawke’s Bay economy. The RLSG is committed to championing recovery procurement activities that adhere to progressive procurement principles. This mahi will be applicable to the anticipated Hawke’s Bay hospital redevelopment programme and the RSLG is currently engaged with Te Whatu Ora in this regard.

Action 5

Scope leadership development programmes in the primary and construction industries to identify where opportunities and gaps are, especially those which support the Māori workforce. This will be achieved in conjunction with the REDA, industry associations, and industry themselves.


The RSLG supported Rural Leaders in their FFCoVE funded research and development project to establish an approach to leadership development pathways in the food and fibre sector. Further engagement with the project team will focus on what the pathways look like for Māori and how mātauranga Māori concepts will be reflected in the proposed approach. Construction leadership pathways have been investigated and it is acknowledged there is a gap in this sector. The group will support ConCOVE, the Construction Sector Accord - Kōtuiā te hono Group (Māori Advisory Group), and Waihanga Ara Rau (Workforce Development Council) because of their collective commitment to building capability in this space. There is now a greater and more urgent need to develop leaders in this sector and they are in a position to train and grow the significant workforce needed for the cyclone recovery and rebuild.


The Workforce Development Councils (Ohu Mahi) support the RSLG in informing TEC to fund culturally and gender appropriate pre-employment programmes in the Hawke’s Bay rohe that will enable all whānau to access safe and focussed support from which to enter the workforce of their choice. Ohu Mahi works with us to define and further develop pre-employment programmes that are fit for purpose against Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles.

Ohu Mahi work with the RSLG to define and further develop pre-employment programmes that are fit for purpose against Te Tiriti o Waitangi principles. This work will consider the regional demographics and data analysis put forward by employers, Iwi, PSGEs, Taiwhenua and local support agencies, along with best practice pedagogy and those exemplars of excellence that currently exist within the Hawke’s Bay rohe.

Progress on recommendations

In April 2023 the Hawke’s Bay RSLG provided advice to TEC that asked for prioritisation of:

  • Training programmes that reflect an understanding and application of the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • Pre-employment and training programmes underpinned by pastoral care, specifically:
    • existing & effective Te ao Māori provider models
    • construction and infrastructure models, including programmes that deliver a wheels, tracks and rollers endorsement
    • te taiao (the environment) models that include water security, indigenous ecosystems, and resource management.

These recommendations remain a priority for the RSLG and they continue to engage with the respective WDCs to ensure they give effect to this advice, now, and in the future. They will be an important lever for change in the context of the cyclone recovery. The RSLG look forward to continuing to build the relationships with TEC and Ohu Mahi to communicate the skills and training needs of Hawke’s Bay whānau and community.

Last updated: 12 July 2023