Our region’s voice – Ko te reo o tō mātou rohe

Our region’s voice has seven distinct parts, with the opportunities and challenges relating to employment, skills and training differing for each.

Our seven districts are Ruapehu, Rangitīkei, Whanganui, Manawatū, Palmerston North City, Tararua and Horowhenua. Achieving a stronger and more prosperous Manawatū-Whanganui, entails that no district is overlooked. Recognising this, our engagements with stakeholders have comprehensively spanned the entire region.

For this first Regional Workforce Plan we prioritised our focus on the parts of the labour market that resonated with urgency expressed by our people. The Kaiāwhina Health Workforce and School Transitions quickly emerged. Whilst nuanced, all districts shared the common theme that our health workforce is under stress and our rangatahi need to be supported to achieve success. This came through with our local people passing on insights such as:

“Māori are disproportionately represented in [the] health system... our workforce does not reflect our community, and this is a lost opportunity”

— Judith MacDonald CE of Whanganui Regional Health Network

“People don’t go into care because they don’t see the pathway into the next level, like health care assistants or nursing”

— Wendy Blair New Zealand Nurses Organisation

“Many students have different experiences of failure at school and do not always realise that in employment and training they can experience levels of success and competency that they did not think they were capable of”

— Helen Green Chairperson of CATE Manawatū-Whanganui

“We adapted our HR recruitment processes as young Māori were underselling themselves and we were missing out on valuable talent”

— Megan Tolley HR Manager, Metalform Dannevirke

Whanganui river with trees on either side.