August 2023 update

Update from the Marlborough Regional Skills Leadership Group (RSLG) on activities in their region.

You can download a PDF version of this report at:

Marlborough RSLG August 2023 Update [PDF, 540 KB]

Te Mahere Ohumahi ā-Rohe o Te Tauihu o Te Waka-a-Māui | Marlborough Regional Workforce Plan 2023

On Friday 28 July the Marlborough Regional Skills Leadership Group (RSLG) released the 2023 Marlborough Regional Workforce Plan (RWP).
In July 2022, the RSLG launched Te Mahere Ohumahi ā-Rohe o Te Tauihu o Te Waka-a-Māui Marlborough’s first RWP. The 2023 plan builds on the work of the first RWP and refines the path towards the RSLG’s vision for the future of Marlborough. It has given the RSLG an opportunity to look back on the work of the last 12 months, celebrate the region’s successes, and make sure we are heading in the right direction.

The RSLG’s vision for the future of Marlborough is for a productive, sustainable, and resilient economy that is well resourced by its workforce, skills, training, and talent. With a resilient, sustainable economy and workforce that supports carbon net zero by 2050 and an enabled Māori economy.

Progress over the last 12 months In the year since the launch of the RWP, the RSLG has been encouraged by the engagement and support from the community. Through local partnerships the RSLG deepened our knowledge of Marlborough’s current and future workforce needs, and how local education and training providers can respond and contribute. This collaborative approach has enabled the Marlborough RSLG to provide a strong regional voice on workforce issues, grounded in local knowledge, experience, and insights. The RSLG has built relationships with the newly established Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) to better understand the skills needed by employers. In May 2023, the RSLG published investment advice to the Tertiary Education Commission(external link) (TEC) for consideration when making their funding decisions for 2024 delivery. We strengthened our relationship with Te Pūkenga and their new regional leadership structure.

Investment advice to the Tertiary Education Commission

The RSLG would like to thank everybody that we engaged with and who worked alongside us to progress the actions in the Regional Workforce Plan. It has been a regional effort with the Council, Chamber, Business Trust, Smart + Connected groups and may others contributing over the last year.

Regional highlights. Marlborough’s industries, iwi, community, education and training providers have made great progress addressing the region’s workforce and skills needs. The RSLG has been proud to support these efforts.

  • Workforce plans for Aquaculture and Wine are well underway.
    We are collaborating with Aquaculture New Zealand and the Nelson Tasman RSLG to take a Te Tauihu | Top of the South approach to the Aquaculture sector.
  • Smart + Connected Aerospace industry group was established.
    The group has identified shared priorities including ‘low emission leadership’ and ‘Marlborough as the Aerospace training hub’.
  • The establishment and delivery of a Bachelor of Nursing programme in Blenheim.
    This was a recommendation in our 2022 RWP. This year Te Pūkenga offered a new blended, flexible delivery approach for Marlborough students enrolling in the Bachelor of Nursing programme.
  • Marlborough skills attraction campaign. #WELOVEITHERE
    saw local businesses join forces with the Marlborough District Council, Marlborough Chamber of Commerce, and Ministry of Social Development to show visitors and remind locals about the amazing opportunities to build a career in Marlborough.
  • Te Pokapū Wāina o Aotearoa | The New Zealand Wine Centre in Blenheim.
    Formally opened by the Prime Minister in September 2022. A new state-of-the-art Experimental Future Vineyard was also announced.

To ensure our work remains relevant, we will complete another annual review next year, with a full review in 2025.

RWP 2023 At A Glance

Our first annual review and refresh of the Plan has given us the opportunity to look back on our work and make sure we are heading in the right direction. Over the next year we will continue delivering our workforce plan to address labour and skills challenges in the Marlborough region and to ensure we are well placed to meet the demands of our changing workforce.

Our work is guided by the following principles:

  • Advocate for Mā Māori, Mō Māori, ki a Māori solutions.
  • Influence efforts across our focus sectors to help transition to a more resilient, low emissions economy.
  • Communicate analysis and insights on local workforce and skills issues.
  • Advocate for local data collection, presentation, and insights.
  • Collaborate on education to employment initiatives across the region.
  • Connect to the Te Tauihu Intergenerational Strategy.

Our Focus Areas

  • Marlborough as an attractive place to live and work.
  • Career and learning pathways.
  • Perceptions of industries and careers.
  • Connections between schools and industry/education providers.
  • Everyone in the region is aware of career and training opportunities.
  • Enabling equitable outcomes for Māori through education and work.

Our Focus Sectors

  • Aerospace*
  • Aquaculture
  • Building and construction
  • Health**
  • Wine

*Previously Aviation
**Previously Aged residential care

RSLG Members Update

The RSLG is pleased to announce the reappointment of 2 existing members; Celia Daniels and Tracy Johnston.

In addition the RSLG welcomes 2 new members;

Liz McElhinney, has a diverse range of skills gained from working in health, education, social services sectors, iwi/Māori community development in both private and government sectors, owned/operated two family business in the hospitality sector. Her current role is working for Oranga Tamariki – Ministry of Children as an advisor in a funding and contracting role. Liz iwi affiliations are: Rangitāne o Wairau, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō, Ngāti Kuia, Ngāti Raukawa and Ngāi Tahu. With a passion for iwi/Māori development, Liz has held both governance and management in CEO and GM roles with iwi and pan tribal organisations. Governance roles in the Marlborough community have included Marlborough Girls College BOT, St Marks, Museum Trust and Marlborough Regional Development Trust of who were successful in obtaining centre of excellence funding for the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, Research Centre and establishment of the Aviation School in partnership with RNZAF Base Woodbourne. Liz brings with her experience in working in the education and training sector and pathways focused on supporting Māori and Pacifica into primary sector/land based industries. Liz can trace her history back to the first Māori settlers in Marlborough and Kaikōura, has one daughter and four grandchildren who are all involved in their iwi learning and events. In her spare time, along with her husband Paul she enjoys travel around the country with classic/sport car events and is very much involved in supporting her iwi, marae and the Wairau branch of Māori Women’s Welfare League.

Morris (Butch) Bradley, Business Consultant Te Tautoko Trust, Iwi: Rangitāne, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā, Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Kinohaku Butch is an experienced CEO and director, currently holding positions on the boards of Skills Active Aotearoa NZ, Qualworx Ltd, Whakatū Enterprises Ltd and Te Ara a Maui. Butch also provides governance consultancy services to Te Tautoko Ora Trust, NZ Māori Tourism and ESR (Institute of Environmental Science and Research). With a media and executive management background, his communications and strategic planning skills are put to good use in organisational development. He has been active with iwi development in the top of the South Island, having worked as the CEO for an iwi organisation. Butch has worked in and held a range of directorships with commercial and community organisations which include; Basketball NZ, Te Ara a Maui, Tasman Rugby Union, Regional Lotteries committee and World Travellers, where he oversaw the development of an RSE travel programme.

The RSLG would also like to acknowledge Steph Benseman, named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 – Asia in the Finance and Venture Capital category.

Steph is a principal at venture capital firm Icehouse Ventures. Steph leads the First Cut program, which invests in founders under the age of 30. The program raised more than NZ$5 million ($3.16 million) in funding by mid-2022 and aims to invest in 20 to 30 companies in pre-seed and seed rounds. Steph founded her first company when she was 17 and has actively supported young entrepreneurs since then. Recently Steph was a judge at the Techstars Startup Weekend in Marlborough

Techstars Startup Weekend(external link) — Marlborough District Council

Year 2 Actions: 2023 – 2024

Our year 2 actions build on the actions we have completed over the last year. We have updated our industry collaboration actions to take a wider, cross-industry approach across multiple businesses. This change has been driven by what we have learnt in the past year.

  • Marlborough as an attractive place to live and work.
    Action 1.2 Collect data from industry on how many people are required and the necessary skills and attributes.
  • Career and learning pathways.
    Action 2.2 Work across industries to establish a pilot or working group that will trial actions to identify and communicate the career and learning pathways available in Marlborough.
  • Perceptions of industries and careers.
    Action 3.2 Work across industries to establish a pilot or working group that will trial actions to improve perceptions of their industry and career opportunities.
  • Connections between schools and industry/education providers.
    Action 4.4 Broker introductions between schools and industry to promote opportunities for collaboration. Action 4.5 Lead work with post-secondary education and training providers in Marlborough to identify solutions to ensure our young people are informed about what they offer.
  • Everyone in the region is aware of career and training opportunities.
    Action 5.3 Work across industries to establish a pilot or working group that will trial actions to communicate career and training opportunities.
  • Enabling equitable outcomes for Māori through education and work.
    Action 6.4 Work in partnership with iwi/Māori to support their aspirations and objectives for solutions to workforce and skills challenges.

Focus sectors.
Continue to support our focus sectors to develop and implement their workforce plans in collaboration with Workforce Development Councils.

Labour Market Remains Tight

2.5% Unemployment rate June 2023.
Second lowest in the country after Nelson-Tasman at 2.3%. An increase of 1.6 percentage points compared to June 2022. N.B. these figures are estimates only as the sample size is too small.

4.5% Underutilisation rate June 2023.
Lowest in the country, national average 9.8%. Underutilisation decreased by 2.6 percentage points over the last 12 months.

1,152 Jobseeker Support recipients June 2023.
Decrease of 5% (63 people) since June 2022. Remains considerably higher than the pre-COVID level of 945 in December 2019.

327 Māori Jobseeker Support recipients June 2023.
Decrease of 4% (12 people) since June 2022. Again this figure remains considerably higher than the pre-COVID level of 288 in December 2019.

3% Marlborough and Gisborne were the only 2 regions which have recorded year-on-year growth in job ads on the SEEK NZ job listing website.
Marlborough was 3% higher compared to June last year and Gisborne had risen 23%, which was likely due to rebuilding efforts post-Cyclone Gabrielle. Job advertisements on Seek NZ were down 21% in June 2023 compared to the same time last year.

3.8% Marlborough is the region with the most growth in filled jobs outside the main centres, since the borders reopened in July 2022.
Regions with large urban areas experienced the most growth, with Marlborough behind only Otago and Auckland in growth in filled jobs for June 2023.

Our focus for the 12 months to June 2024:

The focus for the Marlborough RSLG is implementing Te Mahere Ohumahi ā-Rohe o Te Tauihu o Te Waka-a-Māui | Marlborough Regional Workforce Plan

Regional Workforce Plan [PDF, 2.9 MB]

Prepared by the regionally led Marlborough Regional Skills Leadership Group. For further information, please contact: