Regional data snapshot

CARE-RSLG's Regional Workforce Plan refresh

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:

Tairāwhiti Regional data snapshot [PDF, 393 KB]

The region

  • Tairāwhiti has the highest proportion of under 25's in Aotearoa (39% of region's population).
  • 9% of people who live in Tairāwhiti are Māori.
  • Although the vast majority of people live in Gisborne City, there are a number of rural townships spread across the region - where we live [1]

6% live in Ruatoria

9% live in Tokomaru Bay

7% live in Tolaga Bay

1% live in Te Karaka

73% live in Gisborne

1% of the National Population

3% of the National Land Area

  • This page contains a map of the east coast of New Zealand, outlining where the boundaries are for Taraiwhiti.

 People and the economy

  • People studying L3-4 (2022) 1,491 [2]
  • Mean household Earnings $90,100 [2]
  • Employment Rate 6% [2]
  • labour force Participation Rate 6% [2]
  • underutilisation rate 1% [2]
  • New dwelling consents per 10,000 (2023) 3 [2]
  • Young people Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET) neet rate 2% [3]
  • Industries that created the most jobs 2012-2022 [3]
  1. agriculture, forestry and fishing: 965
  2. health care & social assistance: 484
  3. construction: 464

Focus area one: Taiao (jobs for nature)


The Mahi mō te Taiao or Jobs for Nature initiative will have employed approximately 371 people over the lifetime of these projects. Given that a key objective for the projects has been developing skills, the growth opportunities for our rural workforce is significant. Programmes which help the region to recover from the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle are a good match for Mahi mō te Taiao workers and project leaders because of the location and nature of the mahi and the skills required to do it.

Tairawhiti projects

  • 66% of projects have capability development as a key objective
  • 52% of projects have ecosystem restoration as a key objective
  • 2.4yrs the average duration of projects [4].

National projects

  • 68% Percentage of employers who provided employees with formal qualifications [5].

(external link)Project activities

  • planting
  • catchment management plans
  • freshwater monitoring
  • cultural health monitoring (kaitiaki monitoring frameworks)
  • restoration of historical cultural sites
  • fencing waterways
  • plant and animal pest control
  • fish passage remediation
  • project management
  • administration
  • Mātauranga Māori [6].



Health care and social assistance sector is a significant employer in Tairāwhiti, employing close to 3,000 people in 2022. This sector plays a crucial role in supporting the local economy and also ensures the wellbeing of the population. Since it is an essential service, it is relatively stable even during economic downturns. Understanding the nature of this workforce is important to Tairawhiti from an economic and wellbeing point of view.

We are in the middle of a huge spike in demand. This is expected to taper off towards the end of 2023 and then slowly increase heading towards 2030 - 5.7% employment growth in the Health Care and Social Assistance workforce in Tairāwhiti 2022 [7].

(external link)About the workforce

  • 2yrs Average age of people working in this sector in 2018
  • 70% Percentage of workers over the age of 40yrs in 2018
  • 352 Number of personal care assistants in 2022
  • 413 Number of registered nurses in 2022 [8].

Top 5 occupations – people employed in the sector 2022

  • Health Professionals 1,089
  • Carers & Aides 532
  • Health & Welfare Support Workers 184
  • Legal, Social & Welfare Professionals 147
  • Inquiry Clerks & Receptionists 104 [9].

(external link)The type of growth within the sector

Employment in the health care and social assistance workforce currently sits at 2,770 in 2023. It is predicted to grow to 2,976 by 2028 [10].


[1] Source: Our Tairawhiti 2021-2031 Long Term Plan - Gisborne District Council

[2] Source: Regional Economic Activity Tool

[3] Source: Infometrics

[4] Source: Ministry for the Environment - Manatū Mo Te Taiao

[5] Source: Jobs for Nature programme benefits report 2022

[6] Source: Jobs for Nature programme benefits report 2022

[7] Source: infometrics

[8] Source: Infometrics

[9] Source: Infometrics

[10] Source: Infometrics (The sector definition of Health Care and Social Assistance from the Infometrics website has been used)

Last updated: 04 July 2023