Local insights report: November 2023

Taranaki Regional Skills Leadership Group (RSLG) local insights report for November 2023.

Top regional insights

NZQA-approved programmes that blend Te Ao Māori and digital technologies

Te Papatipu Matihiko are now delivering NZQA-approved programmes that blend Te Ao Māori and digital technologies. The courses enable ākonga (students) in Taranaki secondary schools to explore pathways into digital and creative technology through a mātauranga Māori lens and staircase them into further accredited programmes. According to Venture Taranaki, IT roles are in high demand in Taranaki, with 250 jobs predicted to be created in the sector from 2021-2030. Te Papatipu Matihiko are looking to develop additional qualifications for delivery in 2025, including a range of digital and creative tech micro credentials from levels 1 to 4.

Offshore Wind Capability Mapping Study

Offshore Wind Capability Mapping Study highlights offshore wind development and job opportunities. Released by the Taranaki Offshore Partnership, this study highlights opportunities for offshore wind development in New Zealand, including 3 offshore wind projects proposed for the South Taranaki Bight.

Offshore wind industry capability mapping study [PDF, 2.2MB](external link) — Concept consulting

The study identifies job opportunities that will be required in each phase of development, including planning, building and operations/maintenance phases through to decommissioning. There remains a significant opportunity for kaimahi (workers) currently employed in the Energy Sector in Taranaki to transition to offshore wind opportunities. The study highlights the transferability of 85% of roles and the Energy Resources Aotearoa report (developed in partnership with the Taranaki RSLG) identifies approximately 90% transferability.

Recognition and transferability of existing skills is a key consideration for the RSLG in their Regional Workforce Plan focus on the Energy sector. A supplementary Offshore Wind Jobs Guide was also released.

Building energy's talent pipeline [PDF, 4.9MB](external link) — Energy Resources Aotearoa

Offshore Wind Jobs Guide [PDF, 668KB](external link) — taranakioffshorewind.co.nz

Amid a shortage of highly skilled workers in the rohe, the Jobs Guide provides a clear understanding of the projected skill needs for this project. Additionally, the South Taranaki Offshore Wind Project, which is currently at feasibility stage by BlueFloat Energy and Elemental Group offshore wind energy partnership, also seeks to explore partnering locally to build inhouse capability and capacity.

South Taranaki Offshore Wind Project(external link) — BlueFloat energy 

Offshore Wind Industry Capability Mapping Study

Key facts and figures from the Offshore Wind Study

  • 27 different roles have been identified, including wind turbine technician, rope access technician, and marine coordinator.
  • 85% of occupational roles in the oil and gas industry have a skills overlap with Offshore Wind.
  • 190 Jobs would be created under a 1,000MW* scenario.
    • *1,000MW refers to a scenario that uses 60-70 wind turbines yielding 1,000 megawatts of energy capacity.
  • 320 Jobs would be created under a 2,000MW* scenario.
    • *2,000MW refers to a scenario that uses 120-140 wind turbines yielding 2,000 megawatts of energy capacity

The Offshore Wind Industry Capability Mapping study and the supplementary Offshore Wind Jobs Guide seeks to address the following questions:

  1. What activities are needed to plan, build and operate an offshore wind farm?
  2. What capabilities exist in New Zealand to undertake the activities?

Offshore wind industry capability mapping study [PDF, 2.2MB](external link) — Concept consulting

Offshore Wind Jobs Guide [PDF, 668KB](external link) — taranakioffshorewind.co.nz

Source: Offshore wind capability study(external link) — NZSF & CIP

Regional activities

Te Matatini festival to boost hospo and retail sectors

Hospitality and retail sectors to benefit from Te Matatini festival in Taranaki in 2025. Businesses are being advised to prepare for a large influx of people projected to attend the next Te Matatini festival at the Bowl of Brooklands in Pukekura Park. The festival will run from 25 February to 1 March 2025 and is expected to inject up to $20 million into the region’s economy. Sectors which are already facing staffing shortages, such as hospitality and retail, are advised to prepare for the substantial increase in demand over this period.

Labour market to strengthen as dairy commodity prices rebound

Dairy commodity prices have rebounded strongly over the last quarter, mostly due to increased demand from South-East Asia. The revised pay-out estimate means that a majority of dairy farmers will now be at or above their break-even point. This rebound is hugely positive as Taranaki's agriculture sector is both a large regional employer and producer. The previously forecasted downturn was going to have flow on impacts that reached far into other parts of the labour market that rely directly and indirectly on this sector. These other parts of the labour market will now benefit from the rebound.

Restructuring and redundancies

Businesses are facing increased financial pressure resulting in restructuring and redundancies. Several organisations across Taranaki are undergoing restructuring, with many facing sustained financial pressures driven by inflation, wage increases and increased interest rates. New Plymouth District Council have undergone significant restructuring that has seen more than half of their executive leadership team being made redundant. The uncertainty that many kaimahi (workers) are facing with restructuring and the continued inflationary pressure that is affecting our community in the short to medium-term remains a concern. 

RSLG spotlight on success

‘Building Wellness Taranaki’ supports mental health in the construction workforce

The Taranaki RSLG have partnered with Building Wellness Taranaki to improve the wellbeing of construction kaimahi as part of our Regional Workforce Plan 2023.

Building Wellness Taranaki (BWT) is a locally and industry-led charitable trust established to improve the culture of the construction sector to enhance wellbeing outcomes of industry and its people. BWT achieves this through the delivery of wellbeing promotion and suicide prevention initiatives that are tailored to the needs of kaimahi and leadership teams, based on research and evidence-based practice.

Since April 2023, BWT has conducted onsite induction Toolbox Talks to 430 workers across Taranaki construction worksites. These toolbox talks aim to foster open conversations about mental health, raise awareness of common mental health challenges in the construction industry, and provide guidance on recognising signs of mental distress. The efforts have led to a significant increase in awareness levels, with 11% of attendees on average requesting follow-up support and 30% actively pursuing further training through the Level 1 Buddy or Leading Wellbeing Workshop.

Toolbox Talks(external link) — Building Wellness

Level 1 Buddy(external link) — Building Wellness

Leading Wellbeing Workshop(external link) — Building Wellness

BWT have initiated the Mentor Mates programme in response to the heightened risk of mental health issues among Taranaki's construction business owners.

Mentor Mates programme(external link) — Building Wellness

The program is co-facilitated by Clinical Psychologist Matthew Manderson. This industry-driven mentorship initiative, with a strong emphasis on wellbeing, pairs experienced BWT Mentors with owner-operators, sole traders, and small business owners to provide holistic guidance and support. These mentors, drawn from the local industry, share their knowledge, skills, and experiences to empower fellow business owners to regain their footing and thrive. To further enhance the support and guidance provided through the Mentor Mates initiative and workshops, BWT have introduced "Sharpen your Tools" sessions. These sessions provide an ongoing platform for connection, support, and sharing of practical tools to promote personal and workplace wellbeing within the BWT whānau.

For more information or to join as a member of BWT, please visit:

Building Wellness website(external link)

or contact Christina Lorth:

Advice to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)

Plan guidance for 2025

The Taranaki RSLG recently submitted advice to the Tertiary Education Commission to inform their plan guidance for 2025. Note that advice on provision for the 2024 academic year was provided in April 2023.

The advice identifies critical skill needs and provides information on the level of tertiary education needed to meet that demand. It looks at occupations, skills and relevant qualifications and credentials that could be delivered in Taranaki to meet future labour market demand.

Focus areas

In alignment with the Regional Workforce Plans the Taranaki RSLG has published to date, the advice relates to our focus areas:

  • Energy, Food Fibre and Whenua
  • Kaiāwhina Health Workforce
  • Hauora and Wellbeing in Construction.

The advice also identifies areas of opportunity and growth for Taranaki, such as offshore wind farming and video game development.

Stakeholder engagement 

The advice was developed through extensive stakeholder engagement with local actors, including tertiary providers, employers, kaimahi (workers), and is supplemented by quantitative labour market statistics and projections.

The Taranaki RSLG would like to extend a massive thank you to all those who contributed and helped inform the advice.

Prepared by the regionally led Taranaki Regional Skills Leadership Group.

For further information, contact: TaranakiRSLG@mbie.govt.nz

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Last updated: 05 December 2023