Wairarapa councils unite for local employment

10 November 2023

A collaboration between Masterton, Carterton, and South Wairarapa District Council is set to transform Wairarapa’s employment landscape.

The three councils will join forces to introduce the Mayor's Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) Community Employment Programme, a nationwide partnership between Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) that has a strong focus on getting young people into sustainable employment.

Building off the success of the programme with Carterton and South Wairarapa Councils in previous years, Masterton’s inclusion in the MTFJ programme will see the region create more job options for young people.

Last year alone, there were 64 young people placed into sustainable employment in Carterton and 36 in South Wairarapa.

“Having all three councils working together to provide greater employment opportunities in our region will be of huge benefit, both individually and collectively,” says Mayor Gary Caffell of Masterton District Council.

“The success of the MTFJ Community Employment Programme clearly demonstrates what can be achieved in our communities when central and local government work in partnership,” he says.

During the 2022-23 year, 1706 people around the country benefited from the MTFJ Community Employment Programme, surpassing the target of 1,450 employment outcomes.

“The programme gives our councils the power and funding to address the challenges in our rohe with tailored solutions, highlighting the magic of a locally-led approach,” explains Carterton Mayor Ron Mark.

“Carterton District Council has experienced enormous benefit from the MTFJ programme in the district over the past few years as one of the pilot regions.  We anticipate great things with the inclusion of all our region’s councils and taking a united approach.”

South Wairarapa Mayor Martin Connelly says it made sense for Wairarapa to focus on the needs of young people across the region, rather than get hung up about local boundaries.

“We know people in our region already travel regularly between districts for work.

By teaming up, we're giving the next generation more options and increasing the chances they'll be satisfied at work. When this happens, people are more likely to lay down roots in the Wairarapa--and that's good for all of us,” he explained.

In May 2023, the MTFJ Community Employment Programme achieved a significant milestone, placing over 5,000 predominantly young people into work across rural and provincial Aotearoa since its inception in early 2020.

About Mayors Taskforce for Jobs 

MTFJ is a movement of mayors around Aotearoa who advocate for a bottom-up approach to employment solutions to deliver the Community Employment Programme (CEP) along with broader initiatives. In particular, CEP is a nationwide partnership between Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) that’s delivering great outcomes in our rural and provincial communities. It’s championed by mayors who are working together towards the vision of all young people 16-25 engaged in employment, education, or training in their communities.

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