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Jobs Relief for Locals as Targeted Employment Programmes launch in Central Hawke’s Bay

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Central Hawke’s Bay employees and employers are set to receive additional support, through two Employment Programmes initiated by the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, designed to redeploy locals impacted by COVID-19 and the prolonged drought.
Central Hawke’s Bay is experiencing the effects of the twin blows of COVID-19 and the drought that is plaguing the District.  Nearly 1% of the District's population – over 120 people, have sought employment support since March, and while business confidence since reopening from the COVID-19 lockdown has been cautiously optimistic, preparing for the long-term economic and social impacts of both events is a major focus of the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council.
In response, Council has initiated two employment programmes with the support of Government Agencies, that form part of the wider Economic Recovery Action Plan, which the Council adopted in late April. 
In a joint partnership between Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) and the Ministry of Social Development, Central Hawke’s Bay was selected as one of four Districts for a $100,000 pilot programme to create unique employment outcomes by acting as a connector between Employees, Employers and Government Agencies.  The ‘Jobs in Central Hawke’s Bay’ project will focus on creating new employment opportunities for youth in particular through innovative new programmes, as well as supporting the establishment of employment hubs temporarily made available in Waipukurau, Waipawa, Porangahau and Takapau, and a number of other initiatives to create employment.
“The Jobs in Central Hawke’s Bay Employment programme has been created for locals, by locals, and means that we’ll be able to remove those barriers for small businesses who have the resource and desire to employ our local youth, but who need a little support in making it happen,” says Alex Walker, Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay.
“Not only that, but through it we have the opportunity to link in with our existing networked approach to Youth Development which will give our schools and community groups more tools to help them improve job outcomes.”
A second programme focussing on the rapid response employment of workers, comes after the May announcement that the District was successful in securing $2 million for vegetation management in roading corridors and on public assets such as parks and reserves. An initial group of 12 employees have commenced work on the project, with a further 24 employees expected to be redeployed by Council at the end of June.  The project forms part of a wider initiative set out by the Beehive that will redistribute $36.72 million to projects in regions hit hard economically by COVID-19, including Hawke’s Bay which has been allocated $15.24 million in total.  
Both programmes seek to swiftly assist employees and employers through innovative local community employment support, that cannot be provided through normal Central Government agency organisations.
“We know that many of our local people are feeling financial strain caused by the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and the drought,” says Monique Davidson, Chief Executive of Central Hawke’s Bay District Council.
“Through the employment programmes, Council are working with our community partners, employers and job seekers to accelerate the government funding which is available to deploy people into jobs, ensuring those who need it most are supported in their journey into re-employment.”
“There is a huge appetite for meaningful employment opportunity in Central Hawke’s Bay. There are already some excellent local community initiatives in place which are designed to get our people back into the workforce, including the ‘Jobs in Central Hawke’s Bay’ Facebook page which now has over 600 members actively advertising or seeking work in the District.” says Ms Davidson.
“As we continue into the recovery phase of COVID-19 and drought, supporting Central Hawke’s Bay’s workforce is of the utmost priority, to ensure we all come through this unprecedented time together,” says Mayor Walker.
“If you are an employer or employee who requires assistance, there is help available to you, so please ask.”

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council encourage those who require assistance or want to know more information to utilise the following resources:

  • If you are an employee looking for work following a job loss due to COVID-19 or drought, please register with the Ministry of Social Development at
  • If you are an employer with a position available, you can advertise that job for free with the Ministry of Social Development by calling 0800 778 008 or visiting
  • You can visit one of our Employment Hubs located in Waipukurau at Te Taiwhenua O Tamatea Kitchener St, Waipawa at Waipawa Library, Takapau at Takapau RSA, Charlotte St (3.30-5pm Mon & Thurs) or Porangahau at 11 Keppel Street (3.30-5.30pm Tues & Thurs). Alternatively watch out for our Big Blue Mobile Employment Hub Caravan which will be out and about in each of these locations.
  • Businesses and individuals can also contact our Mayors Taskforce for Jobs Coordinator on email or phone or text 027 2063 020. They will work with you on an individual basis to explore and identify suitable options for you.

26 August 2020

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