Search News & Media

Media releases

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.  

To date, the programme has successfully placed more than 4,000 people, mainly youth, into employment across the motu.

2 September 2022

MTFJ Celebration Animation

Made by LGNZ

An employment programme driven by local mayors has placed over 3000 people into jobs in rural and provincial New Zealand in just two years.  

The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) Community Recovery Programme began as a small COVID-19 recovery pilot in 2020.


Mitchell Boyce, an 18-year-old school leaver from Tararua College, gained an apprenticeship at Murray Judd Joinery in Woodville, with the support of MTFJ and MSD’s Community Recovery Programme. The programme also provided him with tools and helped him gain his restricted driver licence.

Kawerau rangatahi Iraia Nuku and Majean Rogers inspire others through video and mahi. Photo/Supplied 

Looking to youth to help other youth has paid off in Kawerau.  

Two rangatahi have demonstrated leadership in their community by raising awareness through videos and running vaccination clinics.

Kane Parker (left) who is thriving at Will Pilcher’s electrical business in Hokitika with the help of Mayors Taskforce for Jobs.

Mayors Taskforce for Jobs Rangitīkei coordinator James Towers, Ngaire-Ann Takimoana and her manager Gavin Zanders. Photo/Supplied

Veggie farming was the last thing on a Marton woman’s mind when she was unemployed and looking for work.

MTFJ’s national employment outcomes for youth and employers a ‘win-win’ with over 1,300 jobs foundThe Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) is celebrating a successful year having placed over 1300 youth and COVID displaced workers into sustainable employment in rural New Zealand as part of its Community Recovery Programme.



The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs and the Government have today signed a formal agreement to work in partnership together to get more young people into local jobs.

The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) AGM has provided a bright spot in a dark year, as dozens of mayors, councillors, young people, community and social groups gathered on Friday to celebrate the Taskforce’s success in cultivating hundreds of job opportunities across provincial New Zealand.

The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) is excited to launch a new pilot programme that will see four rural mayors linking vulnerable youth with employment opportunities in their regions.

A collaboration between the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), the MTFJ Community Recovery Programme has helped rural councils assist small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) with recruitment, training and subsidies, to help them take on young workers or those who have been displaced…


A workshop to be held in Wellington this month aims to grow one of New Zealand’s most successful mentorship programmes, which has paired dozens of young Māori in one-on-one partnerships with local mayors.

Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) Chair and Ōtorohanga Mayor Max Baxter has welcomed the Government’s Road to Zero Strategy saying he is pleased to see a proposed increase in driver training and licencing.

24 October 2019

Learn and earn graduates to be celebrated nationwide

Prime Minister Ardern congratulates vocational graduates

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is congratulating the best and brightest vocational students who are…

The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs holds the position that the existing graduated driver licencing system (GDLS) does not serve young people well.   Studies show that 70,000 - 90,000 young people are facing major barriers to progressing to a full licence.

Press Release:

A hui being held tomorrow will see the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) local and central government, iwi, business, industry, community and philanthropy explore how more people gain the benefits of a driver licence.

The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ), in partnership with Massey University and Connecting for Youth Employment – Central Hawke’s Bay (CYE), launched the Steering Aotearoa initiative in Waipukurau on Monday 2 May.

Throughout July 2015, the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ), supported by the Tindall Foundation delivered nine workshops throughout the country which focussed on boosting conversation around youth employment. The Workshops looked to explore, shape and strengthen the vital connection between young people leaving school and gaining employment.