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Prime Minister praises the work of MTFJ in Central Hawke’s Bay

Prime Minister praises the work of MTFJ in Central Hawke’s Bay

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, today was visiting Central Hawke’s Bay District Council to celebrate the success of the council’s achievements through the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (MTFJ) and to meet some of the local youth who have found employment under the programme.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “I’ve met people today whose lives have truly been changed by employment opportunities made possible by the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs programme.  This is a fantastic example of what can be achieved through strong place-based local government leadership.”

The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs Community Recovery Programme is a partnership with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) and 23 rural councils throughout the country, which has seen strong results for young people and local economies. 

Central Hawke’s Bay District Council have supported over 65, mostly young people and COVID-19 displaced workers into sustainable employment pathways since the partnership began in July 2020.  A key contributor to their local successes, was the creation of their very own, mobile employment hub.  The mobile employment hub makes its way around the community and is an accessible platform for job seekers to find tailored support for job pathways with the help of local MTFJ coordinators.

Mayor Alex Walker and Chief Executive Monique Davidson hosted the Prime Minister on her visit to the district where she met the local Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs team, visited their mobile employment hub and met several local people who they had helped into employment.  

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern commended Central Hawke’s Bay District Council today for the critical role it had in facilitating employment opportunities through the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs, and demonstrating a strong ‘place-based’ approach as part of its Covid response and recovery.  

Mayor of Central Hawke’s bay, Alex Walker said, “It was wonderful to welcome the Prime Minister into our community today; to meet our people, and demonstrate how we’re using government funding and partnerships to support the wellbeing and livelihood of our communities.”

Chair of MTFJ, Mayor Max Baxter said “It’s fantastic to see the Prime Minister experiencing first-hand the impact the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs is having in Central Hawke’s Bay.  Central Hawke’s Bay District Council is one of 23 other rural councils who are leading the charge by linking youth with jobs, thanks to MSD funding.  This is what the MTFJ is all about.”

“The partnership with MSD is achieving results that no organisation or agency could have achieved on their own, when we support young people to find meaningful employment or training pathways, we all benefit,” says MTFJ National Coordinator, Noa Woolloff.

“With the support of all 23 rural councils engaged in the partnership, over 975 employment outcomes have been achieved for young people and COVID-19 displaced workers, with the largest sector of placements being in agriculture,” 

As part of the Council’s Covid recovery programme they also secured just over $3.5 million from the government’s rapid redeployment fund to support shovel ready projects across the district. This partnership investment created a further 110 employment opportunities for people who would have otherwise been displaced by Covid.

 “Community is everything – it’s our sense of place and identity. Despite the obvious challenge we face with wastewater infrastructure, that is forcing us to pour every spare dollar into it, we have shown that community-based partnerships and innovative leadership can deliver great outcomes for a small rural area. I see a bright future for local government if partnerships like this can be embraced across the country.”

The Prime Minister completed her visit at the Waipawa Municipal Theatre where she greeted Central Hawke’s Bay District Council staff and councillors and thanked them for their continued and sustained efforts in delivering social and economic outcomes for the community of Central Hawke’s Bay.


  • Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs: The ‘Jobs in Central Hawke’s Bay Project’, funded through Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs, has worked with 461 people since June 2020 - 182 of these people have gained employment through MTFJ and other council projects, of which, 118 are covid displaced or youth. 
  • If you wish to get in touch with one of the locals who has been successful in finding employment under the programme, please get in touch with MTFJ National Coordinator, Noa Woolloff.  e: