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News & Media

Below you will find MTFJ’s media releases and news from the sector. 


News & Media

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.

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.

2 September 2022

MTFJ Celebration Animation

Made by LGNZ

2 September 2022

August 2022 Newsletter

Tēna koe!
We've had quite the month at MTFJ.

30 June 2022

June 2022 Newsletter

Tēna koe!
As we're rolling towards the end of our financial year, the MTFJ team have been focused on securing a new partnership contract with MSD to continue the great work in our rural and provincial communities.

1News visited the MTFJ programme in Gore to see how we work at the grass roots to find employment opportunities for locals and support businesses and job seekers to succeed.


For the first story in 1News’ Small Town Series, Maddy Lloyd visits Balclutha where there’s a drive on to attract young people to the area. Balclutha is South Otago's largest town with a population of just over 4000.

The majority of the Waikato placements under the taskforce programme were in understood to be in farming and forestry. Photo/Stuff

Waikato has topped the list in the latest figures for people placed in jobs under an employment programme driven by local mayors.

Photo by Mark Mitchell. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during her speech to the LGNZ conference in Palmerston North. 20 July 2022.