New horticultural officer appointed

COORDINATOR appointed: In response to industry concerns, a co-ordinator has been appointed to manage career pathways in the horticulture and viticulture industries here. The project was launched yesterday at Bushmere Estate, attended by (from left) Ruth Bound (deputy chief executive Ministry of Social Development), Social Development Minister Anne Tolley, newly-appointed Tairawhiti horticulture co-ordinator Rawhinia Parata, Minister of Immigration Michael Woodhouse, Annie Aranui (regional commissioner for the Ministry of Social Development), grower Tim Egan and Wayne Hall (operations manager Wi Pere Trust horticulture). Picture by Liam Clayton

GROWER concerns about the need for a co-ordinated approach to labour in the horticulture and viticulture industries in Gisborne have borne fruit with the appointment of a person to do that work.

The Tairawhiti Labour Governance Group made up of local horticultural industry leaders, the Ministry of Social Development and Horticulture NZ, has launched a project to that end.

It will promote careers and align jobseekers with the growing opportunities in the horticultural sector.

East Coast MP and Minister of Social Development Anne Tolley and Minister of Immigration Michael Woodhouse attended the launch in Gisborne yesterday.

Gisborne growers warned at a meeting to discuss the labour supply issue last October that it would become more of an issue here if it was not addressed.

They pointed to the need for a coordinated approach to labour management in the sector.

At that meeting Activate Tairawhiti indicated growth in horticulture and viticulture in this region would produce more than 1200 new jobs in the next three-to-five years.

“There is an overwhelming agreement from both local stakeholders and government that there needs to be significant and sustainable change to firstly bring employment opportunities, training and pathways to people,” said spokesman for the labour governance group Tim Egan.

“Secondly, to support a growing economic demand by the horticultural industry to have skilled employees available for work.”

Mr Egan said the group want people to see horticulture as a promising career choice and have pathways presented to them.

“The first and most positive step is the collaborative approach we have taken in partnering not just with government, but training providers, industry leaders, growers and iwi.

“We all benefit from addressing these issues and as our communities become more prosperous, our economic growth becomes more sustainable.”

Mr Egan said the employment of horticultural co-ordinator Rawinia Parata was a key milestone in the project.

“Coupled with funding from the Ministry of Social Development and industry, the project is being closely monitored and supported,” Mrs Tolley said.

“This project is funded to run for two years with key reporting timeframes to assess success, improvement and impact.”

Ms Parata said she was thrilled to be appointed as the Tairawhiti horticulture coordinator.

“There has been overwhelming support for not just the role but for the project.

“I see this role as being integral to the accessibility of horticultural opportunities in the region, not just for industry but for the people of the East Coast.”

Leaderbrand chief executive Richard Burke was at the launch.

“Growers welcome this move absolutely. It is a great step forward. “It’s about the government putting its money where its mouth is, and now it is up to the horticulture and viticulture industries to get behind it.”

GROWER concerns about the need for a co-ordinated approach to labour in the horticulture and viticulture industries in Gisborne have borne fruit with the appointment of a person to do that work.

The Tairawhiti Labour Governance Group made up of local horticultural industry leaders, the Ministry of Social Development and Horticulture NZ, has launched a project to that end.

It will promote careers and align jobseekers with the growing opportunities in the horticultural sector.

East Coast MP and Minister of Social Development Anne Tolley and Minister of Immigration Michael Woodhouse attended the launch in Gisborne yesterday.

Gisborne growers warned at a meeting to discuss the labour supply issue last October that it would become more of an issue here if it was not addressed.

They pointed to the need for a coordinated approach to labour management in the sector.

At that meeting Activate Tairawhiti indicated growth in horticulture and viticulture in this region would produce more than 1200 new jobs in the next three-to-five years.

“There is an overwhelming agreement from both local stakeholders and government that there needs to be significant and sustainable change to firstly bring employment opportunities, training and pathways to people,” said spokesman for the labour governance group Tim Egan.

“Secondly, to support a growing economic demand by the horticultural industry to have skilled employees available for work.”

Mr Egan said the group want people to see horticulture as a promising career choice and have pathways presented to them.

“The first and most positive step is the collaborative approach we have taken in partnering not just with government, but training providers, industry leaders, growers and iwi.

“We all benefit from addressing these issues and as our communities become more prosperous, our economic growth becomes more sustainable.”

Mr Egan said the employment of horticultural co-ordinator Rawinia Parata was a key milestone in the project.

“Coupled with funding from the Ministry of Social Development and industry, the project is being closely monitored and supported,” Mrs Tolley said.

“This project is funded to run for two years with key reporting timeframes to assess success, improvement and impact.”

Ms Parata said she was thrilled to be appointed as the Tairawhiti horticulture coordinator.

“There has been overwhelming support for not just the role but for the project.

“I see this role as being integral to the accessibility of horticultural opportunities in the region, not just for industry but for the people of the East Coast.”

Leaderbrand chief executive Richard Burke was at the launch.

“Growers welcome this move absolutely. It is a great step forward. “It’s about the government putting its money where its mouth is, and now it is up to the horticulture and viticulture industries to get behind it.”

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