Priority One's latest Economic Monitor report showed advertised job numbers increased in September after levelling off in August.
The report showed 107 new jobs were added in the week ending September 14 across the Western Bay.
The number of people on Jobseeker Support or receiving the Covid-19 Income Relief Payment (CIRP) remained static for the Western Bay, with only 164 added in total for August across both Tauranga City and the Western Bay of Plenty.
The report said the numbers support intel that there were no reports of widespread redundancies, and the economy appears to be performing well overall, meaning people are remaining in their jobs.
The labour market has yet to display the collapse in employment that was initially feared when Covid-19 struck, the report said.
Air NZ at 80 per cent
Air New Zealand says it is operating at 80 per cent of its pre-Covid-19 levels during October.
From October 28, Air New Zealand will operate 33 return services on its Tauranga to Auckland route, 20 return services on its Tauranga to Christchurch route and 32 return services on its Tauranga to Wellington route.
For Rotorua, throughout October the airline will operate 11 return services per week on its Rotorua to Auckland route, 15 return services on its Rotorua to Christchurch route and 18 return services on its Rotorua to Wellington route.
Overall, this has the airline operating at 71 per cent of its pre-Covid-19 capacity.
While Air New Zealand services were suspended during the alert level 4 lockdown, services resumed initially on the Tauranga to Auckland route at level 3, with Tauranga among seven domestic airports operating services.
By June 1, Air New Zealand services had resumed on all three Tauranga routes: Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Services on its Rotorua to Wellington route resumed on May 18 and Rotorua to Auckland on May 25, with the Rotorua to Christchurch route resuming in early July.
Construction job issues
Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, New Zealand's construction employers still find it difficult to recruit certain skills for their projects.
According to findings in the recently released Hays Construction & NZIOB Salary Guide for 2020, 69 per cent of employers say it is "very difficult" or "hard" to recruit senior managers.
This is followed closely by project managers and construction managers (both 66 per cent), estimators (56 per cent), quantity surveyors (55 per cent), site managers (52 per cent) and project engineers (50 per cent).
Holiday parks popular with Kiwis
New Zealand holiday parks are proving popular with Kiwi travellers, with many
welcoming more visitors than at the same time last year.
Holiday Parks New Zealand (HPNZ) chief executive Fergus Brown said holiday parks were bucking the trend.
Accommodation Data Programme results for August show holiday parks recorded
358,700 guest nights, 11.1 per cent or 35,700 up on August 2019.
In comparison, hotel guest nights were down 47.2 per cent, motels were down 30.9 per cent and backpackers fell 53.4 per cent.
Brown said people who intended to get away for Christmas and the New Year should book early, especially if they wanted to stay in the traditional New Zealand summer hotspots.
"We are already seeing strong demand for the peak holiday period, so we recommend
that holidaymakers contact their preferred parks as soon as possible to avoid
Research funding secured
A team of University of Waikato researchers have secured $6 million funding over four years in the latest Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Endeavour Fund round.
Associate professor Māui Hudson, Professor Tahu Kukutai and Associate Professor Te Taka Keegan are leading Tikanga in Technology: Indigenous approaches to transforming data ecosystems.
It is a programme that aims to test Māori approaches to collective privacy, benefit and governance in a digital environment with a view to increase the benefits to Māori and reduce data harms.
The work will focus on how tikanga Māori (customary protocols) and mātauranga Māori
(indigenous knowledge) inform the construction of digital identities and create a better understanding of relational responsibilities to data.
The team of researchers will explore tools and processes that can help IT workers understand and incorporate indigenous perspectives when working on data sets, not only in terms of storage and data processing but also in the creation of algorithms that have the potential for bias.
The research team plans to make publicly available a range of tools, frameworks and principles that will promote ethical and equitable engagement, with data grounded in te ao Māori world-views.
The Tikanga in Technology programme is due to get under way in October 2020.
District council scores highly
The Western Bay of Plenty District Council has performed strongly through the Covid-19 pandemic and is forecast to maintain a strong comparative position among New Zealand local authorities.
The international credit rating agency S&P Global has released its annual report for the council – reaffirming the AA rating the council achieved last year and forecasting a positive economic forecast for the long term.
In its report released this week, S&P Global noted that despite its forecast for a large economic shock in New Zealand in 2021 due to the pandemic, it expected Western Bay to outperform is domestic peers due to its strong financial position, regional location and economic profile.
S&P Global noted that the council's AA rating is underpinned by "exceptional" liquidity and strong budgetary performance during the period of uncertainty caused by Covid-19.
"We believe (the council's) management remains committed to fiscal prudence, which supports its financial position, particularly its high liquidity coverage," stated the report.
Council's chief executive Miriam Taris says the rating is extremely heartening in the tough operating environment of Covid-19.
The region's largest industries of agriculture, horticulture, forestry and fishing were also noted by S&P Global as key strengths in the council's economic forecast – as is the development of the Rangiuru business park, which could create 4000 jobs through its construction phase.
Navigators to be employed
Korowai Aroha, a kaupapa Māori organisation, has been granted $191,000 by Rotorua Trust to employ two paearahi (navigators) to help reduce intergenerational family harm in Rotorua.
The over-arching NZ Police Rotorua Whānau Harm and Drug Harm Reduction Programme began in August and will soon have the addition of two new paearahi will help support more families in the community.
The programme works with high recidivist offenders using an all of whānau approach by addressing factors contributing to dysfunctional behaviour including alcohol and drug addiction and mental health conditions.
Korowai Aroha chef executive, Hariata Vercoe said Rotorua's family harm and drug harm statistics were alarmingly high and require a collective and alternative approach to reducing harm and breaking the cycle.
The programme addresses family harm through a co-ordinated, multi-agency, whole of whānau approach in three stages.
Rotorua Trust chairman, Stewart Edward, said addressing family harm was one of the Trust's core priorities and notes the whole whānau approach will have wide-reaching benefits in the community.
The two paearai roles will be advertised in the coming weeks.
Kia dealership built
A new multi-million dollar Kia dealership has been built in Mount Maunganui on the back of strong brand growth and 10 years of commitment from Tauranga Motor Company.
In moving over the bridge from its old site near Tauranga's city centre, the new home of Kia in the Bay of Plenty boasts more than twice as much space – growing from 3000sq m to 7500sq m – and more amenities for customers.
The impressive building has been designed to be highly visible on the corner of Hewletts Rd and Maru St, with the showroom, pushed right out to the front of the site, echoing international trends.
The customer-friendly design includes better access into the site and more room for vehicle turning, together with customer car park spaces that are wider than normal. That theme flows through into the showroom, where extra-high ceilings and bright, light surfaces amplify the feeling of spaciousness. There is now space to display more than 30 new vehicles inside – three times as many as before.
The service centre is contained under one roof instead of spread across several sites and incorporates a large grooming area. The servicing equipment is state-of the-art, including a drive-over brake and wheel alignment testing system that saves time.
Looking further ahead, the dealership has also been designed to accommodate an increase in demand for electric vehicles, including the provision of heavy-duty power facilities for rapid battery charging. This is an important aspect as Kia looks to expand its electrified options in the future following the incredible success of the Niro EV in this market. The technology to support these future vehicle requirements will be vital.
"We have experienced enormous growth in sales of Kia and we are not anticipating that growth slowing up any time soon – especially when the Kia range has been completely refreshed this year and more new models are being added in the coming months," managing director Mark Jury said.
Todd McDonald, managing director of Kia Motors New Zealand is full of praise for the Tauranga Kia dealership team and says they have been highly instrumental in helping the brand to achieve record growth.