Employment Minister Willie Jackson was in Northland last week to announce funding of $1.3 million to help get young Northlanders into employment.

This includes an investment of more than $400,000 by He Poutama Rangatahi, a government programme that supports rangatahi at risk of long-term unemployment.

The money will be used to deliver the Eco Toa initiative, a five-month intensive programme that will train South Hokianga and Kaikohe rangatahi who are not in employment, education or training (NEET), in pest control, weed eradication, riparian planting and silviculture.

Next day Jackson announced funding of $880,000 over two and a half years for Whangarei Youth Space's Start programme, designed to get young people into jobs with a focus on involving whanau.


Northland Inc welcomed the announcements, Jude Thompson saying supporting the development and roll-out of He Poutama Rangatahi was a key element of the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan, which brought into focus a group of projects that together were contributing to the transformation of Northland's economy.

"This funding will help achieve some great outcomes for our rangatahi. Both projects are examples of place-based initiatives where communities have identified their needs but required a helping hand to achieve their goals — Tai Tokerau solutions for Tai Tokerau challenges."