The Government wants to create more job opportunities for young Maori and Pasifika people in Hawke's Bay as part of a new youth employment strategy.

Employment Minister Willie Jackson said the Government would tackle youth unemployment in the regions, as part of a broader employment strategy.

"Tackling youth unemployment is a priority for this Government, especially amongst young Maori and Pasifika.

"The crisis of entrenched unemployment is real for many rangatahi and their communities.


"We have to work harder to address this reality, because the demography of our nation is changing and rangatahi like these will be the future of our economy.

"That is why our initial support will focus on areas of greatest need, with disproportionate numbers of youth not in employment, education or training (NEETs), and where it will make the most difference: Te Tai Tokerau, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Tairawhiti and Hawke's Bay.

"Fundamental to this approach will be building a kete of tightly woven pastoral care around individuals. This reflects the hinaki model from te ao Māori – that is, weaving different strands together utilising local resources to build a net of tautoko that is hard to slip out of."

Across the four regions, more than 2000 NEETs were expected to be involved in the first tranche of the programme, which would cost $13.27 million.

A spokesperson for the minister said Mr Jackson would travel to Hawke's Bay for "face-to-face" meetings with the community, provider services, employers and potential participants to hear their hopes, aspirations and challenges before making a final determination about which initiatives in the respective regions were ready to be funded and how much funding would be allocated to them.

"He is very much of the mind that communities know what the solutions are that best address their needs. His role on behalf of the government is to assist communities to make this happen."