Masterton District Council's bid to create 500 new jobs in the district during the next 12 months has enjoyed a successful start, with employers registering 19 new positions across a range of industries.

The council has played its part, with the employment of Hoani Paku as Maori liaison adviser (Kaitakawaenga) and Nerissa Aramakutu as policy adviser Maori & General (Kaiwhakarite mahere).

Chief executive Pim Borren updated the giant lighthouse thermometer sign on the council office building on Friday, with help from Kate Jurlina, whose Smart Timers business has been responsible for filling two of the new jobs.

Vet Services practice manager and veterinarian Stuart Bruere:


"We've created a new retail manager's position whose role is to coordinate sales into the retail sector and we've also taken on someone to groom pets, which is a new area we're moving into. The third new position is an admin support role, which will help to support our office manager. Our total workforce is now 22 and we're looking to expand further in the future."

Sue Oliver of Diamond Age 3D Printers:

"We have moved three members of our r&d division to Masterton and that work can be done from anywhere. Once we decided to move out of Auckland, we got into the car and spent a month travelling around New Zealand looking and we felt Masterton was a town which was going to grow. There are also a lot of like-minded businesses here we can work with in the future and that's really important."

Lloyd Wilson, customer services manager of Technology Solutions:

"We've recently created two new positions to expand our team due to the increasing amount of work we're doing with websites and web app development. We've taken on Simon Diplock as web designer, and Hamish Wadham as web developer. Hamish has returned to Wairarapa from Australia, and Simon was formerly a Wellingtonian."

Steve Wilton, managing director of Forest Enterprises:

"We've taken on a marketing manager, which brings our total number of employees to 15 along with the contractor workforce we use which is several hundred. We have not been actively marketing for number of years because we haven't needed to, but now we are looking for new investors. Our business in the Wairarapa is growing substantially because of the harvesting we are engaged in. We've gone from zero tonnes per year to 300,000 tonnes per year locally."

Kate Jurlina of Smart Timers:


"I have companies come to me looking for specialist people and I match them up with the people on my books. A nationwide company approached me recently looking for two Wairarapa-based part-time positions and we've been able to fill those. The company I've been working with are in growth mode and were looking for people to represent Wairarapa in one of their divisions. I think things are looking great in the town and there's a really positive feel out there."

Adam Philps, owner of Masterton Foot Clinic:

"We've expanded from four to six employees and have seen our patient numbers increase by 20 per cent. We have employed a new podiatrist, who has come up from Blenheim and has taken on a full book of new patients. Also we've created a new role of a foot care assistant and she supports our podiatry team and offers a low-cost nail cutting service for patients. There's a really nice energy about the town at the moment and there's some great work going on to help build on that."

Tim Fairbrother of Rival Wealth:

"We've created two new part-time roles, 25 hours per week, but we expect them to grow. The first is an account manager on the general insurance side of things and we've also taken on an investment administrator. This takes our workforce from 12 to 14 and we are looking to create another position in September, which will take it to 15. In the last few months our business has been booming and we are now looking to expand around the lower North Island."

Thistle Building Company owner Simon Griffith:

"Our business is expanding due to an increased demand for top quality homes and extensions and we have employed two new apprentices. There's a positive vibe around the town and a lot of our clients in the past 12 months have relocated to Wairarapa to take advantage of the amazing lifestyle opportunities, at affordable prices. It's an exciting time in Wairarapa just now."