by vivian Hutchinson

vivian Hutchinson is the Community Adviser to the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs. He is also the editor of The Jobs Letter and a trustee of The Jobs Research Trust. This paper is based on his opening remarks to the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs “Sharing Great Ideas – Sharing Good Practice” Forum held in New Plymouth, Taranaki on 21-22 April 2004.

“ A local commitment to all our young people ... will require cultural and paradigm shifts in many of our community institutions and systems ... central and local government to work together ... and focused and collaborate partnerships at the local level involving schools, industry, business, government and non-government agencies, communities, young people and their families...”

— taken from “A Local Commitment to All Our Young People” signed in Waitara, Taranaki on 21st November 2003 by representatives of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, the New Plymouth District Council, the Ministry of Social Development, Te Puni Kokiri, Child Youth and Family, the Tertiary Education Commission, Taranaki Employment Support Foundation and the Waitara High School.


It is also my pleasure to be able to welcome you all here to Taranaki. After nearly five years working with this Taskforce, and having had the opportunity to visit many member Mayors, councils and community groups around the country ... it is great to finally welcome you to a Mayors Taskforce for Jobs Forum in my own backyard.

I am told that this may be one of the largest gatherings of New Zealand Mayors ever held in this province. It is certainly the biggest meeting that this Taskforce has held outside of the main centers. So ... thank you for taking the time to come, and for bringing with you your local teams and advisers. It’s going to be a very interesting couple of days.

Taranaki is a pretty pragmatic place. Employment has always been an important issue for community leaders and community groups in this province. We know that our communities are based on livelihood … our communities are based on our collective abilities to support ourselves and our families.

Since the middle of the 1970s, like the rest of the country, Taranaki has had significant unemployment problems and, like every other community represented in this forum, we have also seen all the social problems that come packaged with poverty, and with people struggling to support themselves.

We’re actually doing really well on employment issues at the moment … I’ll talk more about that soon ... but our concerns about jobs have continued — particularly when we look at our young people under 25 years who make up half the unemployed and don’t seem to be picking up the opportunities emerging in our growing economy.

I am involved in this employment work because I don’t want to see any young person in Taranaki growing up in a community that has no use for them.

I want to live in a Taranaki and a country that does well ... but also a Taranaki and a country that makes sure that when it does well, it also makes sure that no-one is left behind.

I have been working on these issues since the time that I, myself, was a young person. I started working on employment issues as a young journalist in Auckland in the mid-1970s at the age of 21. When I returned home to Taranaki in the late 1970s, I joined the Salvation Army’s efforts to create work schemes.

I am proud to report that Taranaki community groups have been at the forefront of every major initiative concerning employment and enterprise development over the last two and a half decades.

We helped fight for training programmes for the unemployed to be established in the early 1980s. We set up the Taranaki Work Trust which was, at the time, a leading community training provider and employment resource centre which fostered all sorts of innovations.

We started the first Skills of Enterprise initiatives which later went on to become the national Be Your Own Boss programme. We started one of the first Enterprise Centers in the country and encouraged our local government to get involved in enterprise development.

There have been a great many people in Taranaki who have been supporting local unemployed people and their families over the last twenty-five years — either as volunteers in community groups, or working for private training providers and government agencies. And collectively, these people have had a tremendous effect.

There won’t be many streets in our province where someone hasn’t taken advantage of the support of a government agency to make ends meet, or sought employment advice from Work and Income or a community organisation ... or have learned important job skills on a training programme, or sought advice from a local business adviser, or found themselves a good job as a result of all these efforts. The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs has been a “shot in the arm” to our sense of where we are going with all this local work.

The Taskforce was established at the end of the 1990s, a decade which was actually a tough time for many community groups and public servants. Government departments were constantly being re-organised. Most community organisations had to redefine themselves as contractors ... and there were the inevitable funding struggles and burn-out issues.

But the tough times in the 1990s went deeper … there was a dispiriting sense in our work that we were struggling to make headway on the overall problem of unemployment. Many social services started to feel an anguish and a loss of hope that they could indeed make a difference on these critical issues in our communities.

These feelings led to many of us to take part in the Anglican Hikoi of Hope in the spring of 1998 ... which was something of a cry for help, and a sign of those times.

We can look back now and see that, in 1998, the economy started to turn around ... in 1999, a Labour coalition government was elected and it started to play a greater role in promoting employment ... and in 2000, the Mayors Taskforce was launched, and picked up earlier political initiatives on employment, and said they were going to carry this important work forward.

In doing so, the Mayors Taskforce has not only been a “shot in the arm” to community initiatives ... it has led to something of a revolution in the nature of local government.

This revolution can be seen not only in the numbers of Mayors that have become members and have seen the real benefits of membership ... although that in itself has been remarkable! (We now have 62 members, or 83% of all Mayors in the country — the first time that so many Mayors have come together on what is essentially a social issue.)

But I would observe that something deeper has taken place.

For twenty-five years I have been knocking on the doors of Mayors and local government leaders to see what they could do to help on employment issues.

Until only a few years ago, the message I got from most Mayors around the country was pretty much the same. They would tell me: “We love what you are doing ... but employment is just not our business.”

The Mayors were justifiably cautious about getting involved in what they saw as a social issue ... and they were suspicious that the government would just leave them to it.

But in the last few months I’ve been part of the team that has visited all the Taskforce members around the country. And I’ve have been heartened by the changes.

Mayors now meet me at their door and say: “Oh, we’re not really doing very much here...” ... and then spend the next hour telling me about all the things they are actually up to!

You’ll appreciate that, for me, this feels like something of a revolution ... because it represents a fundamental change in how we are addressing employment issues.


The Mayors Taskforce has perfectly anticipated the changes in local government legislation which is now requiring local authorities to produce long-term community plans for their districts.

How we face the challenges of youth employment will have a long-term impact. It will be a major factor in shaping the face and nature of our communities over the next 25 years.

We all exist within a global economy now ... and our cleverest young people already know that they can operate in a global job market. This global job market is changing the nature of our communities more profoundly than most people realise.

The OECD tells us that, over the next 25 years, there will be 70 million people retiring from the workforce in the OECD countries. They will be replaced by only five million people. The working age population will therefore drop by 65 million people.

This is going to happen at the same time that every one of these OECD countries is expecting and planning for a growing economy in order to maintain the lifestyles to which they have become accustomed.

Now this is a megatrend that everyone in positions of governance needs to take notice of. To get a sense of its significance you only need to compare these figures with what happened over the last 25 years when only 45 million people retired from the OECD workforce, and were replaced by 120 million people.

We are already seeing the effects of this trend as our own young skilled professionals — from teachers, to doctors, to tradespeople like carpenters and plumbers and electricians — head off overseas to take jobs that are offering better salaries and conditions and opportunities for advancement that we just can’t match here in New Zealand.

It’s no new thing — it’s been happening for some years. But this trend is going to escalate and it will cut a very precise swathe through the local skilled workforce in every one of your communities.

Whether you are New Plymouth or Dargaville or Balclutha, your most talented young people — the best investments you have already made in your own future development — will have every incentive to leave and chase better opportunities somewhere else.

The challenge here to Mayors, local councils and local communities is to ask yourself how much of your long term planning is being defined by — and will be in service to — those who are left behind.

Sure, we can do all we can to attract our share of the elite 20-30% of the working population who know their skills will be in demand anywhere. We can certainly promote the lifestyle benefits of living and raising a family in places like New Plymouth, Dargaville or Balclutha.

But we are also going to have to ask: Are we doing the best job now in raising all our young people to participate and make a life for themselves amidst the new realities?

Are we doing the best job now to let these young people know we are certainly going to need them? Are we giving them a sense of belonging ... a sense of connection to the rest of us ... as well giving them access to the real opportunities they will need as they make homes and families in our future communities?


One thing we have re-learned in the work of the Mayors Taskforce is to appreciate again the fact that youth employment is a social purpose.

It always was.

But somewhere along the way the leadership of this country abandoned many of the support structures we had in place in the 1950s and 1960s — things like apprenticeships and cadetships and all the training that took place in the public sector — which were part of expressing this social purpose.

We just can’t leave it to the market and the business sector to come up with all the opportunities and support structures that are needed to help young people make the transition from school to work. You can appreciate the business point of view: getting a young person into employment is something that you cannot necessarily expect to see a direct return from in the next quarter, or even in the next year.

Because youth employment is really a social purpose ... it is up to our culture to invest in it. The public and community sector have to get in alongside business and work together to make it happen. We used to know this. This is how we addressed these important issues in the not-to-distant past ... and this is also how we are remembering to do it again.


I’ve already mentioned that this is a good time to be working on these issues. Things started to turn around in the middle of 1998 when the numbers of people in employment started to improve again.

Since June 1998 we have had 218,000 new jobs created, and the majority of them have been full-time.

The effect has been dramatic in places like here in Taranaki where nearly one in five jobs in the province have been created in the last six years! This is certainly good news ... and also an indication of the volatility of our local job market.

When you strip back the figures on a national level and start to look at who is getting the new jobs ... then you do start to see that a significant number of young people are still being left behind. You start to see why — in this time of good economic growth — so many Mayors throughout this country are still very concerned about employment issues and skill shortages.

The Jobs Letter has been following the figures for a couple of years now ... and we publish regular updates on our website.

The latest statistics show us that despite young people under the age of 25 making up about 40% of the unemployed, this age group has only taken up 17% of the new jobs since June 1998. Most people will be surprised to learn that two thirds of the new jobs have gone to people aged 45 years and over.

Basically, you can see that the big winners of the best job creation that we’ve had in a generation can be found in my own age group and above.

This does say something about business. It looks as though business leaders are going for the easiest and most immediate staffing solutions. They are preferring to employ the older workers who come with their skill levels and work attitudes fully in place. Or they are happy to “buy them in” from a global labour market ... rather than taking the slower and more difficult option of growing the skills at home.

These figures also say something about our culture. We are clearly not doing the best job we can in for young people in getting the transition right between our education system and emerging opportunities for good paid work that are there in the present economy.


It was all very well to raise the age at which people can get the dole to 18 years ... but all these years later, we now find we have this huge hole that occurs between the age of 15 and 17 ... a hole into which a significant number of our young school-leavers just disappear.

This is the situation: All young people under 16 are required to be in school. But once a young person is no longer required to be in school, and is no longer enrolled, and legal accountability for them ceases to exist.

Some young people ask for exemptions to leave school before they turn 16, on the condition that they are enrolled in another form of education or have confirmed employment. But neither schools nor the Ministry of Education are accountable for ensuring the school leaver actually undertakes another form of education or employment after being granted an exemption.

Because the majority of school leavers between the age of 15 –17 years are ineligible for social assistance, only a small minority of them are registered with Work and Income. It is not Winz’s job to be proactive about identifying and delivering services to this group of 15–17 year-olds.

So there’s the hole: From age 15, 16 and 17 years no government agency is charged with staying in connection with these young people. It’s a systemic problem.

We are talking here about three years. That’s three years when all sorts of things can and do happen to those young people — the fact is we just don’t really know if they are not doing well until they they turn at age 18 and roll on up to Winz and ask for the dole.

Now remember: these are the very same young people who are going to become so valuable to your communities in the next twenty-five years ... as greater numbers of people begin to retire. We just can’t leave them behind. All the academic studies continue to tell us that these are critical years when we should be investing in these young people with the skills and work habits that will be needed in our growing economy.

How many young people are we talking about here? Recent research by the Ministry of Social Development says they can’t be precise ... but they estimate that 10-15% of all 15-19 year olds are “inactive” or not in full or part time work, education or training. They guess that over half of all “inactive” 15–19 year-olds are between 15–17 years of age, which, in itself, is equivalent to up to 20,000 “inactive” 15–17 year-olds.

This means that for this whole age group, of 15-19 years, we could be already looking at between 20,000 and 40,000 young New Zealanders who are not in full or part time work, education or training!

Mayors have been pointing to this problem ever since the Taskforce for Jobs started. These are not just statistics. Mayors see these young people in their own communities. They often know their names. And Mayors have been asking that we somehow create a way to keep in touch with the destinations and aspirations of this large group of young New Zealanders.

We hope that addressing this situation will soon become a priority when the government announces its plans for what is expected to be a whole new Transitions Service. The Taskforce has been involved in consultation over the shape of such a Service. And many of the Mayoral projects which you will hear about in this forum today have been studied by the Ministry of Social Development, as they draw up their plans for a new approach.

We may hear more on this when the government department heads speak to this forum tomorrow.


Taranaki’s involvement with the Mayors Taskforce started under the long-serving New Plymouth Mayor, Claire Stewart, who had a background in community organisations and used to be one of the trustees of the Taranaki Work Trust. Claire joined the original core group of the Taskforce when it was launched in April 2000.

When Peter Tennent became Mayor in 2001, he came to the Christchurch national Taskforce meeting ... checked it out for himself ... and then started to make his own unique commitment and contribution to being a member. As a local business leader, Peter didn’t have same background in social services as his predecessor ... but he did bring his business brain to these cultural goals ... and he’s been great at asking very pragmatic questions.

Peter Tennent brought a group of us around his Mayoral table — some of his Council staff, other people like councillor Elaine Gill who heads up the Taranaki Employment Support Foundation, and Gloria Campbell the Work and Income Regional Commissioner.

In fact, many of the Taranaki initiatives you will hear about today started out as responses to questions we were asking ourselves around that table. And these questions have led to real action ...

Question: How does the Mayor ensure that the Council is completely behind these initiatives?

This led Mayor Tennent to getting the Mayors Taskforce goals written into the New Plymouth District Council’s strategic plan. And this strategy has given full permission and authority for council staff to spend their time on developing and supporting the youth employment initiatives.

Question: How do we make use of the huge potential within local community groups and not-for-profit organisations to support and help train young unemployed people?

This led to the very successful Youthworks programme, which had started with the support of Mayor Claire Stewart and the important backing by Work and Income. This programme has helped dozens of young people get work experience and training by being involved with people and groups dedicated to community service.

Question: Is the Council itself demonstrating good employment policies for young people, and developing the next generation of its own staffing needs?

This led to the Council setting up its very successful cadetship programme with fourteen young people being employed throughout council departments. It also led to the Council establishing scholarships for three young people who are studying in areas where local government is experiencing skill shortages. And the Council is hoping to take on more apprenticeships in its own work areas.

Questions: If local authorities and local communities were made completely responsible for the positive employment and training outcomes of all young people under 25 in their area ... how would they design the task?

How do we stay better connected to our young people until they have developed a positive pathway to their future?

What is the best practice already happening around the world in this area?

... These questions have led us to investigate all sorts of things happening overseas, as well as reading some of the good research being undertaken by the Ministry of Social Development here in New Zealand. We supported Elaine Gill in travelling to Britain to see what they are doing there with their transition to work programmes.

We drew up our own design for a Connections programme which is currently being piloted in Waitara ... and we are exploring all sorts of interesting things like a Community Case Management model where all the different agencies are being challenged to work better together in the individual interests of each young person.

Question: How do we really get all the “usual suspects” — the Council, the government agencies, the local community groups and training providers — to work better together?

This continues to be the hardest job. In the case of the Connections initiative, all the main agencies have started by coming together on the one governance group which is steering the initiative.

And one of the things we have achieved has been to sign up our own Youth Charter. This is part of a grand vision behind the Connections project that every young school leaver in Taranaki should leave with a clear transition plan and be connected to and supported by mentors who will to help make their plan happen.

The Youth Charter is a statement of the commitment that local agencies are going to make to young people in Taranaki. It was signed at the Waitara High School and Mayor Tennent formally launched it in front of an assembly of high school pupils.

Of course our immediate answers to all these questions are not all completely “good news stories”. We are not going to pretend that they are. They are works-in-progress. They are just our first versions ... as we build our own wisdom and effectiveness in getting on with these tasks.

We’ve still got so much to learn. That’s really why we put our hands up to host a forum such as this.

It’s not just the young people and the unemployed who are being asked to upskill themselves at this time. We are all being challenged to “raise our game” so that all our best minds and best resources are working together to achieve these Mayoral goals.


One of the things the Taskforce has been learning is about the long-term sustainability of all this work.

For myself, I have been learning that the only sustainable solutions to our youth employment and transition challenges are going to have to also be systemic solutions.

We are not going to achieve the Mayors Taskforce goals by just adding new programmes to our communities that are going to somehow patch up the problems we are experiencing. We have to find ways of going deeper.

The Mayor of Christchurch, and our Taskforce chairman, Garry Moore, will give a good illustration of what a systemic approach means for him later on this afternoon when he shares details of his Prosperous Christchurch initiative .. which has youth employment and training goals woven throughout it.

Systemic issues are certainly highlighted when any Council starts to look at the sustainability of its own services. This relates back to a local authorities’ capacity for long-term thinking when they start to create their long-term community plans. And sustainability issues are now coming to the surface in an environment where local authorities have contracted out so much of their core business tasks.

One of the main factors behind the lack of youth employment and training opportunities has been the drive amongst supply industries to cut costs back to the core in order to provide the cheapest possible price to their customers. One of the earliest costs to be cut has usually been the training component within the business itself, and with it, the expense of bringing young people into a working environment.

This has long-term implications for any Council. If the people you are contracting your services to have no plan for how they grow the next generation of their own workers ... then where is the sustainability of your own supply chain?

If you are encouraging your contractors to put a more competitive price on your table — but a price that does not include a youth training component — then how can you also guarantee that the services that you need for your communities will still be able to be provided in five, ten, or twenty-five years time? What does this mean for your long-term planning?

I have been talking to Mayors around the country about the leadership role they can take with their own contractors and service suppliers. There is an opportunity here for them to lead a systemic approach to their own skills shortage issues, and to ensure the integrity of the Council’s ongoing supply of services.

A Council can lead by example: They can “talk up” their major capital projects to be also seen as opportunities to train our next generation of workers. They can insist that their contractors have demonstratively trained staff. They can encourage the contractors to take on apprentices, and have in-house strategies for industry training. They can establish procurement policies and tender documents that include requirements for training components.

And Mayors can expect to vote to pay for it when the price comes on the table for their next tender or contract work.


I am a trustee of a national community group which is based here in New Plymouth and is another one of the formal partners to the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs.

The Jobs Research Trust trustees are a small group of people who have had a long history in self-help community action on employment issues. For the last ten years — every 2 to 3 weeks — we have been putting out The Jobs Letter which aims to keep fellow New Zealanders in touch with what’s happening and what’s possible in community and government action on employment issues.

We are not a big organisation. We have a small part-time staff. And not unlike many other community groups around the country, the trustees regularly meet in a suburban garage ... which, for us here, is in Westown.

We are proud to be a part of the Mayors initiatives, and we haven’t just contributed with The Jobs Letter, or with my own time as Community Adviser to the Taskforce … but we have also worked with the Tindall Foundation to get over $1.5 million of private philanthropy out to your regions to help catalyse youth employment projects that have the support of Taskforce Mayors.

We started the Jobs Research Trust partly in response to the release of a report from an earlier Taskforce on Employment. This was the 1994 Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Employment which was a multi-party affair. At the time, the PM’s Taskforce called employment “...New Zealand’s greatest challenge” and its report set for all New Zealanders a whole list of action targets and objectives which were set to culminate by the year 2000.

We thought that there needed to be a community response to these goals alongside the government initiatives. That’s one of the reasons why we set up the Jobs Research Trust. The Jobs Letter became a strategy for us to keep our colleagues in touch with how the country is progressing towards these goals.

I mentioned before that the 1990s were a dark decade for community groups around New Zealand. I lost a generation of colleagues ... as, week after week, employment trusts and training programmes around the country were closed down or just gave up. All the national voluntary networks on employment ran out of steam. For a while there, a small group of people meeting in a garage in Westown were the only national network left!

Anyway ... we all know the 1994 Prime Minister’s Taskforce did not achieve its goals. And this was one of the reasons why I put out a call in June 1999 for Mayors to pick up their own version of a Taskforce and keep these cultural goals alive on behalf of all New Zealanders.

And since that time, you would have to say that the Mayors Taskforce has gained much more traction on these important issues than was achieved by earlier efforts. Certainly, the collaboration between local government and central government has been a feature of this effectiveness.

We are only months away from the deadline that the Mayors set themselves at their first meeting in the year 2000.

It’s already pretty clear that, for all the great work happening and being celebrated here at this forum … and despite the fact that thousands of young people have indeed found good work and training opportunities in the last four years … we are still not going to fully reach the Mayors goal that, by 2005, no young person under 25 years will be out of work or training in our communities.

Getting to 2005 without fully achieving the Taskforce’s first goal isn’t going mean that this initiative has failed … but it does get us back into the reality of the legitimate task we have taken on.

In fact, it will be a good opportunity for us all to evaluate how we have gone so far … and to re-commit to the overall direction that this Taskforce has been pointing towards.


The Mayors and central government did quite a bit of haggling over deadline dates, and the ages of people that they were choosing to focus their initiatives on. The Mayors wanted 2005 and supported initiatives for all young people under the age of 25. The Government signed up to a commitment to 2007 and has targeted its work to everyone under the age of 20.

The haggling is no doubt going to continue. And, whatever the goals and dates have been ... they have helped to sharpen our minds, and drive our commitments.

But beyond all this, I would like to see that the legacy of this Taskforce be seen not as dates or goals achieved … but as an ongoing and living guarantee that there will be decent work and good training opportunities for all young people in New Zealand.

I would like to see the legacy of this Taskforce being a job guarantee for all our young people.

A job guarantee for all young people would be confirmation that a real systemic change has taken place in this country.

A goal is the work of politicians, and it puts the stretch on government departments and their partners in community groups and training and social service providers.

A guarantee is something deeper than that. It is delivered by a culture.

A guarantee is delivered because it represents the determination we have that this is the sort of New Zealand we want to live in. And from the Mayors point of view, a guarantee represents the sort of New Zealand that they would be proud to govern.

A job guarantee for all young people would be a fitting legacy for not only the work of this Taskforce, but also of the 1994 Prime Minister’s Taskforce, and of all the work done by the community trusts, the training organisations, and by the public servants who have become partners to this initiative.


So welcome again to New Plymouth and to Taranaki. Please make this forum work for you. Make sure you get to meet the people you want to meet and ask the questions you need to ask.

Make sure you get the space to share your good news stories. And let’s also be frank about the great mistakes we have made as we have been getting our projects established. Let’s also challenge each other in how we can better “raise our game” together.

I hope you leave this forum inspired and much more capable in facing the tasks ahead … and I’m certainly looking forward to the next two days.

vivian Hutchinson
New Plymouth, Taranaki
April 2004


  • This paper is based on vivian Hutchinson’s speeches and presentations to Mayors and Councils while he was visiting Taskforce Mayors in Auckland (November 2003), Otago and Southland (February 2004) and Northland (March 2004), and also notes for his presentation to the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs “Sharing Great Ideas – Sharing Good Practice” National Forum held in New Plymouth 21-22 April 2004. It is also available on the internet at, or can be downloaded in PDF format at
  • vivian Hutchinson is the editor of The Jobs Letter and Community Adviser to the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs. He has been a community activist and social entrepreneur on employment and livelihood issues, and one of the pioneers in community-based action for jobs in New Zealand, especially in establishing programmes for the support and education of unemployed people.
    He was a founder of the Taranaki Work Trust, and its associated projects in the Starting Point Employment Resource Centre, Skills of Enterprise Business Courses, and the Enterprise Centre. He has been involved in establishing many practical training programmes for unemployed people, and also local employment and trading networks such as Green Dollars.
    As a consultant, vivian has helped with the establishment of enterprise and economic development units at a local government level, the creation of the Labour Department’s Community Employment Group and Be Your Own Boss programmes, and has been an adviser to Local Employment Co-ordination (LEC) groups.
    He co-founded of The Jobs Research Trust in 1994, and helped establish the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs in 2000, and The Employment Catalyst Fund in 2001.
  • Special thanks to Mayor Peter Tennent, Patsy Crow from the Mayor’s office, kaumatua Lindsay McLeod, Andy Gowland-Douglas and Bry Kopu from Community Development at the New Plymouth District Council.
  • Thanks also to the 2004 core group of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs: Garry Moore (Chairman, Christchurch), Sukhi Turner (Dunedin), Jenny Brash (Porirua), Frana Cardno (Southland), Tim Shadbolt (Invercargill), Graeme Ramsey (Kaipara), Pat O’Dea (Buller), Yvonne Sharp (Far North), Bob Harvey (Waitakere), Maureen Reynolds (Tararua), Basil Morrison (Hauraki), Peter Tennent (New Plymouth), Paul Matheson (Nelson), and Grahame Hall (Rotorua) and also to Jan Francis and Mo Pettit of Workwise Solutions Ltd.
  • The website for the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs is at
  • “A Local Commitment to All Our Young People”, sometimes referred to as our “Youth Charter” was signed in Waitara on 21st November 2003 by Peter Tennent, Mayor of the New Plymouth District Council; Gloria Campbell, Taranaki Regional Commissioner of the Ministry of Social Development; Tokotumoana Walden, Regional Director of Te Puni Kokiri; Francis Farmer, Manager of Child Youth and Family; Robyn Masters, Regional Manager of the Tertiary Education Commission; Andy-Gowland-Douglas, Manager of Community Development at the New Plymouth District Council; Elaine Gill, Chairperson of the Taranaki Employment Support Foundation; Harry Cast, Principal of the Waitara High School; and Vivian Hutchinson, Community Adviser of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs.
    The Charter is based on a similar recommendation for youth employment initiatives from the Australian Prime Minister’s Youth Pathway’s Action Plan Taskforce (2001). For more information contact Wendy Wright at Taranaki Connections, 61 McLean St, Waitara email or can be dowbloaded in PDF format from
  • The “Community Case Management Framework” behind Taranaki Connections has evolved from the original “ABC framework” presentation to the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs by Australian youth employment consultant Dave Turner.
  • OECD figures 70m to be replaced by only 5m people taken from "Population and Sustainable Development 2003" published June 2003 by staff from the Ministry of Economic Development, Ministry of Social Development, Department of Labour and Statistics New Zealand ISBN 0478263309; see also OECD report “Ageing, Housing and Urban Development” by the OECD (October 2002) ISBN 9264198172
  • Who’s Got the Jobs? (December 2003) Statistics That Matter feature of The Jobs Letter website can be found at
  • New Zealand Business Council for Sustainable Development is one of the partners to the Mayors Taskforce, and encouraging businesses to develop “sustainable supply chains” is one of their main advocacy projects. Last November, the Business Council published a practical guide on how business can assess and develop their own “sustainable supply chains”. It contains many examples that have implications for youth employment policies ... and also implications for how the core business tasks of local government are managed. “Business Guide to a Sustainable Supply Chain”(pub. November 2003) available from NZBCSD, P.O.Box 1665, Shortland Street, Auckland. For a website version go to
  • Youth “inactive” figures from “A New Transition Service” background paper (2003) provided by Ministry of Social Development Strategic Social Policy Group. which estimates that 10-15% of all 15-19 year olds are "inactive" or not in full or part time work, education or training. They estimate that over half of all inactive 15–19 year-olds are between 15–17 years of age, which, in itself, is equivalent to up to 20,000 “inactive” 15–17 year-olds.
  • The Jobs Research Trust was established in 1994 “… to develop and distribute information that will help our communities create more jobs and reduce unemployment and poverty in New Zealand.” The Trust’s main projects are the production of The Jobs Letter and its website, and administering a philanthropic fund called the Employment Catalyst.
    In September 2000, the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs signed a “Memorandum of Partnership” with the Jobs Research Trust, and is enabling The Jobs Letter to be freely distributed to individuals, community groups, local authorities and government departments throughout New Zealand.
    Trustees and Associates of The Jobs Research Trust include Jo Howard, Dave Owens and Rodger Smith. Secretary is Shirley Vickery. Contact: P.O.Box 428, New Plymouth, Taranaki, NZ phone 06-753-4434, fax 06-753-4430, email, website
  • Previous speeches by vivian Hutchinson, relating to the work of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, are also available on the internet. These include

    It is the Local That Learns – some thoughts on community governance (1999) available at

    Making Hope Possible – some thoughts on the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs (2000) available at

    A Capable Age – some thoughts on the “zero waste” of young people (2002) available at

    Spirit of Youth – some thoughts on employment and inclusion (2002) available at

    An Economy of Connection - some thoughts after a Knowledge Wave (2003) available at

    Healing Welfare - some thoughts on philanthropy and social enterprise (2003) available at

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    vivian Hutchinson

    Other recent speeches
    by vivian Hutchinson,

    Healing Welfare
    — some thoughts on
    philanthropy and
    social enterprise

    An Economy
    of Connection

    — some thoughts after
    a Knowledge

    The Spirit of Youth
    — some thoughts on
    and inclusion

    A Capable Age
    — some thoughts on
    the "zero waste"
    of young people

    Making Hope Possible
    — some thoughts on
    the Mayors Taskforce
    for Jobs

    It is the Local
    That Learns

    — some thoughts on
    community governance

    Great Ideas, Good Practice — some thoughts on local action for youth employment
    vivian Hutchinson — The Jobs Research Trust — April 2004