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Dr Muriel Newman

Jobs for All

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sffThere has been a heated debate over recent months about whether New Zealand needs so many migrant workers, and indeed whether they prevent unemployed New Zealanders from securing jobs.

In the year to July 2016, there was a net gain of 69,000 migrants – a slight drop from the all-time high of 69,100 in the June year. Of the 125,000 arrivals, 40,000 were migrant workers, mostly from the UK, France, Germany, Australia, the US, and the Philippines; 31,000 were New Zealanders returning home; 27,000 were international students; and 15,000 arrived on resident visas. And of the 56,000 departures, almost a half were headed to Australia, where 2015 figures show there are over 600,000 resident New Zealanders, compared to a 2013 estimate showing only 63,000 Australians resident in New Zealand.

In the year to 30 June, Immigration New Zealand had issued almost 210,000 work visas – up 23 percent from two years ago. Controversially, some were for unskilled jobs, such as labourers and sales workers – the sort of jobs unemployed New Zealander could do, if they were willing or required to do so.

This issue came to a head a few years ago, when the Labour Government first established the Pacific Island Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme to ensure that employers in the horticulture industry had enough workers to pick their fruit and vegetables crops, prune their trees and vines, and man the packing sheds. Bringing in overseas workers to do these jobs was seen by many as depriving the local unemployed of work opportunities. But in reality – as employers were quick to point out – since many of the unemployed did not want to do these jobs, their supervision was a nightmare, and the quality of their work was poor.

The RSE scheme is now well established and provides employment for some 9,000 seasonal workers – around 4,000 from Vanuatu, 2,000 from each of Samoa and Tonga, almost 500 from the Solomon Islands, and the rest from Fiji, Tuvalu, Kiribati and Papua New Guinea. They work mainly in Nelson, Marlborough, Central Otago, the Bay of Plenty, and the Hawke’s Bay. Employers say they are invaluable.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest national survey of 1,500 employers from across the country, showed that almost two-thirds had had job vacancies over the last 12 months and that one in four had employed migrant workers.

The most common reason employers gave for hiring migrants was that their skills, qualifications, and experience made them the best person for the job. Many employers said that they had hired migrants not only for their strong work ethic, but the skills shortage had made it difficult to find suitable New Zealanders.

Around 15 percent of employers had found that New Zealanders were not willing to do the work they needed, and 14 percent found few Kiwis applied for their jobs.

Overall, employers were positive about the contribution that migrant workers were making to New Zealand with two in three reporting that they were helping to improve economic growth through increased productivity and greater innovation. However, one in five thought that migrants were taking jobs away from New Zealanders, and that they posed a threat to our culture.

When the Minister of Immigration, Michael Woodhouse, was questioned in Parliament earlier this month about migrants taking unskilled jobs away from unemployed New Zealanders, he argued that the list of approved skills is being constantly reviewed, with over 50 occupations removed since 2013, and only five added.

He also explained that some migrant workers are needed for unskilled jobs in areas where no New Zealanders are available to do the work, and went on to say, “There are jobs for every single New Zealander who wants them in this growing economy, but it would be naive to think that there were not barriers to employment for some of those New Zealanders. The Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, the Minister for Social Development, and I are working extremely hard to remove those barriers, whether they be geography, training, skills, or recreational drug and alcohol use, which needs to be addressed before they are ready for work. We are working hard to make sure that every young New Zealander is fit for work.”

The fact that there are plenty of jobs all around the country that employers can’t fill, is a view echoed by this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, the Mayor of the Clutha District Council, Bryan Cadogan. Bryan, who had a stint of being unemployed when he was younger, found his feet in the shearing sheds, before going on to own a farm and a business, entering local body politics in 1998. He was elected Mayor in 2010 and explains:

“Those first few days were terrifyingly exhilarating, but eventually decisions were made, and one of the first, thankfully, was to visit all our district’s major employers, and the common theme from these visits was that there were hundreds of job vacancies in our area. And these were great jobs with brilliant companies, right across the spectrum from labourers to computer operators, jobs for life and bright prospects for the future.

“This is not a phenomena exclusive to Clutha, my time as Chair of Mayors Taskforce for Jobs gave me a unique insight into how surplus jobs exist right across New Zealand.

“From the Far North to Southland areas are awash with jobs with employers struggling to find people with even the basic skills to fill them. This sits hand in hand with the perpetual scourge on our society, unemployment, especially youth unemployment that presently hovers around 15 percent.”

The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs was established in 2000, with the aim of focusing local authorities on the need to ensure their young people to get a foothold on the employment ladder. The benefits should not be underestimated, from significant reductions in crime, to increased economic growth, and enhanced community wellbeing as young families settle in the district to raise their children.

In those early years of the Taskforce, the township of Otorohanga became a model for councils, when Mayor Dale Williams pioneered job programmes for young people to meet the needs of the district’s employers. His strategy included inviting a trade training provider into the town, finding guaranteed jobs for graduates, assigning mentors to each student, and holding graduation ceremonies to recognise the achievements of those who had completed their trade training.

Through the collaboration of the school, training providers, employers, and the council, every school leaver was helped onto a pathway towards a decent job and a brighter future. As a result of their groundbreaking efforts, for many years Otorohanga had no unemployed young people.

Looking ahead at the future reform of local authorities signalled by the National Government, where Council Controlled Organisations will manage water, roading, and even resource consenting across the regions, the future of councils will increasingly be focussed on community wellbeing – including ensuring their young people have jobs.

Last week’s Household Labour Force Survey – which showed that our seasonally adjusted unemployment rate had decreased to 5.1 percent in the June 2016 quarter from 5.2 percent in March – provided a snapshot of youth unemployment. It included details of the number of young people aged 15–24 years who are ‘not in education, employment, or training’ (NEET) as a proportion of the total youth working-age population. While the seasonally adjusted NEET rate decreased 1.7 percentage points, to 10.7 percent in the June 2016 quarter – the lowest rate since September 2008 – the 70,000 young people, who are not in education, training, or work, continue to represent a significant challenge for the communities in which they live.

Many of these youngsters, who have been failed by their parents and schools, lack the basic skills to hold down a job – let alone adequately cope with the demands and responsibilities of everyday life.

But, as some of the country’s enlightened Mayors have shown, with the right leadership and guidance, all of these young people have the potential to make something of their lives by taking on the jobs that their local employers are so desperate to fill.

A recent newspaper report about an initiative developed by Kawerau Mayor Malcolm Campbell, who had locals struggling to find jobs, and Matamata-Piako Mayor Jan Barnes, who had employers struggling to find workers, is a case in point.  Together they developed the Seamless Boundaries programme, which was aimed at filling a labour shortage at Silver Fern Farms in Te Aroha with the unemployed from Kawerau.

The article explains how two years ago, Anthony Pearce was an angry 18-year-old who had just finished time in jail and hated the world he was released back into. Born and raised in Kawerau, he was living off a weekly benefit of $100 and couldn’t see past a future of crime, drug and alcohol abuse and more time behind bars.

His admission to the reporter, that, “My old man didn’t bring me up to be working”, reveals the extent of the disadvantage that some young people face as they try to make their way in life.

He explained that he was just getting up to ‘mischief’ – until he found out he was going to be a father: “I thought shit how am I going to get out of here? It wasn’t about me any more, I had to do something or I was going to end up back in jail.”

Anthony, along with 41 others, was given the break he had been waiting for by Silver Fern Farms, and the whole collaborative process was clearly a win-win for all.

Such teamwork between employers and councils now takes many forms – including ‘speed-dating for jobs’, a successful initiative pioneered by Mayor Bryan Cadogan, which marries up employers who want workers, with workers who want jobs, but may be too shy to doorknock.

Without a doubt, ensuring that all young New Zealanders have a brighter future through employment is a work in progress. But thanks to some great initiatives provided by councils, employers, schools, training providers, and welfare services, disadvantaged youth in some parts of the country are now being given real opportunities to get ahead.

Central government too has turned its attention to youth by targeting them through welfare system changes.

When National first came to office, they announced that a key welfare reform priority was young people. They explained that 90 percent of the 16 and 17 year olds who are not in education, training, or work, end up on welfare as soon as they turn 18. They also found that those who first go onto a benefit as a teenager make up an estimated 75 percent of the welfare system’s future liability.

In other words, the longer someone is on benefit, the more likely they are to stay there. The situation for teenage parents, trying to gain the qualifications and skills needed to secure employment – as well as cope with their parenting responsibilities – is even more difficult. Worse, their children are at an increased risk of poor outcomes and long term benefit dependency.

The welfare changes that have now been introduced target young people with a range of new and proactive measures including mentors, budgeting skills, payment cards (to prevent benefits being spent on alcohol and tobacco instead of food and rent) – and for teenage mums and dads, parenting courses.

As a result, progress is being made – even in the extremely difficult area of teenage pregnancy, where answers to Parliamentary Questions show that the overall rate has halved since National took office in 2008.

With local government elections now well underway, it is appropriate that candidates address the issue of youth unemployment in their communities, since this is an area where they can make a real difference – as the inspirational stories of success from Clutha, Otorohanga, Kawerau, and Matamata-Piako, show.


Do you think local councils should be more engaged in facilitating job placements for the unemployed?


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.

Click to view x 120


There has to be an organisation at local level that coordinates this .Any government agency seem to have such huge political correct barriers to jump and the central beaurocracy takes over. It is much better coordinated by the people on the ground who fully understand what is required. Bryan
These and other initiatives that address local situations should be dealt with locally and not by central government. At best central government should encourage such initiatives indirectly. Pieter
Councils are nearer the coal face and can better assist local communities. Graeme
The danger is Central govt. will officially burden Local govt. with this. Of course Mayors can be involved in their local communities if they can match up unemployed with businesses looking for workers. Monica
Not councils job but somebody needs to. Barry
It is not a core job. It is a central Govt responsibility. That said if Council itself can hire that age group it should favour (not obligated) them if they meet thhe job criteria. Nick
The job-finding initiative from local councils is very worthwhile and should be encouraged. In my view such initiatives are more likely to be successful when carried out by smaller councils. By contrast, I suggest that such an initiative if adopted by Auckland Council for example, is likely to enjoy a lower rate of success for reasons including size, bureaucracy, transport and others. Peter
Only if they can do the job properly, many councils fail to carry out their own responsibilities. Rondey
Local help for local people. Chris
There is a labour market. Businesses wanting labour have to bid in that market. They can’t demand that the unemployed should work for below market rates. They need to offer enough to attract workers out of other jobs. Hotels in Queenstown need to offer enough to attract supermarket workers from Invercargill – the minimum wage is not enough, that’s grinding poverty in Queenstown, but foreign labour will accept it. The dole is set at bare subsistence, that’s a floor for the price of human labour in NZ, it’s not much. It’s reasonable to have a floor to prevent the market from descending to slavery. People who don’t agree with that could think of it as akin to animal welfare standards and think about what the market does to pigs and chickens, humans are no different to the free market, as it is emotionless. Allowing business to get labour from the global market undercuts local labour, obviously. Naturally they say it’s about skills, and that young people are useless, to justify it. It allows the creation of businesses that aren’t actually viable. The government, in trying to compel people to work for insufficient wages, has created a system of sanctions and stand-downs that obstructs movement in and out of the workforce. It’s too precarious for a beneficiary to take temporary work like apple-picking. If they quit for any reason, there’s a 13 week standdown, and an obstructive process to get back on. Unemployment Benefit needs to be easily available to anyone who qualifies, people should be able to move off it and on it for bits and pieces of work. Half the WINZ staff could be moved onto it, the obstacle course would not be necessary. It’s hard to see, with unions decimated, weak employment law and weak regulation, how this process won’t eventually lead to the replacement of our labour force at global minimum price. Anna
It is in every persons interest to get every healthy person working again as we did in the past. Theodorus
Local Councils are best placed to assist in ensuring local constituents are employed, even if Council labouring jobs need to be created. Colin
Don’t think that ratepayers money should be used job chasing — it’s simply not part of any Councils agenda. Alan
Some already are and doing a good job by the look of it. In NZ, it’s a case of give a kid a job and keep him out of jail (hopefully!). John
However the councils need to work with government agencies. Where are the “Iwi” in all of the mix??? Jeff
It is in the local councils interests to keep their constituents employed therefore making their respective boroughs a wealthier and healthier place to reside in. Wayne
Absolutely NOT unless central government funding follows the cost of providing that service. This is NOT what ratepayers should be funding. Maureen
Why not? Anything that helps get young people for the street and off benefits has to be worth supporting. Brent
For one answer have a look at what has happened over the last decade in the small rural town of Otorohanga. The then Mayor, Dale Williams, and some of the owners of the larger local businesses with the help of a polytech established training courses that resulted in a period of zero unemployment of the under twenty fives in the town. No need to “reinvent the wheel.” Just apply this structure with any local modifications and you will be on the way to your own success. Colin
Most certainly! Jim
No….. Councils can’t even get their core services right let alone taking on the role of job placements, anyway they’ll be over burdened trying to place all the extra unelected maori councilors and the race based demands they will put on our rates dollar. This government think they can skirt the law by placing the onus on councils to be race relations concilliators, and of course we will see huge rates increases just to pay these racists to sit and squander/steal our hard earned dollar. It will never end!! Stevo
It’s not their role. Craig
But not at the expense of their core responsibilities. Hugh
Local councils are already too involved in areas that do not concern them-housing for example. The knowledge and expertise required to address unemployment is beyond the talents of most who put their names forward to local councils. Efforts spent in this field will surly undermine efforts required addressing core responsibilities. Charles
It’s time for the unemployed to decide if they want to work or to go without. If they won’t move to where the jobs are then they need to lose their benefit. Many of the unemployed are unemployable. If they won’t give a good days work they should not expect to get unemployment benefits. It is not up to Councils to hepl these people. It is time they did something for themselves. No effort no benefit. I’d rather have a happy migrant than a morose Kiwi. Peter
Up till now I would have said no, but reading of how well it has worked for one district has changed my mind. Roy
No This is Dept of Social Welfare’s job. Ray
Feck it! These wallies already STEAL enough of my hard-earned money without us giving them another reason to STEAL MORE money. First things first: make the unemployed responsible. If you don’t try to get a job, don’t expect a handout. If you have paid tax, expect some assistance when you need it. A benefit is NOT a right (quote by Sue-the-slapper). It has to be earned. If you want to be respected by the people who work hard to pay your benefit, get off your butt and get a job. Mark
The greatest scourge to NZ employment is the highly racist “Restructuring of the Workforce Act” which promotes Maoris 1st, Islanders 2nd and minority groups 3rd in any place of employment housing 20 or more employees. Being no fourth saw thousands of Europeans flung out of the workforce and the reason, for example, schools Maori employment figure rose dramatically while exams quality to become a teacher fell to embarrassing levels in a New Zealand which has become an Apartheid State. Don’t blame Maoris, blame Governments, plural. George
Council should stick to providing infrastructure and maintenance. Peter
No. There are government departments set up to handle unemployment, welfare, children and so on. Too often now these responsibilities are being shoved off to local council whose main task should be water, sewerage, roads, footpaths and parks. By all means use the brilliant schemes a few mayors have founded but not as a cost to the ratepayer. What about a few more schemes such as Nelson College’s specialized workshops, starting apprenticeship training in a trade , especially seeing the trades are so short of apprentices today. Chris
Tga City Council have a record of the anti-midas touch. Everything they get involved in turns to shyte. Expensive shyte. So no, keep the councils as far away as possible from as much as possible. They can’t even do the basics right. Derejk
Absolutely. Most Councils are too busy doing nothing and employ incompetent Muppets . Tararua DC do and when you tackle the councillers about it they hand Wring and run for cover. Greg
No, not the roll of local councils,more to the point they should be more concerned about overmanagement in their own little worlds of fantasy. James
It can only be a positive move. Andrew
To unload the task of managing unemployment onto Local Government is a sly move by Government to rid themselves from the responsibility ( and associated costs). Local Governments , once burdened with this task, will have to find ways to let the rate payers pay for the additional expense caused by administration unemployment. The fact that NZ has issued 210000 work visas is astounding. The fact that a substantial number of employers have expressed their concerns re the unwillingness or inability of local unemployed to do even unskilled work to the necessary standards required is nothing but a clear indicator of what at least seven consecutive Governments in charge have created: A pool of perpetually unemployed with a mindset of eternal entitlement and an attitude to blame anybody else except themselfes. Genuine unemployed who have lost their jobs after years of work, disabled people or workers struck by illness are a completely different matter and should not be confused with the others. The problem of perpetual unemployment has to be attacked from a different angle and that starts with putting an end to this useless pampering by a whole string of Departments doing nothing but feeding themselfes and administrating everything to death. The simple solution lies in rooting out this utter lack of discipline and responsibility by introducing state work schemes where participation is demanded from these people on the basis : If you do not partake you do not eat ( or get benefits of any kind either) This scheme has to be supervised strictly and participants have to be monitored closely to see if they make progress in applying themselfes.Any race based propaganda has no place in a scheme like that.The issue and goal is to educate and bring back moral values on the basis what JF Kennedy said once:’ Do not ask what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country’. Michael
This is NOT a responsibility of local councils. Another example of the Key govt foisting more and more onto the ratepayer. Remember, Councils have no money, they just spend our rates on more and more projects and increase the homeowners rates to pay for their dreams! Carolyn
This sort of collaboration would yield far better results from ratepayers’ money than many of the showy, ‘prestige’ or ‘legacy’projects that local councils seem to relish. Yes, it’s a dreary exercise in comparison with the more elaborate schemes, but it’s the sort of down-to-earth activity that local government should concentrate on more. Graham
Councils should stick to their core services. Appropriate govt departments should undertake the training and education required to get people off benefits. Petered
Absolutely no. Councils should stick to what they are employed to do…services for the community..that does not include becoming an employment agency. This will only put up rates as specialist employment personnel would be required to be employed to do this work and those costs would be added to the extremely high rates we already pay. I am totally against that situation. Surely this is covered somewhere in the Government departments, and, if not, then it should be so it can be handled to cover the country as a whole, so that all regions in NZ are correctly monitored and distribution of workers is properly met. Audrey
This is a specialized area that requires people with a passion for the demanding task of rescuing young people from the years of damage caused by neglectful, ignorant and stupid parents. Trying to foist this task onto councilors without the passion or expertise is bound to be yet another expensive failure. It can be an optional activity for Councils with the wherewithal to create successful outcomes, but should in no way be encumbent upon ratepayers to cough up the funding for this problem solving. As a rate payer I pay rates for roads, utilities, rubbish collection, sewerage and water management, be it storm water or drinking water. I’m not interested in funding social benefits for all and sundry. The failures are being produced from a system that incentivizes failure and incompetents and punishes enterprise and self sufficiency. Until the system turns upside down and rewards enterprise and self sufficiency and punishes failure, then we can never hope to solve the problem! With the best will in the world the problem will be persistent and a constant drain on people who are already staggering under the weight of trying to live a decent life and pay their bills. Dianna
This is a problem which often requires a local solution. Rob
There is a lot of things Rotorua council could be doing, along side of Maori organisations. Joan
I tick yes, but the the Scandinavian school system, outlined by Bryan Cadogan, should be adopted here as a vital first step toward identifying the young people who are most likely to be satisfied & stay in the jobs provided. Square pegs do not fit into round holes. The work ethic of immigrant workers is the reason they are employed. They deserve the income that is generally sent home to support their families. The welfare system has allowed that same ethic to be lost in this country. Credit must be given to the current government for at least trying to change that.. A.G.R.
Absolutely. The success of the mayors in Clutha, Otorohanga and other places shows that with a bit of initiative by these mayors is works well and marries up workers with jobs. Whether it would work in the larger cities like Auckland Wellington, Hamilton, Tauranga Christchurch and Dunedin is an other matter. But it might be worth a try even for these bureaucratic monsters Colin
Yes – but not only councils, the employers in the district also. Brian
Yes but only to a limited extent as they are expensive, inefficient, are not colour blind and too preoccupied with green issues. Our council like to build big edifices to make itsel feel good and important. None of its projects add to our productivity or economic well being. Peter
Reading the article it appears some have chosen to make the commitment and it has worked well. To try is better than doing nothing at all and watching society unravel. Sue
Also need to encourage and fund training. Follow the example of Kawerau. If NZers dont want to work don’t give them the benefit. Terry
Unemployed need all the help they can get. Edward
There also needs to be a return to effective education and work ethic. Keith
I voted Yes as the formula certainly has seemed to work in some areas, however I dread the thought of the Super Silly Auckland Council getting involved. The 6 years of its existence have demonstrated nothing but inefficienciey and waste. The only thing that would happen would be piles of extra paperwork and fees – don’t forget more fees! And iwi consultation/control and more fees! Fiona
Yes its a no brainer. Local elected Councils are in a better position to carryout this job placement for unemployed, instead of central Government. Peter
Unemployment is a social disease all bussiness that can help should help and councils need to be active with the unemployed where possible. Ray
It has been shown to work already so yes, it would make sense to carry it on. It would be good if winz offices could forward names of teenage dole recipients to the local councils so folk do not fall between the cracks. Dennis
Unemployed kiwis 17 – 25 years skateboarding and bum around while seasonal imports work the vineyards. should stop. Bruce
The sooner the unemployed have a job they become better citizens, adding (not subtracting) to society and have more pride in themselves. Keith
Maybe with those who are unwilling to work, the govnt may adopt what they do in Australia. If they don’t find a job in three months, then no dole after three months.. I think this a wise move. We have carried too many young ones who want a job with a top salary! June
Hadn’t thought about it before but good plan. However I suspect our local council would create a position for this though – a new department! Ron
They should be able to get the unemployed to turn up each morning to clean a beach or sweep the foot paths, clean the parks, have a credit card system to give to them if they do not turn up they do not get paid, have a coffee cart there & give them a free one. this way they meet people & make friends Employers could come along a meet the unemployed also & see if there are some good workers there for them. Geoff
Say it the way it stands out. Maori’s make up the greater number of unemployed. Too busy moaning about being hard done by. Phil
They should be getting on with their primary tasks. Terry
No doubt about it. Tom
Better than the constant regulatory handbrake they apply to everything else. John
Do you think local councils should be more engaged in facilitating job placements for the unemployed? No, we have a Government Department called WINZ which functions to place unemployed into work. One of the main reasons for the unemployable to continue receiving handouts is that the penalties for continual rejection of the jobs offered is abysmal and not really enforced. Excuses such as being away from home, cultural and social etc seem to override any condition by WINZ to accept the job offered. With regard to Councils taking on placing the unemployed into work, this is only giving the Government an excuse to pass on this responsibility onto local communities. The answer is obvious, the Government should back WINZ to institute a policy of either ‘Work, or reject without benefits’. (This will of course, never happen in a country in which overzealous liberal humanitarian concepts cloud issues, and consistently overrides a common sense answer to the problem). As we have seen, Political decisions and common sense are never on the same planet. Brian
It is working in various centres n NZ the remaining areas should get on board. Barry
As with every other organisation. David
We need a change in attitude of those families who do not contribute towards a better society. Gerard
However, most of the local employment is not related to the return to development by the regions. Construction is an insubstantial alternative in that it is not associated with production. For example, the road works to the north of Wellington required 450 vehicles associated with the work, not one was manufactured in NZ or AUS. When construction finishes so does fundamental economics. So is the $3.0 Billion dollar Student industry a train wreck in the waiting that is pouring thousands of over-stayers into the country who will drain resources and copy the US in stealing the opportunity of work from New Zealanders. Development has been transferred to the rest of the world over about the last 7 terms of vested interest governments. The AUS Productivity Commission has recently admitted that the trade agreement struck by their political system are not export agreements but import agreements. Thus indicating the relentless assault on production. Over 60% of jobs created in NZ are now paper shuffling jobs associated with alternative economics that will fail. NZ and AUS sit on the edge of an economic abyss and the descent into the NZ abyss most probably will begin with the Auckland housing crisis – when Boom turns to Bust. An appropriate Proverb is: ‘The price of democracy is eternal development!’ Frederick
BUT! – think smart not bureaucratic. Doug
What encouraging stuff from several local Councils! Would that more Councils might give this a shot for the benefit of our young folk, and perhaps for us all, as this could likely reduce offending, poverty and beneficiary dependence. I suspect that City Councils might find this more challenging than rural Councils as there aren’t the close relationships that are common in rural areas. Laurence
I think it a sad reflection on our society when unelected people given full voting entitlement could (and being politically and/or racially motivated) will ‘drive through’ their next manipulation further pushing NZ society towards a racially divided country. Stuart
This is a Government function. Michael
From schools to parents should be active in training them young and showing the way. Jim
People have many opportunities for finding jobs, including their own ability to knock on doors, use agencies,, computers, read signs on windows and doors of businesses. Councils seem to find tending to council affairs often a hard task so don’t ask them to become employment agencies too. Elizabeth
Councils should provide the infrastructure that enables job creation through thriving business, but should not be a social service agency. Chris
Councils should stick to infrastructure services only. Central govt can deal with lazy scumbag unemployed. brian
Our town has a high unemployment rate and the main problem is that young folk can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. Councils need to look at areas where even a volunteer can be given some assistance to gaining skills towards a CV inclusion to assist in gaining further employment. Don
Everyone should be encouraged to work. If no work is available then the dole should be considered. People should not pick if they want to work or go on the dole. Cherryl
Don’t you think that the ratepayers are paying enough now. The councils would have to employ someone to do it. Bill
It’s a travesty that NZ pays people to do nothing then imports workers. Willy
Yes, not only councils, government, schools, should play their part. Don’t make it so easy to get a benefit without working for it. Our young people need all the help we can give but they must be willing to play their part. Johan
I think the local councils have more than enough on their hands. Beryl
Councils should embrace their fundamental responsibilities to provide for the well being of the residents of the community. This is a prime example. Bryan
The only trouble with this idea is, the last time it was tried, the trade unions got involved and drove it to destruction. As they say, history repeats itself. John
Don’t worry about Auckland – Ha-ha!! Neville
Those Mayors who initiated this scheme should be put up as New Zealander of the Year, instead of those who want to elect Iwi representatives onto the council with voting rights before asking their constituents, which is the antithesis of democracy! Kevan
Councils could facilitate job placements. On the other hand why should they. Is it their job to do so. I think more Ads need to be place for jobs so people can apply. Robert
That’s the govt’s responsibility to provide trade training. IAN
Councils are not where the problem lies!!!! Neil
It is great to hear of the “payment cards” to help the young people. There is a staggering amount of clean-up work to be done everywhere apart from employers needing staff. We need to remember that the first crop of NZ pines were planted by the unemployed in the 1930’s depression! Ted
Plenty of options already available. Kelvin
Jobs are for the general economy and private enterprise is best to be in that business. Ray
Getting councils to help young people into jobs is a great thing – it reduces crime, creates more residents and eventually ratepayers, it helps businesses grow and expand, and gives councillors something positive to do! Murray
Yes, having young people in jobs is preferable to them wasting their lives and getting into trouble. Wendy
Some parents are unbelievable – fancy not teaching their kids that they need to work. And schools are just as bad, letting young people leave without being able to read and write. Appalling really. Kevin
Showing leadership in the community is not a bad thing, and if it helps boost jobs and growth, so much the better! Roger
Having zero youth unemployment is a district is a goal worth working for. Brian