News: Impacts of new investment in locally-led solutions


Toi EDA Chair, David Turner, is excited to see the impacts of government investment in new pathways to work led by Eastern Bay of Plenty communities. “It makes such a difference when local employers and stakeholders are entrusted to work together and innovate.” He refers to two recent success stories as great examples of what’s being enabled. “Kawerau has new Pathways to Work cadetships available so that local businesses can give local rangatahi a well supported role in local industries. And further East, the construction training programme led by Ōpōtiki College in partnership with Motu Trails and is open both to College students and the wider community.”

“To realise our vision of thriving communities, we need to grow our capability to work across sectors and organisations both to create more wealth, and to ensure no-one’s left behind. Local iwi, businesses and stakeholders have the biggest vested interest in things working well, and our communities being great places to live, work and play in. So it’s good that Provincial Growth Funding for workforce development is supporting these developments.”

David mentions that Toi EDA is highly supportive of both locally-led and regionally aligned approaches. “Sometimes solutions are more efficient at the regional level, such as the co-ordinated programmes for Driver and Machine Operator Training now available through Te Ara Huringa ō Pupuwharau, based in Kawerau but serving the wider Eastern Bay.” This is another example of “home grown solutions” supported by Provincial Growth funding. “We stepped in to play and interim role due to the huge shortage of drivers and machine operators in our region, and are absolutely delighted that thanks to great collaborative effort, we’ll celebrate a whole cohort of graduates next week – just three months after the Centre was opened.”

For more information:
Barbara MacLennan, Workforce Development Manager, 0274252277,
Karl Gradon, General Manager, 021312990,

About Toi EDA
Toi EDA is the regional economic development agency for the Eastern Bay, and covers the areas served by Whakatāne, Kawerau and Ōpōtiki Districts. For more information see