A new, unified approach
We are thrilled to introduce the marriage of Activate Tairawhiti and Eastland Community Trust to form our new brand and name, Trust Tairawhiti. The new, unified approach makes it easier for our community to know what we do and where to go for support. Previous support services are still provided under the “Takihoko” (business) banner.
October saw 69 high school students graduate from the Licence to Work programme, with 12 going on to secure employment — including two apprenticeships provided by Universal Engineering. This is a great vote of confidence in the capabilities of the students coming through this programme. They have developed employability and thinking skills, resilience and a willingness to learn. Practical work experience has made students extremely valuable and in high demand from employers.
Congratulations are also in order to two of our businesses who have won prestigious awards. Caroline Kingi, of CK & Co, with her regional business award from the Maori Women’s Development Inc for hairdressing, and Carla Seymour of Seymour’s Transport Services who won the national award from the NZ Transport Agency. Carla also won the regional award from the Maori Women’s Development Inc for her Maori trucking business.
Businesses are undertaking more research and development activity by bringing in new talent that in turn offers new skills, knowledge and capabilities. This summer will see six businesses take on student interns who have been engaged through the Callaghan Innovation Student Grant Programme: www.callaghaninnovation.govt.nz/grants/student-grants
With Callaghan contributing to costs, the programme sees tertiary, PhD and Masters students carry out research for the specified business. Project and career grants are also available to local businesses and our Business Growth Advisers provide easy access to this support. Trust Tairawhiti is keen on innovation, seeing it as the discipline of creating value — which is what we want our businesses to have.
November saw the arrival of the New Zealand Food Innovation Network (NZFIN) in Tairawhiti, with the launch on November 21 through the region’s Edible Innovation event (inspiring local food producers). Over 50 businesses from as far as Wharekahika (Hicks Bay) attended to hear five outstanding speakers talk to the latest trends and opportunities in our food industry. Significantly, the network has chosen to locate their specialist adviser, Nicky Solomon (firstname.lastname@example.org), in region. Nicky covers Tairawhiti, Hawke’s Bay and the lower North Island through to Wellington, so to have her here is a real coup for the region and a great benefit in the capability/development of our food producers.
This activity is reflected in our export sector continuing to perform well. The recent drop in log prices has overshadowed wider strong performances. Challenges exist, including finding practical options for increasing our housing supply. However, with beef and lamb prices hitting record highs this November, our ability to earn export income is a great lead into the Christmas break.
Steve Breen is the economic development general manager for Trust Tairawhiti.