He Poutama Rangatahi: youth employment

He Poutama Rangatahi is a pilot initiative focused on tackling youth unemployment in provincial New Zealand.

It aims to support communities to develop pathways for rangatahi (aged 15-24) that are not currently in employment, education or training, and take them through to sustained employment underpinned by intensive pastoral care.

In January 2018, the Government announced $13.275 million in funding for pilot HPR programmes in Te Tai Tokerau, Eastern Bay of Plenty, Gisborne/Tairāwhiti and Hawke’s Bay. 

HPR supports communities to take advantage of these opportunities by helping their young people become work-ready, while supporting employers to invest in bringing local rangatahi into their workforce.


He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) is overseen by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) with operational governance by relevant Senior Regional Officials and regional coordinating groups to ensure it fits with regional priorities.

The other core agencies involved in HPR are:

  • the Ministry for Social Development
  • Te Puni Kōkiri
  • the Ministry of Education
  • the Ministry of Primary Industries
  • the Ministry for Women
  • Department of Corrections
  • the Tertiary Education Commission
  • Treasury
  • Oranga Tamariki.

This broad range of agencies is involved at both the regional and central levels to ensure that we get a complete picture of the barriers and opportunities.

There are several groups that support He Poutama Rangatahi:

  • Regional HPR Steering or Advisory groups, who provide guidance around regional fit, access to community networks, and ensure coordination of government systems for communities
  • The HPR Officials Working Group, based in Wellington, to ensure central government agencies are working together.

Both levels of groups provide views and recommendations about the HPR proposals we receive.

A Senior Regional Official and the Head of the PDU, or Ministers where appropriate, make the final decision about HPR funding.