Cooking up a storm with the Mayors Taskforce For Jobs

Published on 14 May 2024


Waitaki District Mayor Gary Kircher and Waitaki MP Miles Anderson visited Riverstone Kitchen this week to meet apprentices employed at the highly-regarded restaurant.

They met with Zayden Newton, Diana Flores and Paige Hacquoil who have all benefited from the Mayors Task Force For Jobs.

The Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs, which supports young people into work and work placements, has this year again exceeded its target by 12, by placing 50 young people into sustainable employment. The programme has proved so successful locally, that all funds for the programme were exhausted within the first 8 months.

This builds on the success of previous years, when between July 2021 and June 2022 Waitaki MTFJ achieved 65 placements, when their target was 50. Out of these, 23 were apprenticeships.

Mayor Gary Kircher says: “This is a great example of what happens when the Government provides local organisations the flexibility to address local issues. By working with businesses, the task force has been able to get young people a start in their working lives, and ensure that those who are educated in Waitaki can see a future career for themselves in the district”

Eugen Dupu of the MTFJ says: “Our team worked really well together and this is reflected in the results we achieved in Waitaki over the past 12 months and beyond. This wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing employers and business owners who were willing to work with us, trust us and take some risks at times. Our rangatahi have received some of the best support we could offer and we believe that most of them will continue in their respective pathways.”

Bevan Smith, owner and chef at Riverstone Kitchen, says: “For any person starting out in their career that first job and where they get their first job is pretty critical. So if they can get into a good establishment and get their foot in the door, they've got to figure out whether they like it and whether it appeals to them. It's very different on the inside of an organisation with the reality of day-to-day work pressures”


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