Engagement recap: January – February 2024

Our Business & Professional Services Industry Engagement Lead, Zach Edwards, spoke with HR professionals committed to focusing on their kaimahi and Employee Experience during the Ready, Set, EXcelerate event hosted by Humankind, Best Places to Work and Microsoft.

Zach gained valuable insights into the challenges impacting businesses and the HR profession, and we would love to continue the kōrero with those in the industry.

Check out some of the mahi we have underway at the moment, and connect with our team.


Hinewai Quensell, Vocational Pathways Adviser, and our Qualifications team have been working with HETTANZ to review and develop new Cookery skills standards in food and hospitality in schools.

During meetings with kaiako, a wishlist of potential skill standards was collated. Ringa Hora has committed to the following for the desired skill standards:

  1. Molecular gastronomy: Ringa Hora will consult with industry on the importance of this
  2. Leadership & Management skills in culinary/hospitality: We will include HETTANZ participation in the feedback sessions for Te Manu Arataki Leadership Project.
  3. Mise en place or set up before cooking: Ringa Hora to review current offerings and investigate the need for ‘Mise en place’ in descriptors.
  4. Roles in the kitchen: Ringa Hora will cross-reference with current qualifications.

Consultation is open throughout February, so please submit any feedback you would like considered.


Te Rōpū Kaitakawaenga (Māori engagement leads from Ohu Ahumahi) are excited to share our recent engagement with Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei.

Ohu Ahumahi were invited to wānanga with Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei, providing us an opportunity to understand their aspirations and priorities, and most importantly provide industry insight to Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei as they embark and prepare their Education and Workforce Development Strategy.

Several future collaborative opportunities have been identified to support the vision of Ngāti Whātua ki Ōrākei.


Our Pacific Transformation Lead, Zeena Khan, led a workshop on leadership and the future of work at the P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A. National Conference. The workshop discussed challenges and barriers to employment, career progression, mentoring, resources and support needed. Some key insights from participants were a need for Pacific women to back themselves even in uncomfortable environments, the need for clearer career pathways in respective industries and more training and development opportunities for continued self-development.

These insights and more will help inform our Te Manu Arataki Leadership Project with talanoa around the future of work contributing to our 2024 Workforce Development Plans.


Mel Harrington, GM Partnership & Engagement, attended the launch of the draft Business Events Industry Aotearoa National Statement of Strategic Direction: Pīata Mai | To Shine Bright. Presented by Martin Snedden and Lisa Hopkins, the Strategic Direction sets out the key focus areas for the events industry – a sector that contributes $ 1.45 billion to the Aotearoa economy. We look forward to supporting BEIA with its workforce development needs.




Our Industry Engagement Leads, Martin Szeko and Darin Kauwhata, represented Ringa Hora at  the Job Explore 2024 expo in Northland. Held over three days in Whangārei, Kaikohe and Kaitaia, the inaugural Job Explore 2024 was all about unlocking the future and discovering the exciting opportunities in employment, education, and training, plus a range of community support and agencies to engage with.

Each morning, we engaged with rangatahi from local kura and schools and then the wider communities in the afternoon. Conversations with our rangatahi were about building awareness of who we are, what the Service sector is, and helping them to visualise themselves in roles within the Service sector – at times a euphoric moment for our rangatahi who had not considered these careers previously. In the afternoons, we continued to connect with our communities and help them better understand the Vocational Education System and how we champion vocational excellence.