New Zealand Rural Careers Day established due to staffing crisis

forestry careers bus

The Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games has been extended to include a Rural Careers Day on Friday 12th March in Palmerston North.

New Zealand Rural Games Trust Chair, Margaret Kouvelis MNZM said the unprecedented demand for people to take on jobs and careers in the rural sector across Aotearoa is what has spurred the Trust to set up and run the New Zealand Rural Careers Day.

“Before Covid-19, there was a lot of demand for staff across rural New Zealand. Today, that situation is exacerbated, causing wages across the sector to rise,” said Mrs Kouvelis. “We have a once in a generation chance to encourage our young people into careers in rural areas which in turn will help bring vibrancy back to the small towns and settlements across our country.”

Mrs Kouvelis said the day would have a heavy focus on industry bodies – “the people who work with people working in the fields, sheds, gardens, orchards and forests. They know first-hand the opportunities that are there and the amazingly rewarding lifestyle that you get from living in rural New Zealand.”

“We’ve seen wages across the rural sector rising faster than we’ve seen in decades and many young people are simply not aware of the opportunities available.”

New Zealand Rural Games Founder Steve Hollander said he’s super excited to bring the Careers Day to the New Zealand Rural Games stable of events. 

“We are proudly rural and supportive of closing the urban rural gap and this event will help us achieve that. Rural New Zealand is on the rise again and we’re focused on ensuring young people from urban areas get to understand the opportunities and the unbeatable lifestyle that you can afford in our towns and settlements across the country.” 

The New Zealand Rural Careers Day runs from 9 am to 3 pm on 12th March in The Square, Palmerston North. The event runs alongside the Clash of the Colleges – teams from 15 secondary schools across the mid and lower North Island compete in rural tasks to take home bragging rights in the juniors’ and seniors’ sections. Alongside that is the STIHL Timbersports® Ladies and Rookie Championships and the New Zealand Rural Games Golf Cup. That night is the Norwood New Zealand Rural Sports Awards, and on the Saturday and Sunday is the Ford Ranger New Zealand Rural Games.

The New Zealand Rural Careers Day will (to date) host the following organisations:

Registrations of interest close on 4 December 2020.

For more information:

New Zealand Rural Games Trust Chair,
Margaret Kouvelis MNZM: 021 556 383
To register your interest please email:

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New Zealand Rural Careers Day established due to staffing crisis


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