The Jobs
Research Trust

Jo Howard
Rodger Smith
Dave Owens
Vivian Hutchinson

Sue Page

Web Updates

Patron Saint
Florence Nightingale

The Jobs
Research Trust

P.O.Box 428
New Plymouth
New Zealand

phone 06-753-4434
fax 06-753-4430


“ I think one's feelings waste themselves in words ... they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.”
Florence Nightingale 1820-1910, English Nurse and reformer

Click for

Mayors Taskforce for Jobs

— working towards the "zero waste" of New Zealanders

Employment Catalyst

— a philanthropic fund for employment initiatives, backed by the Tindall Foundation

To develop and distribute information that will help our communities create more jobs and reduce unemployment and poverty in New Zealand.

OUR VISION is that every town and community in New Zealand will have an informed, articulate and creative voice for action on employment and poverty issues.

OUR WORK is already informing a wide network of people at all levels of the jobs challenge — from community welfare workers, training providers, careers advisers, educators, researchers and writers, employers and the business community, employment activists, government departments, and local and national politicians.

OUR MAIN PROJECTS presently include :

  • The Jobs Letter — providing good and timely information and media watch on all aspects of the employment issue and related topics of education and economics.
  • www.jobsletter.org.nz— our award-winning internet resources.
  • The Employment Catalyst — a philanthropic fund for employment initiatives, backed by the Tindall Foundation.
  • Our partnership with the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs — working towards the "zero waste" of New Zealanders.
  • Research and Publications on specific aspects of the employment and livelihood issues.
  • Support and advice to government, local authorities, community groups and individuals who wish to address unemployment and poverty.

  • THE KEY RESULTS we seek from our work are :

  • Good information support to activists, community leaders, employers and local business people, public servants and politicians working on the question of unemployment and poverty in our communities.
  • Community groups with a clear visions and strategies of action on what they can do locally.
  • A sincere political will to act on these challenges in New Zealand.
  • A widening of the public debate on employment to include broader economic issues, the future of work in our culture and the future of our welfare state.

  • 2001 Annual Report

    JOBS RESEARCH TRUST SIGNS PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT WITH MAYORS TASKFORCE FOR JOBS. (left to right) Yvonne Brown (volunteer), Dave Owens (trustee), Vivian Hutchinson (trustee), Elaine Gill (Local Employment Co-ordination Group), Rodger Smith (trustee) and Claire Stewart (Mayor of New Plymouth).

    IN EARLY 2000, the Jobs Research Trust reached a defining point. We had exceeded our targets in paid subscriptions for The Jobs Letter, but we recognised that by charging for subscriptions we had created a limitation on the number of readers we could reach. If we wanted to further expand our charitable purposes, that is, fostering public discussion on employment, unemployment and poverty in New Zealand, then we recognised that we needed to make The Jobs Letter more accessible.

    From this perspective, the trustees resolved to abandon the paid subscriber model (which had given us an income for seven years) and instead strive to make The Jobs Letter freely available on the internet. The idea posed a fundamental structural change and dilemma for the Trust: we could not be sure that The Jobs Letter would survive without the paid subscription base that provided the bulk of our income. But the Trustees resolved that for The Jobs Letter to be as effective a tool as it could be, for as many people as possible ... it needed to be freely available to everyone one who is interested to read it.

    The decision was a leap of faith. But our seven-year track record had begun to culminate in some important strategic alliances with organisations that held similar values to ours and who were willing and able to back our charitable purposes. In this respect, the support of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs along with the Ministry of Economic Development has been critical. We also gratefully acknowledge the help from Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, the Cathy Pelly Maungarongo Trust, the JR McKenzie Trust and the koha (donations) of many individual supporters. These organisations and individuals have provided the resources that have helped us to successfully make The Jobs Letter freely available to everyone.

    On 18th of August, 2000, we published issue 129, the first electronically free-to-all issue of The Jobs Letter. This and all subsequent issues have been published in three formats: an expanded internet version posted on our website with readers alerted to it by an email notice; an on-line Adobe PDF version either emailed directly to readers or downloadable from our website; and the traditional printed and posted copy that is still available on a paid subscription basis. At the changeover, about three-quarters of our paid subscribers shifted to the free email versions while the remainder still prefer to pay for and receive the printed paper edition of The Jobs Letter in the post.

    What is greatly satisfying has been the huge increase in traffic on our website since we went free-to-all. We estimate that our readership has increased four-fold (from about 5,000 to 20,000) since the changeover. We believe that The Jobs Letter is now giving the widest number of people possible “... the tools to think with”, and there are very few people in this country involved in employment or poverty issues who are not using, or at least aware of, this resource.

    WORKING BEE VOLUNTEERS on Jobs Letter Mailout Days.

    The changeover to a mostly electronic production has meant the end to our need for our team of volunteers to help with the mailouts. For years as many as eight volunteers would dutifully and happily come to our offices every two to three weeks to fold The Jobs Letter and stuff envelopes. It was an emotional end of an era as we sealed up the last of the big mailouts, and we thank the volunteers who have been such an important part of the history The Jobs Letter.


    During 2000/01, the Trust took on a new young staff member. Karl Gorringe was a former journalism student who had been volunteering for us in the office. In August we employed Karl through a Taskforce Green scheme and we stayed with us for seven months until he decided to move a larger center to pursue his other interests.

    Also during this year, our long-time Diary column writer and Trustee Dave Owens announced he was taking leave to go and volunteer in East Timor. Motivated by the fact that the Indonesian invasion and 24 years of occupation and human rights abuses were a direct result of our western governments turning a blind eye to this breach of international law, and the fact that the unemployment rate was said to be over 80%, Dave offered his experience to an East Timorese community group in Dili called Futo. He worked for four months as a volunteer teaching building skills. During that time he emailed 11 newspaper articles back from East Timor which were published in the Taranaki paper The Daily News , Trust administrator Shirley Vickery created a “Dave Owens in East Timor” page on our Jobs Research Trust website where his articles continue to be posted.

    JRT TRUSTEE Dave Owens preparing for volunteering in East Timor.

    Over the 2000/01 year we produced several special issues of The Jobs Letter : “Jobs from Waste” February 2000 (issue 118); “The Digital Divide” September 2000 (issue 131); “Sustainable New Zealand” December 2000 (issue 134); “New Zealand Job Search Websites” February 2001 (issue 140), this one written by Karl Gorringe.

    Editor of the The Jobs Letter Vivian Hutchinson has been in great demand as a speaker this past year. He gave the keynote address at the launch of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs in April 2000. His speech “Making Hope Possible” has been widely reproduced both nationally and internationally. In November, Vivian spoke to a day-long workshop of community groups in Dunedin. He also spoke to both the Cathy Pelly Maungarongo Trust and the J R McKenzie Trust on community philanthropy. And he addressed the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs again in March 2001, this time on youth unemployment.

    Jobs Research Trustees have also attended several conferences this year including: “Redesigning Resources” in Christchurch in June where Vivian and the core group of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs had a private meeting with American author Paul Hawkin; the “Zero Waste” conference in Kaitaia in December; and the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs strategy and networking meeting in Manukau City in March 2001.

    We look forward to an equally challenging year in 2001/02 ... and continue to be grateful for all the support we have received for our work.

    Jo Howard
    Rodger Smith
    Dave Owens
    Vivian Hutchinson
    Trustees of the Jobs Research


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    8-11 May 2003

    The Jobs Research Trustees meet in New Plymouth

    31 March 2003

    Vivian Hutchinson attends the leadership forum held by the NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development in Auckland. The NZBCSD Youth Employment Guide is formally launched

    19 March 2003

    Dave Owens attends the Department of Labour's one day workshop on the Future of Work

    6 March 2003

    Mayors Taskforce Annual Meeting. Vivian Hutchinson delivers a keynote speech entitled "An Economy of Connection - Some Thoughts after a Knowledge Wave" Rodger Smith addresses the meeting on the partnership between the Mayors and the The Jobs Research Trust.

    19 -21 February 2003

    Knowledge Wave Conference held in Auckland. Vivian Hutchinson attends on behalf of The Tindall Foundation.

    28-29 January 2003

    Tindall Foundation Manager Trevor Grey visits the Jobs Research Trust in New Plymouth

    20 December 2002

    End of year function. Once again Jobs Research Trust staff close the office and attend a matinee screening of The Two Towers - the second movie in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

    17 December 2002

    Vivian Hutchinson meets with the Strategic Social Policy Group at the Ministry of Social Development

    18 November 2002

    Vivian Hutchinson speaks at the launch of Geoff Chapple's book "Te Araroa - The New Zealand Trail" in Auckland.

    21-23 October 2002

    Jo Howard and Vivian Hutchinson represent the Employment Catalyst at the Philanthropy NZ annual conference in Wellington.

    7-8 October 2002

    Jobs Research Trustees meet in Taupo.

    2 October 2002

    Vivian Hutchinson attends the signing of the second Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the Mayors Taskforce, held at the Beehive in Wellington.

    22-29 September 2003

    Mayors Taskforce Admin. Group meets in Invercargill. Vivian Hutchinson tours local employment projects with Mayor Tim Shadbolt.

    24-26 July 2002

    The Community Employment Group holds their national meeting in New Plymouth. Vivian Hutchinson attends and gives a speech

    10 July2002

    Charlie Moore, head of The Community Employment Group, visits the Jobs Research Trust in New Plymouth.

    22-24 May 2002

    Youth in Local Government Conference held in Rotorua. Vivian Hutchinson delivers a keynote entitled "The Spirit of Youth"

    9 May 2002

    After the Mtfjobs Admin Group meets in Dunedin, Vivian Hutchinson speaks at a public meeting hosted by Dunedin Mayor Sukhi Turner.

    24 April 2002

    "Zero Waste of Wairoa Youth" Mayors Taskforce for Jobs Regional Meeting hosted by Wairoa Mayor Les Probert, with guest speaker Vivian Hutchinson.

    28 March 2002

    Dave Owens, trustee and Jobs Letter Associate Editor, puts out a special issue of The Jobs Letter in which three spokespeople from parties outside the coalition government give their feedback on how the government is doing on employment.

    18-20 March 2002

    Vivian and Trustee Jo Howard attend the Community Philanthropy in NZ Conference organised by the Tindall Foundation and held in Tauranga at the Compass Community Village. Vivian gives the opening address entitled "A Generous Nation"

    7-9 March 2002

    Jobs Research Trustees meet in Auckland to discuss the progess of the Employment Catalyst Fund.

    15 February 2002

    Mayors Taskforce for Jobs convenes annual meeting in Christchurch. Vivian Hutchinson gives keynote speech entitled "A Capable Age".

    18 January 2002

    Jobs Research Trust website is re-launched with a major upgrade and redesign of The Jobs Letter homepages.

    21 December 2001

    End of year function. Jobs Research Trust staff close the office and attend a matinee screening of The Lord of the Rings.

    3 December 2001

    The J R Mckenzie Trust makes an grant of $50,000 to The Employment Catalyst. This will be distributed to employment projects on the same basis as the Tindall Foundation money.

    28-29 November 2001

    Vivian attends "A Springboard for Growth" Regional Development Conference in Rotorua and the Mayors Taskforce breakfast meeting with Minister of Economic Development Jim Anderton.

    22-23 November 2001

    Vivian facilitates the first national gathering of Social Entrepreneurs in the Wellington Town Hall, hosted by the Community Employment Group.

    12-13 November 2001

    Vivian attends the Mtfjobs Admin Group meeting in Christchurch.

    11 October 2001

    AGM of the NZ Business Council for Sustainability, in Auckland. The Council resolves to explore a partnership with the Mayors Taskforce in pursuit of their primary goal of ending youth unemployment.

    9 October 2001

    Vivian attends a meeting with the Mayors Taskforce and the Department of Work and Income National Commissioner Ray Smith, and several Regional Commissioners, in Wellington, to explore future partnership initiatives.

    7-9 October 2001

    Jobs Research Trust meets in Taupo. We discuss protocols for the upcoming distribution of the Employment Catalyst Fund.

    August 2001

    Trustees begin vetting projects for the Employment Catalyst Fund.

    11 June 2001

    The Employment Catalyst Fund is launched. Jobs Research Trustees Jo Howard and Rodger Smith will manage the fund and assess projects together with Mayors Taskforce Chairman, Mayor Garry Moore and Executive Officer Jan Francis.

    5-6 June 2001

    Tim McMains, executive director of the Tindall Foundation, visits New Plymouth to confirm that The Jobs Research Trust will be asked to become a funding manager for the Tindall Foundation. The fund will be known as the Employment Catalyst Fund.

    Tim, Vivian and Dave visit Taranaki employment projects with Local Employment Committee co-ordinator Elaine Gill.

    22 May 2001

    Jobs Research Trustees submit a formal proposal to The Tindall Foundation. They suggest an initial focus on employment projects generated through the Mayors Taskforce For Jobs.

    30-31 March 2001

    Jobs Research Trust meets in Auckland. The Trustees meet Tim McMains to discuss becoming a funding manager for the Tindall Foundation in the area of employment.

    26-29 March 2001

    Trustees attend the Mayors Taskforce For Jobs Strategy and Networking meeting in Manukau City.

    12 March 2001

    Dave returns from volunteer work in East Timor.

    An East Timor section is added to the Jobs Research Trust website.

    9 March 2001

    Karl leaves his employment at the Jobs Research Trust to move to Wellington.

    5 March 2001

    Vivian Hutchinson attends Mayors Taskforce meeting which signs up "Principles of Partnership" with the Community Employment Group (Department of Labour) in Wellington.

    December 2000

    Mervyn Taylor, one of our The Jobs Letter mailout volunteers, receives a Volunteer Recognition Award by the New Plymouth Volunteer Centre for his extensive community service.

    7-9 December 2000

    Vivian attends the Zero Waste Conference in Kaitaia.

    30 November 2000

    Vivian meets with Community Employment Group Head Office staff to discuss future partnership which will see a CEG field officer allocated to work alongside each Mayor in the Mayors Taskforce.

    21-22 November 2000

    Vivian attends the Mayors Taskforce Core Group Strategy and Networking meeting at Local Government NZ Boardroom in Wellington.

    11 November 2000

    Dave flies to East Timor to work as a volunteer to work with a Dili-based community group called FUTO, teaching carpentry skills to members by helping to restore their buildings.

    Karl takes over writing the Diary column of The Jobs Letter .

    3 November 2000

    Vivian attends the Mayors Taskforce meeting with Government Department Heads in Wellington.

    19 October 2000

    Vivian attends the Mayors Taskforce meeting with Government Ministers in Wellington.

    26-27 September 2000

    Jobs Research Trust annual budget planning meeting held in New Plymouth.

    25 September 2000

    Mayors Taskforce signs up a partnership agreement with the Jobs Research Trust in New Plymouth.

    The Jobs Letter is now freely distributed to readers through its internet website.

    Jobs Research Trust Dinner. All Trustees, staff, and many current and former volunteers and friends brave winter weather to sit down to a pot luck dinner together in New Plymouth to celebrate our successful changeover to a free-to-all internet publication of The Jobs Letter and to acknowledge the immense help and support we have had by our team of volunteers over the years.

    19 September 2000

    Vivian attends the Mtfjobs Admin group meeting in Christchurch.

    12 September 2000

    Vivian attends the Mayors Taskforce meeting which signs up a Memorandum of Understanding with Government Ministers at the Beehive. The Memorandum is an agreement that central and local government will work in partnership towards shared employment objectives.

    31 August 2000

    Vivian attends the Mayors Taskforce meeting with the former Maori Employment and Training Commissioners.

    21 August 2000

    Karl is employed by the Jobs Research Trust on a Taskforce Green Scheme.

    27 June 2000

    Vivian attends the Mayors Taskforce special meeting with American author Paul Hawken at the Redesigning Resources Conference in Christchurch.

    June 2000

    Karl starts work as a volunteer in the office.

    Trust staff begin to prepare for the changeover to publication on the website when the Jobs Letter will become available to read or download for free-to-all from the Website or by email.

    April 2000

    Vivian launches the Mayors Taskforce For Jobs website in the internet. The website is hosted by Jobs Research Trust.

    28-9 April 2000

    Jobs Research Trust meets in New Plymouth. The trustees resolve that The Jobs Letter should try to be offered free-to-all on the internet and resolve that we will investigate options and take steps to reach this goal.

    6 April 2000

    The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs is launched by 31 Mayors in Christchurch. Vivian delivers the keynote speech – “Making Hope Possible”.

    The Jobs Research Trust — a not-for-profit charitable trust constituted in 1994.
    We are funded by sustaining grants and donations. Yes, you can help.