First came news in an emailed press release headed Key Māori businesses recognised as good employers).
The press release hasn’t been posted on the Beehive website, but it advised us of Forestry Minister Shane Jones presenting the Māori Agribusiness Awards at the Primary Industries Good Employer Awards.
Then our email delivered a press release headed Awards for best primary sector employers. It told us about Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor congratulating the best primary sector employers at an awards evening at Parliament.
“The first ever MPI AGMARDT Primary Industries Good Employer Awards have recognised exceptional employers across the dairy, seafood, forestry and horticulture sectors,” he said.
We hope they all had a great night. But how much money did the award-winners get and what was the cost to the taxpayer?
The short answer is that $35,000 was budgeted for the occasion.
Before steering us to to the Minister of Agriculture’s Office, we were told by a Jones staffer there was no prize for the good employer awards, other than the recognition.
The Minister of Agriculture’s Office sent our questions to the Ministry for Primary Industries which replied:
The Primary Industries Good Employer Awards recognise and celebrate primary industries employers who are demonstrating exceptional employment practices. The initiative is part of MPI’s future skills programme.
The future skills programme includes initiatives, like the Good Employer Awards, designed to help ensure the primary sector has excellent employment conditions and can retain is workforce. The programme also includes initiatives to raise awareness of careers in the primary industries, ensure fit for purpose training, education and professional development, and monitor workforce demographics across the primary industries.
MPI has budgeted approximately $35,000 towards the Primary Industries Good Employer Awards and this has been matched by AGMARDT.
The major expense from the event was the creation of videos of the award winners sharing their stories about their innovative employment practices, how they provide opportunities for their employees to develop and grow, and the importance of the health, safety and wellbeing. These videos will be used to help MPI promote exceptional primary industries employers and encourage others to adopt similarly high standards.
Readers with an urge to find out who won awards can find out here.