Growing Our Region

Ruapehu Recruitment

Ruapehu Recruitment, a small business in Ohakune, has been changing lives.

Only two years old, Ruapehu Recruitment is an initiative which was set up under the Ruapehu Whānau Transformation Plan by Ngati Rangi. The Plan was established to address the issues in the communities of Raetihi, Ohakune and Waiouru and is seen as a catalyst for positive change.


Over the last two years, 220 employment outcomes have been achieved, resulting in over $5.5 million in income to local whānau. Prospective employees have been either offered traditional employment opportunities or Ruapehu Recruitment have taken them on a casual basis to then hire out to the community in a variety of roles.

Ruapehu Recruitment also has a number of training programmes on offer, cadet programmes and a careers expo in February/March each year.

“We have some fantastic relationships with local employers such as Ruapehu Alpine Lifts and Ohakune New World,” says Kathy Pyatt of Ruapehu Recruitment.

“Ten people each year are offered cadetships up the mountain, which will hopefully put them in good stead for full time employment at the end of their programme. Plus Ohakune New World have been instrumental in encouraging local people into the workforce.”

“In fact our mantra is to connect local jobs with local workers.”

Part of Ruapehu Recruitment’s success is that they are building a reputation for providing employable candidates. Candidates can attend workshops and go through driver training programmes, with the aim of making them more employable.

“One of the many barriers to employment is the cost of a driver’s license and owning a car, public transport is not an option in our communities so we help our candidates gain the skills to achieve their licenses so they can drive to work,” says Kathy.

“We also work with the Ministry for Social Development who have been really supportive, however it’s important to emphasise that we cater for non-beneficiaries as well.”

“We try to get to them before they get to the benefit stage.”

Ruapehu Recruitment were recently acknowledged for their success as recipients of the Maori Rising Star Award for Best New and Emerging Enterprise at the inaugural Te Manu Atatu Maori Business Awards in Whanganui.

“It was an honour to be recognised amongst some amazing businesses,” says Kathy.

“I think it will increase our profile and build awareness of what we do, providing the opportunity to replicate the model elsewhere.”

When Kathy was asked about any challenges Ruapehu Recruitment may face at the moment, she identified capacity as an issue.

“Our business has grown so quickly in a relatively short period of time, demand is enourmous and we are conscious about how we cater for it. We not only need to employ skilled staff for our business but we also need to upskill candidates for employers.”

While the Ruapehu community may have its social and economic challenges, for Kathy the greatest positive about being based in the district is the loyalty for each other the community displays.

“Our business has been built primarily on word of mouth so we have had to do little marketing.”

When looking into the future, Kathy is keen for the business to keep growing to meet the demands of the community.
“There is so much more we could do, we just need to build our resources internally.”

In the mean time, if you are looking for work in the Ruapehu District, Kathy suggested you come and see them or give them a call on 0800 RUAPEHU. All details can be found at