Growing Our Region

Feasibility study to find better skill and employment outcomes for youth in Horowhenua

The Horowhenua District is currently going through a phase of massive growth, and that means there are plenty of opportunities for the area’s young people. 
One of the district’s young leaders, Liam McLeavey is looking at ways to ensure Horowhenua’s young people have the skills and talent to take up those opportunities. Liam is incredibly passionate about this project and after months of hard work his application to the Provincial Growth Fund on behalf of the Horowhenua District Council has been successful. 

Last month, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced $50,000 would be provided to Horowhenua District Council for a feasibility study of the type and form of investment needed to support better education and employment outcomes for young people in Horowhenua.

“This is a once in a generation type project and I am thrilled that we can go ahead,” says Liam, who will be the project’s manager.


Liam McLeavey
Horowhenua Mayor Michael Feyen says council staff are looking forward to working with Liam on the project.

“Our employment rate is one of the lowest in Aotearoa, so it’s important that we undertake this study to find suitable outcomes,” he says.

“Liam is well suited to leading the project, its pleasing to see the government recognise his potential and his drive to improve the lives of others.”

The feasibility study is already underway with completion due by the end of February next year. Recommendations will be made, and Liam will work with community stakeholders to implement them.

“After years of decline, Horowhenua is now increasing in growth,” says Liam.

“We need to ensure our employers have the talent available to cater for that growth, and that we are supporting better outcomes for people in our community in general.”

“This feasibility study is the first step in making sure that happens.” 

Liam McLeavey is a former Waiopehu College student and is on the Minister of Education’s Ministerial Advisory Group. Liam also leads Pathways Horowhenua, a hub for young people to access and connect to education and employment opportunities.