About us

The role of Workforce Development Councils (WDCs) is to ensure the vocational education system meets industry needs and gives a stronger voice to Māori business and iwi development. We will give our industries and employers greater leadership and influence across vocational education. 


Success for us means employers - including Māori business owners - are confident that vocational education graduates are ready for work and that the future skills needs of their industry will be addressed by the vocational education system. 

As well as directly benefiting employers, we improve confidence and outcomes across the sector. Providers can be confident their programmes are relevant to employers and endorsed by industry. Learners can be confident their qualifications will meet employers’ expectations and national industry standards. 

Kia tu tangata ai tātou, puta noa I te ao. (We will stand with confidence and competence anywhere in the world). 

The industries we represent  

Hanga-Aro-Rau (Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics) Workforce Development Council represents industries including Manufacturing, Processing, Extractives and Drilling, Transport (including heavy and commercial), Postal, Warehousing and related engineering.  

Industry Stakeholder Group 

We are currently working with industry to establish an Industry Stakeholder Group that will enable industry to influence the direction and performance of the Workforce Development Council. 

This group will be responsible for future appointments to the Council and providing advice and feedback on the organisation’s strategic direction and performance.  

The members of the industry stakeholder group must represent a broad range and diversity of views across the specified industries. 

What we do 

We work with industry and employers to understand the skills that are needed. This information is passed to education and training providers, who will be expected to create learning programmes that will give people relevant skills to address future workforce needs.  

We lead the development of industry qualifications, set industry standards and quality assure training provision against these industry standards. Where appropriate, we set and help with capstone assessments at the end of a qualification. Industry standards will be consistently applied across the country, and across all modes of learning, whether on the job (such as apprenticeships), on campus or online.  

We also endorse vocational education programmes prior to them being approved by NZQA.   

Who we work with 

We work with learners, industry (including, but not limited to, employers, employees, self-employed people, volunteers, industry associations, and unions), tāngata whenua, stakeholders, the other workforce development councils and other organisations to deliver the outcomes that the Council seeks. 

We are in the process of appointing our staff to lead this engagement, and ensuring we have fit for purpose mechanisms to engage with industry.  

As well as engaging with industry and employers, we work collaboratively across the vocational education sector. We will engage with Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs), Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVEs) and Providers (Te Pūkenga, Wānanga and Private Training Establishments (PTEs).  

We also engage with a range of parties to help inform and prioritise their service delivery. These include the Ministry of Education (MoE), Advocacy Groups, Learners, Te Taumata Aronui, Government agencies and schools.  

Our name 

Our Te Reo Māori name gives a holistic and circular explanation of Hanga-Aro-Rau's coverage 

Hanga-Aro-Rau – Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics.  

Hangarau or Engineering - to design and plan a product  

Hanga or Manufacturing - to produce the product  

Arorau or Logistics – to transport the raw materials and finished products  

The name of Hanga-Aro-Rau was catalysed through thinking schematically around the circular process of the product from design, production to distribution, and through to people, learning and on-going journey of development. Hanga-Aro-Rau can perhaps be technically translated as 'Manufacturing through Creativity and Networking’ or taking it a step further, 'Manufacturing through Innovation and Collaboration'. 

This beautiful reflection of the intermingling of our industries in Te Reo Māori was created by Adjunct Associate Professor Dr Joseph Te Rito. 

Our logo  

Our logo is an image of a taura whiri, a plaited rope. The taura whiri, plaited rope has been used as a metaphor by kaiwhaikōrero (orators) to connect whānau groups through a shared ancestor and to acknowledge a leader’s ability to bring people together. It has been applied to various situations where elements come together in unity. The taura/rope is made by plaiting aho (strands) made from rolled muka (scraped flax strands). Creating a stronger taura (rope) than the aho could on their own. 

Our logo colour relates to Māori culture and the connection between people and nature. The darker green links back to te taiao, our natural world, as the source of materials used for the production of objects, tools and structures, those utilitarian objects used in everyday life. 


How our Workforce Development Council was established  

Extensive consultation with industry and the vocational education sector took place prior to our WDC being stood up on 4 October 2021. 

The establishment of WDCs was led by WDC Interim Establishment Boards (iEBs) that were made up of industry representatives, a number of whom were subsequently appointed to the permanent WDC Council. The main role of iEBs was to oversee the legal establishment of WDCs, which occurred through an Orders in Council (OiC) process.   

Our Order in Council  

The iEB was responsible for consulting with industry and developing an OiC that outlined the name of our WDC, industries represented, governance arrangements and other core aspects of their WDC. More than 200 people and organisations provided feedback on the draft OiCs. This engagement helped ensure our WDC was established in ways that will best meet industry needs.

Once approved by the Minister of Education, OiCs were sent to the Governor-General for signature. On Monday 10 May 2021 Her Excellency the Governor-General, Patsy Reddy, gave Royal Assent, passing in to law, OiCs establishing the six WDCs. The legislation came into effect on 11 June 2021. 

See the Hanga-Aro-Rau Manufacturing, Engineering and Logistics OiC.