• About Us

Matt’s 2018 Market Update

With only weeks away until Christmas and the end of the year, our pnpersonnel Client Manager Matt Smout reflects on 2018. He shares his feedback from our local businesses and provides insights on employment opportunities and challenges heading into 2019.

It has been a busy and prosperous 2018, this is likely to continue into the new year. Local businesses remain positive about 2019, reporting a steady stream of work and projects. The development of infrastructure and roading (such as the Manawatu Gorge route) and an increase in our population contribute to growth within our region. The Manawatu industry is buoyant particularly within construction, roading and logistics.

Over the weekend the Labour Government announced the Manawatu region will receive an additional $43 million dollars from their Provincial Growth Fund, with $40 million earmarked for KiwiRail to build a new regional freight hub near Palmerston North.

This will generate further economic growth and new employment opportunities. CEDA’s latest economic update details economic growth from Palmerston North City at 3.4% and the wider Manawatu region at 4.1% compared against a 2.7% economic growth for NZ nationally (figures to June 2018).

Within our team at pnpersonnel we have seen an increase in permanent and contract opportunities this year. We have placed a range of permanent roles and engaged contractors employed within HR, IT and Project Management. We will assist with sourcing contractors for a large IT project scheduled for 2019 from our current IT contract pool and will reach out to other specialised IT professionals.

Our statistics show we are 10% up on permanent placements compared with last year, and the year isn’t over yet!

Throughout the region...

Palmerston North

Central Palmerston North continues to see opportunities flowing within the logistics, distribution and transport industries. Toyota’s expansion of their warehouse is expected to be an ongoing project until mid-2020. This has resulted in additional temporary staff requirements and pnpersonnel will continue to partner with Toyota for permanent and temporary employment.

PNCC has reorganised departmental structures which has created new roles and opportunities.

Our region’s growth is evident at the Palmerston North Airport, with an expanding commercial operation (Ruapehu Business Park) and a 28% increase in passenger numbers over the last 3 years.

Unfortunately, not all businesses have prospered, Ezibuy is currently working through the relocation of part of their distribution centre to Brisbane, pnpersonnel has offered our outplacement services to assist and support both employer and employees negotiate their way through a difficult time.


A number of new opportunities have been created at RJ’s Licorice, who acquired part of Nestle confectionary. Other businesses from the retail to agriculture sectors have remained stable throughout the year.


Whanganui continues to offer a lot of opportunities across a wide range of sectors and the Government’s planned $6 million investment into the port and rail connections will bring more employment to the region as it is rolled out. In my discussions with employers the main concern is staff retention, although with appealing house prices and an easy commute from Palmerston North, I anticipate these concerns will dissipate over the next couple of years.

Plan now for 2019

Businesses are now planning in the lead up until Christmas, looking to finalise and complete project work before the new year. This is the time to take stock of your current work requirements and consider if you require the assistance of temporary or contract staff to ensure you meet your end of year deadlines.

We have many skilled and talented people available immediately, or to provide support over the festive season. We are in touch with others outside of our region, with specialised skill sets keen to move to the Manawatu should an opportunity arise.

Qualified and specialised trades are in hot demand, with not enough qualified people locally to meet demand.

The question I am currently being asked is “when should I hire?” I have had conversations with many businesses regarding timing of employment for a new permanent staff member. Our Recruitment Specialists are having similar conversations with people considering making a career move, wondering if it should be now or in the New Year.

If you are feeling this way, I strongly encourage you to have a talk to us now, to determine a timeline tailored to your needs.

Our recruitment strategies are designed to work for you, we can advise as to when the best time will be to advertise. We can support with temporary staff (if required) to fill any gaps over the coming weeks.

It’s been a successful year for us at pnpersonnel and we look forward to catching up with you prior to the Christmas break and partnering with you in 2019.

Matt Smout

Matt Smout

Having extensive experience as an end to end recruiter, account manager, people leader and in business development – Matt has excellent knowledge of the 360-degree recruitment process and how to partner to understand your business and add real value.

Passionate about what he does Matt gets a real buzz from getting to know his client’s business and assisting their growth by providing tailored talent solutions.

Phone 06 280 2405 Mobile 027 607 2030 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Full Details


(06) 356 6091 Fax: (06) 356 6071

53 Princess Street, Palmerston North 4410
PO Box 594, Palmerston North 4440


Chamber of Commerce