Hon James Shaw
Minister of Climate Change

Hon Stuart Nash
Minister of Economic and Regional Development


Tēnā kōrua,

As a range of organisations who are concerned that a lack of skilled workers is hampering the Government’s and the nation’s decarbonisation agenda, we are writing to you to urge the Government to invest more in training New Zealanders to do this work.

Reducing our emissions and decarbonising our economy is an urgent priority for Aotearoa. When it comes to decarbonising the energy (including process heat), housing and transport sectors, the speed of both public and private sector decarbonisation depends not only on funding and equipment, but on the availability of skilled workers. These include plumbers, drainlayers, and civil engineers who are specifically qualified to work with water infrastructure, distributed renewable energy, sustainable construction and zero emissions transport. These workers are hard to find, especially as there are many competing demands for their skills – including internationally.

An important part of a just transition to a low-carbon economy is providing skilled, well-paying jobs in decarbonisation work. But, without the necessary investment in training and professional development, there just won’t be enough of these skilled workers to go around.

We would also like you to consider incorporating Transition Engineering (as discussed in Transition Engineering, Building a Sustainable Future by Susan Krumdieck, CRC Press 2020) into the respective curricula to insure the development of future proof solutions.

Further government investment in training such skilled workers is a win-win-win. It creates skilled jobs in the regions where much of the mahi of decarbonising industry needs to be done, it enables existing decarbonisation targets to be met, and it has the potential to increase community support for the decarbonisation programme. Therefore, we urge your Government to fund and support the training and education that is urgently needed.

Ngā mihi nui
Tim Jones

on behalf of the following organisations and signatories:
350 Aotearoa – Alva Feldmeier, Executive Director
ActionStation – India Logan-Riley, Climate Justice Organiser
Climate Justice Taranaki – Catherine Cheung, Researcher
Coal Action Network Aotearoa – Tim Jones, Organising Group member
FIRST Union – Louisa Jones, Assistant General Secretary 
OraTaiao: NZ Climate & Health Council – Summer Wright & Dr Dermot Coffey, co-convenors
Parents for Climate Aotearoa – Alicia Hall, National Coordinator
Protect Our Winters NZ – Marian Krogh, Lead Advocate
Sustainable Bay of Plenty Charitable Trust – Glen Crowther, Executive Director
Wise Response – Thomas Neitzert, Secretary