A Kerikeri-based business leader is not surprised by the rise in unemployment in Northland and says improving the situation is largely up to locals.
Figures from Statistics New Zealand released on Thursday show that in the first three months of the year, the national unemployment rate fell from 6.8% to 6.2%.
However, unemployment in Northland rose from 8.7% to 10% in the March quarter.
Mike Simm, a businessman and head of the Northland Youth Development Trust, said there are some realistic opportunities on the horizon in mining, milk processing and acquaculture.
However, Mr Simm said it is up to the region to help itself by making sure its youth stay at school as long as possible and that people become appropriately skilled.