Wairoa received another funding boost today (07.08.20) with the Government pledging nearly $4 million that will create around 200 jobs in the district and drive economic growth for the region.
In making the announcement Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau described Wairoa as one of the success stories for the Provincial Growth Fund.
“The funding we have provided this town is making a real difference to the lives of locals.”
The latest funding investment of $3.78 million will go towards marae renovations, the development of a new QRS roading construction hub and expansion works at the Pine Valley Orchard.
Nineteen marae in the Wairoa district will receive a total of $1.58 million to carry out a variety of renovations creating immediate employment opportunities for local people.
The funding is expected to create more than 100 jobs for local contractors and labourers, and will involve landscaping, building repairs, electrical wiring, plumbing, and painting work.
Mr Tabuteau said marae are important centres for Māori culture and identity and act as the heart of a community.
“This announcement assists much needed marae renovation work and the added bonus is jobs for local tradies and contractors displaced by the economic impact of COVID-19.”
In May the Government earmarked $70 million for the renovation of marae, town halls, war memorials and Pasifika churches all over the country. The money was part of $600 million being refocussed on projects with immediate economic benefits as part of the COVID-19 recovery.
More marae funding announcements are expected on Monday (10.08.20).
Today’s announcement included a $2 million loan to Quality Roading and Services Wairoa Ltd (QRS) to construct an Operations Hub in Wairoa.
This will employ up to eight construction staff, with around 30 sub-contracting staff on site for the duration of the project.
QRS is Wairoa’s second largest employer with the roading contracting company planning to employ an additional 28 staff over the next five-years.
This will take their total staff numbers to 130. QRS staff are currently housed in several locations that are old and beyond their design life. The new hub will consolidate existing staff and accommodate future staff numbers.
QRS chief executive Nigel Pollock said after years of commitment to Wairoa’s infrastructure, now is the time to invest in its own.
“Thanks to this stimulus package from the Government, QRS can now invest in its own people, ensuring their workspace is energetic and team-spirited, warm, inviting, and something we can all be proud of.”
The PGF is also investing $200,000 in Nuhaka Kiwifruit Holdings Ltd (operated by Pine Valley Orchard Ltd) to assist in increasing productivity.
This involves establishing a large water reservoir and installing a plastic tunnel house system over two existing kiwiberry areas.
Construction work on the reservoir and tunnel house systems will create up to 12 jobs and enable an expansion in operations and support more stable employment.
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little acknowledged the work of the Coalition Government and its response to ensure the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the lockdown are mitigated.
“This announcement supports some great projects within the district and ensures we keep our local people working which ultimately supports a thriving local economy.
“We have 39 marae in our district and it’s so important we look after these vital community hubs.”
Mr Little acknowledged Kahungunu Executive, led by Sarah Paku, for spearheading the Marae Renovations Project, with feedback indicating the application was an exemplar of best practice.
Mr Little also congratulated QRS for getting their modern, fit for purpose operations hub project across the line.
“This hub represents growth for QRS, our town and employment opportunities for our people.”
Mr Little paid tribute to Denise Raroa at Nuhaka’s Pine Valley Orchards saying Council had supported this initiative which saw Denise roll up her sleeves and grab the opportunity to improve outcomes for her community at Nuhaka.
“These three initiatives are all examples of a united and collaborative Wairoa, and each of them will help strengthen our district and our people.”
Wairoa’s latest Provincial Growth Fund announcement includes $1.58 million to carry out renovations at local marae creating employment opportunities. Pictured at the announcement is Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau with Wairoa marae representatives.
7 August 2020
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