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$2m package allocated to promote local employment in Central Hawke’s Bay

Digging

Central Hawke’s Bay will receive $2 million of Government money to fund projects with the goal of creating jobs for locals in the district.

This comes as part of Friday’s announcement from the Beehive that $36.72 million will be redistributed to projects in regions hit hard economically by COVID-19, including Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown, to generate employment for people who have lost their jobs. The wider Hawke’s Bay region has been allocated $15.24 million in total.

Central Hawke’s Bay was successful in securing $2 million towards a work programme which includes vegetation management in roading corridors and on public assets such as parks and reserves.

“The twin blows of COVID-19 and the drought have hit our District hard and many of our people are feeling financial strain,” says Monique Davidson, Chief Executive of Central Hawke’s Bay.

“An additional $2 million in the budget gives Council the capacity to offer significant employment to our locals, by redeploying those who have been impacted by COVID-19 into alternative employment through the second half of 2020.

“Not only will this funding support those individuals directly benefitting from employment, but also encourages local economic development and growth, while protecting and improving Central Hawke’s Bay’s landscape.”

Council will work with its contracting partners to incorporate a social procurement approach to this work to ensure that the project prioritises the employment of local workers displaced by the COVID-19 economic crisis. It is expected that a minimum of 15 jobs will be created in Central Hawke’s Bay through this work programme.

“Economic relief is required now. Timing is absolutely critical and planning has commenced immediately, with the programme of work due to start within two months,” says Ms Davidson.

“Supporting Central Hawke’s Bay’s workforce is of the utmost priority, to ensure we all come through this unprecedented time together,” says Alex Walker, Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay.

“$2 million will go a long way in supporting Central Hawke’s Bay as we recover socially and economically and we will continue to seek opportunities of this nature.”  

In addition to this funding, Central Hawke’s Bay District Council has worked with local government counterparts to pull together a list of ‘shovel-ready’ capital projects as part of regional economic stimulus package to Crown infrastructure Partners.

The Crown Infrastructure Partners package for the region focussed on Three Waters infrastructures. Central Hawke’s Bay District Council put forward an application for projects including a highly anticipated second water supply for Waipukurau and Wastewater Treatment Plant improvements. Last week Council received official notification from the Government that these projects have been shortlisted for consideration with the total value of the projects being approximately $79.2m.

“Although there is no guarantee that these projects will go on to receive the funding we’ve requested, I am delighted that they have been shortlisted for consideration,” says Ms Davidson.

“We’ve heard from our community that the wastewater and water supply projects in particular are of significant importance to Central Hawke’s Bay and we will be deliberating options in preparation for the 2021 Long Term Plan. With the right support, these projects present a real opportunity to deliver long-term, social, cultural and environmental benefits to our district, while providing essential economic stimulus in our time of crisis.”  

26 August 2020

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