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Prime Minister commends Council for proactive leadership

Jacinda MTFJ van

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern commended Central Hawke’s Bay District Council today for the critical role it had in facilitating employment opportunities through the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs, and demonstrating a strong ‘place-based’ approach as part of its Covid response and recovery.    

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “I want to commend the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council for its proactive leadership through what’s been a very challenging time. 

The Prime Minister paid an official visit to Central Hawke’s Bay this morning to see and hear more about the council’s community initiatives made possible through the government’s Covid recovery streams and Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs.  

Mayor Alex Walker and Chief Executive Monique Davidson hosted the Prime Minister on her visit to the district where she met the local Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs team, visited their mobile employment hub and met several local people who they had helped into employment.  This partnership project with the national Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs network, and the Ministry of Social Development has connected funding with the power of local communities.   

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “I’ve met people today whose lives have truly been changed by employment opportunities made possible by the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs programme.  This is a fantastic example of what can be achieved through strong place-based local government leadership.” 

As part of the Council’s Covid recovery programme they also secured just over $3.5 million from the government’s rapid redeployment fund to support shovel ready projects across the district. This partnership investment created a further 110 employment opportunities for people who would have otherwise been displaced by Covid. 

Ms Ardern visited one such shovel-ready project, the Tukituki Trails extension in Waipukurau which employed 12 locals. The extension of Tukituki Trails project, a partnership between Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and Rotary River Pathways Trust, received $750,000 to extend and beautify one of Central Hawke’s Bay’s flagship outdoor visitor attractions – a variety of trails and tracks along the beautiful Tukituki river. 

Mayor of Central Hawke’s bay, Alex Walker said, “It was wonderful to welcome the Prime Minister into our community today; to meet our people, and demonstrate how we’re using government funding and partnerships to support the wellbeing and livelihood of our communities.  

Community is everything – it’s our sense of place and identity. Despite the obvious challenge we face with wastewater infrastructure, that is forcing us to pour every spare dollar into itwe have shown that community-based partnerships and innovative leadership can deliver great outcomes for a small rural area. I see a bright future for local government if partnerships like this can be embraced across the country.” 

The Prime Minister completed her visit at the Waipawa Municipal Theatre where she greeted Central Hawke’s Bay District Council staff and councillors and thanked them for their continued and sustained efforts in delivering social and economic outcomes for the community of Central Hawke’s Bay. 



Further notes:

  • The Tukituki Trails, cycling and walking trails along the Tukituki River, are Central Hawke’s Bay’s flagship outdoor and natural attraction.  PGF funding of $750,000 is contributing to the development of: 

  • 14km extension of limestone stop bank, easy cycling trails and connecting bridge 

  • 17km walking and mountain bike tracks in the river berm (redeployment programme) 

  • 10km of mountain bike track in the gumtree farm  

 Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs: The ‘Jobs in Central Hawke’s Bay Project’, funded through Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs, has worked with 461 people since June 2020 - 182 of these people have gained employment, of which, 118 are covid displaced or youth. We are on track to be the first rural district to have unemployment at pre-covid levels. 

  • Other funded projects which have led to employment include: 

  • CHB Work redeployment package  

  • Rakai Ora – Bringing Wellbeing to Marae Tihei Tamatea 

  • He Ringa Whanua Ora 

  • He Kura Kainga programme 

  • Regional Digital Hub 

  • Nga ara Tipuna 

  • Upgrade of Porangahau and Wimbledon Roads 

  • Three waters stimulus funding 


5 May 2021

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