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Hard hit tourist towns to share $37m of jobs funding

25 May 2020  By Staff Reporter | | @tourismticker

Towns struck by the collapse in tourism will share part of the $37m investment in retraining and redeployment.

The Government is allocating $36.72m to projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown hit economically by Covid-19.

The aim is to keep people working, according to economic development minister Phil Twyford and regional economic development minister Shane Jones.

Phil Twyford

Twyford said the initiatives would create more than 400 local jobs in those regions, and help redeploy displaced workers into alternative employment over the next three to six months.

The money comes from the Government’s $100m worker redeployment package, announced in March.

“We need to keep New Zealand businesses going, workers in jobs and regional economies afloat and viable, while at the same time ensuring the health of our country is not compromised,” Phil Twyford said.

“Workers throughout New Zealand have been significantly impacted by Covid-19. Our aim is to put in place measures to soften the impact on workers and businesses in some of the most affected areas.”

In Northland, 165 jobs are expected from a $9.51m boost for roading projects including roadside and vegetation clearing, maintenance and construction work.

Hawke’s Bay would receive $15.24m to create 220 jobs, also for local roading projects.

Queenstown Lakes has been allocated $1.4m to support local worker redeployment.

Rotorua’s $1.12m allocation is for local roading projects relating to vegetation control, to create about 25 jobs.

In addition, the Ministry for Primary Industries would receive $6m to develop a national primary industries workforce package.

The Ministry of Social Development would use $3.45m for redeployment training.

The work in Hawke’s Bay, Rotorua and Northland would mostly focus on safety improvements and maintenance projects for roads and bridges, and footpath and cycleway construction, Jones said.

The Queenstown package would help address the shortfall of workers in the primary sector nationally by retraining workers and attracting new workers.

When the Government announced its $100m workers redeployment package in March, it allocated $28m to support worker redeployment in Tairāwhiti on the East Coast of the North Island, plus $6.2m to support redeployment of forestry workers nationally.

The package would be administered through the Provincial Development Unit, which received $500,000 to monitor and administer the projects.


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