Regions around the country received a funding boost for rail and roading projects that the Coalition Government says will create hundreds of extra jobs.
The Provincial Growth Fund is providing $60 million to councils and KiwiRail to create employment for local workers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today.
“As part of the recent Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) reset we announced an allocation of $60m for road and rail projects across the country that will focus on worker redeployment.
“This is made up of $27.2m for local roading projects, $26m for rail projects and nearly $6.8m for the Ministry of Social Development to support workers into training to take up these jobs.
“This means at least 800 New Zealanders most in need of employment due to the economic effects of Covid-19 can be employed into work in their own communities,” Minister Jones said.
The latest investment is in addition to the $100 million earmarked for worker redeployment, of which $28m has already been allocated to Tairawhiti, $6.2m nationally for forestry workers and $36.7m to other regions hard hit by the effects of Covid-19.
The $27.2 m for roading projects means work starts almost immediately on improving roads, cycleways, tree maintenance and water projects in seven regions. These are in the Bay of Plenty, the West Coast, Manawatu-Whanganui, Wairarapa, Taranaki, top of the South Island and Waikato.
The $26m rail investment means work can start early next month on culvert clearing and drainage improvements on regional railway lines. KiwiRail will be working with the Ministry of Social Development to take on and train new regional rail workers.
“Our aim is to put in place measures to soften the impact on workers and businesses in some of the most affected areas, and in sectors where jobs have been lost and most in need of support,” Mr Jones added.