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Provincial Growth Fund Set To Deliver More Than Just Roads

 

Council is on track to deliver $23m of Provincial Growth funded local roading projects before the end of the year.

Over $24m has been invested to date and up to 150 local people are directly employed on PGF funded projects across Tairāwhiti, a number that’s expected to rise with 10 new projects now underway.

Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz says the timing of the investment couldn’t be better.

“This is an extra $3m per month which isn’t only improving our local road network, but going to local companies who employ and support local families. It’s a fantastic boost at just the right time.

“Through working hard to secure and deliver on central government investment, we’ve put ourselves in a great position to be able to support local business and people in the recovery from COVID-19.”

In a government release today, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones complimented the progress and work Council and the Provincial Development Unit have done to introduce changes to the roading procurement model to contract directly to local developing contractors and provide training and development support for new and existing employees.

Rather than awarding contracts based on price, tenders are now 55% weighted on staff training and development while contractors need to show how new and existing staff will receive quality training and qualifications during the project.

The changes signal a new focus on maximising return for local communities from local and national investment, says Council Chief Executive Nedine Thatcher-Swann.

“With the level of investment we’re seeing at the moment from central government we want to ensure our communities benefit much more than just having a better road network. We want to see new jobs, stronger local companies and more qualified employees through this investment,” she said.

“We’ve asked the local contractors to step up and take on this challenge with us and they are doing exactly that. The response to this kaupapa has been fantastic. They understand that the more we invest in our people to succeed, the more likely we are to succeed as a region.”

The total funding available to Council for PGF approved projects is $54.2m. There are still five current business case studies for projects including further East Cape Road repairs, the development of King or Harper Road and a local route resilience study which groups a range of sites for repair to improve the economic resilience of the network.

A complete project update is available on the Council website.

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