Our district has now received more than $30 million external funding from the Coalition Government, including the Provincial Growth Fund.

This is exciting time for a rural area like Wairoa that has never before seen revitalisation investment like we have under this Coalition Government.

This investment is going into infrastructure like bridge strengthening, tourism support, our main street enhancement, roading and employment.

In announcing last week’s funding of nearly $4 million, Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau described Wairoa as one of the success stories for the Provincial Growth Fund.

And we are. The investment we are receiving, at no cost to our ratepayers is making a real difference to the lives of our local people.

The latest funding investment of $3.78 million will go towards marae renovations, the development of a new QRS roading construction hub and expansion works at the Pine Valley Orchard.

Nineteen marae in the Wairoa district will receive a total of $1.58 million to carry out a variety of renovations creating immediate employment opportunities for local people.

Wairoa has 39 marae and they are the hub of our communities. It is fantastic that Central Government recognises that.

The funding is expected to create more than 100 jobs for local contractors and labourers, and will involve landscaping, building repairs, electrical wiring, plumbing, and painting work.

What an amazing project that sees our marae, the hearts of community being done up by our local people which creates employment.

The $2 million loan to Quality Roading and Services Wairoa Ltd (QRS) to construct an Operations Hub in Wairoa will see extra employment for the duration of the project and even better an additional 28 staff over the next five years.

QRS is one of the successful Council-Controlled Trading Organisations (CCTO) in the country, and that is a credit to its board, management and staff.

The PGF also invested $200,000 in Nuhaka Kiwifruit Holdings Ltd (operated by Pine Valley Orchard Ltd) to assist in increasing productivity and create up to 12 jobs. I am so pleased to see private enterprise benefitting from this transformative funding.

These projects are by Wairoa for Wairoa. We are investing in our own people and that is the best way to grow our district.

The Government’s support of these projects ensures we keep our local people working which ultimately supports a thriving local economy.

Wairoa is also celebrating the regional Three Waters investment package of $50 million which Hawke’s Bay received as part of the Government’s three waters (drinking water, wastewater, stormwater) investment funding package

Wairoa has now agreed to sign the Central Government Memorandum of Understanding to secure $11.04 million of funding for Three Waters work.

This funding is so timely and demonstrates that the Government recognises that Councils need assistance to meet the standards and requirements.

This has been a fantastic collaborative regional effort and it was particularly rewarding that Hawke’s Bay received an additional $20 million in recognition of its collaborative regional approach.

It is disappointing that New Zealand now has Coronavirus outside of a managed isolation or quarantine facility and we are all hoping this situation can be quickly controlled.

Wairoa, like other small areas, has been leading the charge in terms of COVID-19 recovery.

International travel restrictions mean New Zealanders are holidaying at home. Wairoa recently recorded the third biggest increase in local accommodation spending across New Zealand.

Figures from Eftpos New Zealand revealed the spending increase in Wairoa was up by 90.7%, behind only Greytown and Martinborough.

We also know our whānau is coming home and bringing with them skills and experience which will only grow our district.

The work of our iwi and our training providers is also generating work and providing opportunities and career paths for our rangatahi.

A collaborative approach through our Wairoa Community Partnership Group has also attracted funding with a potential $500,000 set to be unlocked through Wairoa being selected as one of four entities to receive funding to pilot a localised approach to Whānau Ora commissioning.

It is a very exciting time to live in Wairoa.

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