The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $8 million in two game changing projects in the Hawke’s Bay, preparing youth for vocational training and job readiness, and creating immediate jobs in the manufacturing, recycling and horticulture industries, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.
"The Hawke’s Bay region was earmarked at the beginning of the PGF’s inception as a priority region to build on its farming and horticulture strengths, and provide employment opportunities and higher wages for locals," Fletcher says.
The PGF investments announced today are:
- The Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Centre Trust will receive a $5 million grant to construct a hostel at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports Park (now named the Mitre 10 Park), with the objective of bringing about a positive social change and enhancing job prospects for Hawke’s Bay’s most disadvantaged young people across Waipukurau, Flaxmere, Maraenui, and Wairoa.
- A $2.88 million loan for the Hawk Group to install an additional line at their existing manufacturing facility in Hastings with the Hawk Group funding the remaining 50 per cent of the total project cost.
"PGF investment in the construction of a hostel situated at the Mitre 10 Park, leverages off the existing Sports Park’s facilities and will enable the construction of a hostel equipped with self-catering facilities and amenities such as fitness training equipment, cooking facilities, all designed to bring at-risk youth to the centre for an especially tailored programme," Fletcher says.
"The programme, run by the Trust, will use sports and physical fitness to build self-esteem, develop leadership skills, as well as prepare for job readiness and vocational training. They aim to help 100 local youth each year.
"The Trust’s catch cry is to ‘be the best you can be’ which aligns with the PGF commitment to increase social inclusion and participation through the provision of effective training, work preparation and support for at-risk youth.
"I want to acknowledge the significant financial and non-financial input into the hostel project from the Hawke’s Bay Community Fitness Trust under the leadership of its Chair Sir Graeme Avery, who alongside other significant contributions from the community, and with PGF support, has meant this incredibly ground breaking and important project for the region can finally get off the ground.
"Sir Graeme Avery has said this investment will enable some 125 people to be employed over the 19 month timeline of the design and construction of the Hostel.
"I want to also celebrate PGF investment of a $2.88 million loan to the Hawk Group, with the remainder funded by the Hawk Group, to enable the installation of an additional line at their existing manufacturing facility," Fletcher says.
"Currently the Hawk Group’s is the overseer of New Zealand's primary manufacturer of apple and avocado moulded fibre packaging, and supplier of 80 per cent of moulded fibre apple trays in New Zealand.
"This is a great co-investment at this time as we look for ways to develop and grow the local economy, contribute jobs, and boost export opportunities.
"This investment will create more than 30 immediate jobs during the construction phase alone, as well as contributing to increased productivity over the longer term across manufacturing, recycling and horticulture industries, with the majority of revenue staying in the region.
"Hawke’s Bay, like a lot of our regions, has been hit by the economic fallout from COVID-19 and for the Hawke’s Bay region, additionally by drought. So it is more important now than ever that we work hard to support Hawke’s Bay through job creation and economic activity," Fletcher says.
"It’s great to be back in Hawke’s Bay at this time. Earlier today I attended the kick off of the $20.1 million PGF funded upgrade of Route 52 from Waipukurau to Porangahau, and met workers redeployed through the Government’s $100 million worker redeployment package.
"The PGF has announced more than $100 million for projects in the Hawke’s Bay region," Fletcher says.