Gisborne roading projects on track

Gisborne District Council’s local roading projects funded by the Provincial Growth Fund are nearing the halfway mark, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says.

Of the $54.2 million invested through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) for the work, $24m has already been invested in improving road infrastructure in the region and another $23m is due to be spent between now and Christmas.

The work includes resurfacing and other improvements to freight routes, repairing bridges and improving resilience against sea ingress.

“Gisborne’s roading network was significantly run down. Local roads were impacted by heavy use by logging trucks and other heavy vehicles as well as several weather events which also took their toll,” Shane Jones said.

“This funding to the Gisborne District Council results in better roads and connections in the area but also economic growth, work for local contractors and jobs and training for local people. This is exactly the sort of thing the PGF was set up to do.

“These improved routes will enable greater economic activity. They will make the roads safer for locals and the region more attractive for visitors. They will also ensure local goods are able to get to market by road.

“I’m also very happy to report that these projects and the council which is managing them are meeting our criteria of creating jobs, keeping up the pace of work and giving local people confidence in the region’s future.”

Up to 150 people have been employed on roading projects in Tairāwhiti to date and as the next round of projects kicks into gear more jobs will be created. The work has also enabled growth in the local contracting industry with local contractors being used as much as possible.

“The end result is a region which is well set up not just to recover from the impact of COVID-19, but to thrive into the future,” Shane Jones said.