March 20, 2020
Lifeline offered for Tairawhiti forestry sector
Te Tairāwhiti will be the first region to benefit from a $100 million plan to help workers affected by the economic impact of Covid-19.
Speaking in Gisborne this morning alongside Forestry Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry said forestry workers in the region had been particularly hard hit.
He said $28 million has been earmarked to redeploy up to 300 workers in jobs like road maintenance, hazardous tree removal, fast-tracking One Billion Trees projects, conservation activities and retraining or education.
The Tairāwhiti package will be administered through the Provincial Development Unit in partnership with the Mayors’ Forum and Gisborne District Council.
Mr Jones said 6.7 per cent of Tairawhiti’s GDP is linked to forestry.
By redeploying workers to short-term projects, they can be available to go back to the forestry sector once it returns to normal.
Mr Jones also announced a $12.1 million loan from the Provincial Growth Fund to accelerate the development of WET Gisborne Ltd’s wood processing production line, which will produce a laminated structural wood product at the Wood Cluster Centre of Excellence located in Gisborne.
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