March 23, 2020
Redeployment fund welcome relief for east coast forestry
The mayor of Gisborne has welcomed funding to redeploy forestry workers in the region affected by the collapse of log exports because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Tairawhiti has been earmarked $28 million of a $100 million fund to redeploy workers whose industries have been affected.
Rehette Stoltz says the money came after East Coast-based list MP Kiritapu Allen attended a mayoral forum and then alerted Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford to the problem.
She says about 300 workers have been identified who can be put on projects like removal of dangerous trees, conservation activities, road maintenance, and planting for the One Billion Trees scheme.
"It was work that was going to happen anyway so we are very grateful we know have the finances to bring this work forwards and accommodate these workers that might just need a tide over until the forestry industry starts up again, and we know it will, but at this stage, we're just not sure when," Mayor Stoltz says.
It means the forestry workers, the majority of whom are Maori, don’t need to seek work outside the region.
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