PGF helps to restore the heart of Wairoa CBD

Published: Jan 22, 2020

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  • Hawke's Bay

The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa.

A group of people taking a tour of an abandoned building in Wairoa.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau taking a tour of the abandoned buildings in Wairoa CBD that will be renovated with Wairoa Council's Denise Eaglesome-Karekare, Alex Powdrell and Mayor Craig Little.

The PGF is funding:

  • Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility
  • Up to $960,000 for the Wairoa Digital Employment Programme (funded through Te Ara Mahi, the PGF’s skills and training allocation)
  • $400,000 for the Wairoa Regional Digital Hub
  • These projects will encourage more businesses and visitors into the main town and create better employment opportunities for local people.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little described the funding injection as one of the most transformative changes the Wairoa community has seen in decades.

The funding will help transform two centrally-located, under-utilised buildings to house a new Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility. The facility will concentrate economic activity in the town with a new visitor centre, space for start-up tenants, a Rocket Lab education centre and a potential showcase for local food and beverages.

It will benefit the Wairoa community by attracting and supporting local businesses and start-ups to the township, increasing employment potential and diversifying economic activities.

It is also expected to attract passing traffic and increase visitor spending across all businesses.

Funding will also be used to develop the Wairoa Regional Digital Hub, which is a facility that will provide better internet connectivity to individuals, small businesses and corporates.

The hub will be used for training, mentoring and business advisory with workshops to upskill business or IT related activity.

Not everyone has access to the internet in Wairoa so this hub will also have huge benefits for individuals in the community.

The Wairoa Digital Employment Programme being run by the Korou Digital Agency will develop digital capability through training programmes for local people who want a future career in the digital sector and will help grow better opportunities within the high-skilled, high-waged sector.

The programmes will provide 12 weeks of paid digital and technology-based industry training, including software engineering, programming application and game development followed by 40 weeks employment as a digital apprentice with at least 48 participants expected to enrol in the first two years.