More than 160 people are currently working on roading, infrastructure and environmental projects throughout the District as part of the Kia Kaha Whakatāne programme – including more than 90 people who were formerly unemployed.
The Kia Kaha Whakatāne programme is made possible through Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment. The programme supports roading, infrastructure and environmental projects that are providing urgent economic relief for the workforce, particularly those who have lost jobs through COVID-19.
Whakatāne District Council was successful in securing $8.2 million to undertake a range of projects that are now being delivered by the Council and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Kia Kaha Whakatāne projects are not only providing work for the unemployed – they are also enabling contractors to retain existing staff and employ and train new staff.
One of those is Crossroads Construction Ltd, a civil contracting and road construction firm, based in Edgecumbe.
Crossroads Construction has 23 fulltime employees and more than a dozen part-time employees. Most are local to the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
Director James Whitley says due to the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, Crossroads was in a position where a restructure was being considered and jobs were at stake.
The Kia Kaha Whakatāne contract means Crossroads is currently able to retain all fulltime and
casual staff, as well as employ locals who have lost their jobs. New staff and some current employees are also getting training opportunities to support them to progress within the civil works industry. The company is currently involved in a project to construct a right-turn bay at the Wainui Road/Stanley Road intersection.
“Crossroads is a family orientated company that prides itself in looking after its employees and the local community. The pandemic has been hard hitting for a lot of businesses, but we want to be part of the solution that creates employment for those who have lost their jobs. Together, with Council and government support, we can look after the local community and rebuild,” says Mr Whitley.
Kia Kaha Whakatāne Programme Director, Cam Fletcher, says the partnership between the two Councils, the government, government agencies and the many contractors and employers, has meant the projects have been able to be established quickly in order to keep people and companies working.
“It’s very satisfying to see the programme underway, improving our environment and community assets, and keeping the local economy ticking,” Mr Fletcher says.
Kia Kaha Whakatāne projects currently underway or completed include:
- Wainui Road/Stanley Intersection
Construction of a right turn bay at the Wainui Road/Stanley Road intersection.
- Wainui Road/Harrison Road Intersection
Construction of Right Turn Bay at the Wainui Road/Harrison Road intersection.
- Bunyan Road Seal Extension/Te Ara a Kiore
Upgrading an unsealed section of Bunyan Road to a sealed pavement and construction of a new 2.5m shared use path along the full length of Bunyan Road East to serve new, and future development, in the area.
- Wildling Tree and Plant Pest Removal within the District’s Road Reserve
- Three Waters Asset Condition Assessment of Underground Pipe Networks
- Asset Condition Assessment of Manholes/Chambers
Within wastewater and stormwater systems.
- Location of Field Asset Data for Water Safety Plan Backflow Prevention Devices
- Mechanical Maintenance Capacity Strengthening
- Wastewater and Stormwater Pump stations maintenance strengthening
- Water Main Upgrade
Installing a new backflow prevention device at the airport to protect main water supply from
Parks and Reserves
- Playground Enhancement
Maintenance and improvements at 35 playgrounds across the District.
- Recreation Walkway Enhancement
Maintenance of 10km walking tracks including construction/clearing of water channels, replenishment of track surface material
- Streetscape Enhancement and Reserve Enhancement
Waterblasting fences, paths, structures, etc.
- Fore dune Enhancement
Replacement/renewal/installation of dune protection fencing at Pikowai, Thornton, Coastlands and Ōhope.
Pest plant control within protected dune areas.
- Nursery development
Construction of potting shed for propagation and holding of amenity plants prior to planting.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council projects
- Rivers and Drainage
Removal of wilding trees and pest plants along river systems.
- Coastal Catchment – Track maintenance
Shore cleaning, wilding pine control.
Track maintenance and new bait station installation.
- Manawahe Kokako Trust
Track maintenance and bait station maintenance.
- Onekawa Te Mawhai Regional Park
Public walking track upgrading and track construction. Involves benching tracks and construction of wooden steps in places.
- Ohope Whakatane Kiwi Reserves including Uretara Island
Track and bait station maintenance.
- Coast Care additional weed control and plant releasing
Waihī, Matakana, Eastern BOP, Kaituna.
For more information on these projects go to whakatane.govt.nz or boprc.govt.nz