• Government unveils Cyclone recovery package for Hawke's Bay businesses

Government unveils Cyclone recovery package for Hawke's Bay businesses

The Hawke's Bay economy is set to be boosted by a Government Cyclone recovery package announced today that gives $1.5 million to the Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce to increase support to cyclone impacted businesses, as well as a number of other initiatives to assist Wairoa.

The package,  announced by Economic Development Minister Barbara Edmonds and Regional Development Minister Kieran McAnulty, will also give $1.2 million to Hawke’s Bay Tourism for a programme that aims to increase the number of visitors from outside the region. A dedicated $200,000 of this will be set aside to support the Art Deco Trust.

There is also $1 million for Tātau Tātau o Te Wairoa to develop accommodation for tradespeople working on the residential rebuild of Wairoa and $1.5 million to the Wairoa District Council to restore and improve the River Reserve area east of the lighthouse to Locke Street.

A further $1.2 million will be given to the Wairoa District Council to extend the operational distance of the Wairoa Airport Runway, improving access for air ambulance services to fly in equipment and supplies in times of emergency.

Funding for the projects comes from the final allocation of the $75 million interim recovery package established earlier this year to provide support for businesses impacted by the North Island weather events.

“Cyclone Gabrielle has caused considerable damage across North Island regions with impacts continuing to be felt by businesses and communities,” says Edmonds.

“Building on our earlier business support, this $10 million package targets nine projects which will support economic recovery in Hawke’s Bay, Tairāwhiti and Northland.”

“It includes regional tourism recovery programmes, infrastructure resilience, and training and accommodation support to rebuild workforces.”

“As we focus on helping businesses transition from response to recovery mode, these projects will be locally led and build resilience so they’re better set up for the future,” she said.

McAnulty highlighted the need to fund projects that back local communities and economies.

“Work on these projects is ready to begin and will make an immediate contribution towards local recovery and resilience.”

“In the Hawke’s Bay, funding will be used to develop much-needed accommodation for tradespeople, so building crews can take on urgent rebuild projects. Longer term, this will be used to house horticulture trainees and workers,” he said.

“These are also some of our biggest tourist destinations and we want to see more people going back to provide a boost to economies, especially as we look ahead to the summer months.”

In response to the announcement, Labour’s Napier Candidate Mark Hutchinson said it was a significant boost for the region’s economic recovery and is the result of strong and effective local advocacy.

“The well-targeted government funding announced today reflects what business leaders in Hawke’s Bay have been asking me for. This package is the direct result of strong local input and advocacy,” Hutchinson said.

“As a Napier business owner with a focus on economic development and supporting our local business community, advocating for Napier’s economic recovery has been a key part of my election campaign.”

“Shortly after announcing my candidacy, I made a point of meeting with the leaders of the Hawke’s Bay Chamber of Commerce, Hawke’s Bay Tourism, and the Art Deco Trust.”

“I was keen to understand what these organisations needed to help continue to drive the recovery of the region post-Gabrielle. 

“I also sat down and brainstormed ideas with retiring Napier MP Stuart Nash, whose wisdom and experience as a former Minister of Tourism, Small Business and Economic Development was invaluable.”

Hutchinson says that re-engaging tourism, continued business support, workers and infrastructure were four of the top priorities identified.

“In early July I directly lobbied Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Regional Development Minister Kieran McAnulty, particularly making the case for the Regional Business Partners Recovery Programme and the Hawke's Bay Tourism Cyclone Recovery Programme.”

“I’ve also made several trips to Wairoa – including with Ministers’ Robertson and McAnulty – to see firsthand the issues the community there is facing.”

“I am very pleased this ongoing advocacy has been acknowledged with this further support package.”

Hutchinson says that for over 20 years he have worked with senior leaders both globally and in New Zealand to improve performance in their organisations.

“I also run my own successful business which I built from scratch here in Napier.

“These experiences have taught me how to get things done, across both the public and private sectors.”

“Napier needs to continue having a voice in Parliament with the experience to get things done for our economic recovery and the business community.”

“If I’m elected as Napier’s next MP, my promise to the electorate is to continue listening and advocating strongly in Parliament to ensure the Government continues to deliver for Napier and Wairoa.”