More than 20 jobs could be lost from Wairoa's second largest employer, in what would be a "blow" for the district.

This week Quality Roading and Services (QRS) announced a proposed "significant restructure" in response to three years of disappointing financial performance, and company inefficiencies.

QRS has been fully owned by the Wairoa District Council since 1994. It is responsible for the maintenance of the unsealed road network in the Wairoa district.

The proposed restructure could affect 20 management, operational and administration staff. It was suggested some roles be disestablished, and some changed. There were opportunities for re-employment.

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Chief executive Nigel Pollock said QRS staff would be supported through a consultation process, because "this will be a difficult period of uncertainty for some staff and we want to offer as much support as practical during this time".

The company was delivering "fit-for-purpose road maintenance at a time when costs are high and uncertain, the weather is unpredictable, and there's increased heavy vehicles on the road".

"But the business environment we operate in demands we do better. We can do things more efficiently, like having more staff focusing on strategic planning, and less replication and more consistency in our processes.

"A realignment of some functions, a reorganisation of some roles, and streamlining of activities, will improve our current performance. We want to make sure all employees understand and can meet the goals of the organisation."

Mr Pollock came on board as chief executive in August, replacing Mark Browne who resigned after three years at the helm. It is understood there are more than 90 people employed by QRS.

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said this proposal was "not a very pleasant job" for the new chief executive, but would hopefully get the company on more stable ground.

"All those big companies are [struggling], all those big roading companies. I give them credit, they employ a lot of staff, and a lot of very skilled staff too.

"Any job losses is a blow for Wairoa, but I'm sure these guys will be able to get work elsewhere."

Although QRS was a council-controlled trading organisation, Mr Little said they had no involvement in staff matters.

"It's a horrible thing for anybody to go through. I have faith that the new chief executive will handle it honourably."

Earlier this year QRS lost out on a $2.6 million "3 waters" Wairoa District Council contract, awarded to major civil services and resources contractor Fulton Hogan.

Mr Pollock said with a new structure in place QRS could give its customers a better service and be more financially prudent.

The proposed changes are significant, and staff have a week to give their feedback. Staff will learn of the final outcome by the end of October. If a new structure does proceed, this is expected to be in place by December.

A boon last year was being contracted by Rocket Lab to upgrade the farm road and infrastructure needed for the rocket launch site at Mahia Peninsula.