Kiwi Bank's announcement last week of 100 new jobs in a Hastings-based service centre could be the first of many more, says Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule.

He said there were other proposals in the pipeline because Hastings offered a "compelling" case for large service centres to relocate.

"The lease costs here are very compelling, the availability of labour here is very compelling, and a lot of the senior people you need to put this all together absolutely want to live here.

"If you put all that together, you can generally make things happen.


"That's my learning from this," Mr Yule said.

Kiwibank was due to occupy its new office in central Hastings by October and the exact location was expected to be made public this week, he said.

"It is very exciting."

The idea to actively market the region as a prime relocation venue to large New Zealand and Australian companies was sown by businessman Rod Drury about 18 months ago.

The founder and chief executive of internet-based accounting software company Xero met Mr Yule, Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio and telecommunications experts to plan a package deal to attract large Australian firms last year.

"The Hastings District Council got quite excited about it and did quite a lot of work," Mr Yule said.

"There is quite a lot of NZTEC [New Zealand Trade and Enterprise] resources around call centres in New Zealand and the council engaged with them and got Hawke's Bay on the map.

"Napier has also had a good go at it, and it is great people have become aware of it.

"There was a bit of talk in the early days that call centres were low-value work, but we are saying this is actually high-value work and it is just a great win.

"As we've done with other things, like the redevelopment of Marine Parade, we have shown we can create these positive feedback cycles.

"It feels like there is a real buzz going on. It is a fantastic win."

Hastings District Council economic development officer Steve Breen said the council had established a business case for Hastings and Hawke's Bay to support contact and support centres, and a large customer service operator had visited Hastings.

"We showed them Hawke's Bay, showed them a couple of sites, and introduced them to property owners who were supportive of the idea.

"As a result of that visit, the property owners were contacted by [real estate agent] Colliers, who had Kiwibank as a potential client. So Colliers got hold of the property owner, who then got hold of us, and he said he would appreciate some support in trying to attract Kiwibank to the region."

Mr Yule said a public/private partnership secured the Kiwibank centre.

A presentation was made in Wellington by Mr Yule and council staff, lines company Unison, the property owner/developer and human resources company Grow HR.

Grow HR director Murray Cowan said Kiwibank were "blown away by the calibre of the presentation".

"The council did an amazing job," he said.

"They put a huge amount of effort into it and got a lot of kudos from Kiwibank as a result.

"I'm sure that played a major part in our being successful."

He was confident the new jobs could be filled by local people.

"We advertised a data-entry role for a local logistics company and got 140 applications."

Of those, 17 applicants were "immediately culled" but the rest met the criteria.

"The council advertised one full-time and one part-time customer services officer role and got 180 applications.

"We believe there is an abundance of resource."

Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said he was delighted Kiwibank had chosen Hawke's Bay and was looking forward to more relocations to the region.

"It could have gone to any one of a number of centres, so it is great that Hastings has got it," he said.