Mounting costs due to the closure of the Manawatu Gorge has resulted in a Hastings construction company expanding to Levin - bringing new jobs to the town in the process.

Pre-cast concrete and civil contracting company Lattey Group intends to build a new 4500sq m plant in Levin, but company director Mark Donnelly said while there were a number of reasons why it needed to expand to Levin - the company was not moving from Hastings.

"We've outgrown our existing facility here. We're finding our site has become a barrier to expansion, and we're sending a lot of our current production into the Manawatu and Wellington areas, which with the Manawatu Gorge closed now and having to use Saddle Rd, means transport costs have climbed quite significantly."

Mr Donnelly added that land in the Horowhenua district was also well-priced and the district council had been helpful in bringing the new plant, and 20 to 25 jobs to the area.


"There's also a good labour pool down there. The good thing about the Horowhenua district is that there is a large demographic there, as far as labour goes. Because of the motorways, you can pretty much pick up labour all the way downs as Paraparaumu and almost as far north as Palmerston North."

The plant was expected to be operational by Christmas.

"We're not looking at reducing the size of our current facility because of the expansion. We intend to maintain what we do here."

The company's Hastings operations employed about 75 people across its pre-casting, civil contracting and plant hire, and geo-science divisions.

"Hawke's Bay we still be our base, it's a satellite plant really to service the area around there.

"The construction industry in Hawke's Bay generally, is pretty healthy and the forward work-load looks good."

The company would be involved in several major projects locally, including the Napier Airport terminal expansion and the new $19 million Hastings police station, as well as existing projects that included the Hastings Opera House redevelopment.

"Certainly, the next 12 months look very positive."