The first workers required as a result of a splash of cash for shovel-ready projects in Hawke's Bay are starting to be employed, but it remains unclear exactly how many jobs will actually be created.
At the end of May the Government announced $15 million to go towards roading projects in Hawke's Bay which would quickly re-deploy workers who had lost their jobs due to Covid-19.
The funding was part of the Government's $100m worker redeployment package to create employment for people who have lost their jobs.
This included $9m for Hastings, $2m for Central Hawke's Bay, just over $1m for Napier and about $2.5m for Wairoa.
It was said at the time about 220 temporary jobs would be created over three to six months in the region.
At the end of July, two months after the funding was announced, the Provincial Development Unit said 58 jobs had been created – this included 46 in Central Hawke's Bay, eight in Wairoa and four in Hastings.
On Friday a Hastings District Council spokeswoman said 26 people have now been employed and the contractors are sourcing another 30 people over the next month. The council has a target of 158 opportunities.
The employment number in Central Hawke's Bay remains more than 40, a spokeswoman said on Friday.
A Napier City Council spokeswoman said it is currently going through the tender process for their seven roading projects.
"Councils in the area have been working closely with the Ministry of Social Development to ensure workers who have lost their jobs through Covid-19 are given a chance to learn new skills and work on the roading projects," the Provincial Development Unit said.
Hastings District Council partnered with MSD to employ people who had lost their jobs through the Jobs for Heretaunga initiative.
The Hastings projects included improvement of footpaths and the i-Way walking and cycling network and a "significant" safety project at Waipatu on State Highway 51 between Kenilworth and Ruahapia roads.
Local companies Higgins (and subcontractors), Topline Contracting, Downer NZ, Fulton Hogan, Russell Roads, Dodge Contracting, ACL Civil, Proseal and McNatty Construction Ltd were employed for the various projects.
Topline Contracting director Taurus Taurima said the company has 11 new apprenticeship jobs - "some redeployed and some new into the industry."
Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau and Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst met with some contractors and crew involved at Waipatu on Friday.
Tabuteau said it was good to be at Waipatu to see an example of some of the work the investment would go towards, and he acknowledged the contractors and crews.
"Today is about a response to Covid primarily, it's about redeployment back into jobs and reskilling for new jobs."
The Provincial Development Unit said "the number of workers is expected to grow as each work programme progresses."