Seven community halls in the Hastings District will be renovated as part of a $1.6 million Provincial Growth Fund project.

Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau made the announcement in Maraekakaho on Friday morning, saying the investment will create more than 60 jobs.

The funding will go towards:

• $290,394 to maintain and renovate seven community halls in the Hastings District


• $220,000 from the $100m PGF Whenua Māori grant to Kairakau Lands Trust to increase land productivity

• $218,500 from the Whenua Māori grant to Nopera Trust for farm development

• $393,600 for a Te Puna Farm Environmental Acceleration project which includes riparian planting and fencing along a stretch of the Tukituki river

• $516,000 to Waipuka 3B1C2 Land Block for fencing and planting to help farmland erosion

Tabuteau said halls and sports clubs which are "incredibly important social centres in regional New Zealand" will now be able to undertake much needed renovation and maintenance.

The halls to receive funding are the Waikare and District Sports Club, Matapiro and Districts Recreation Hall, Te Awanga Community Hall, Kereru Hall, Poukawa Hall, Kaiwaka Hall and Maraekakaho Hall.

Maraekakaho Church Hall Trust chairman Jonathan Stockley said he was "totally delighted" at the funding.

The Maraekakaho Hall is used daily by after-school groups, weekly for dance classes and church services, and often for community meetings, birthday parties and social events.


"[The hall] is fundamental. It's been here since 1877, it's at the very core of our community."

Stockley said the trust was looking to begin a major conservation, restoration and modernisation project.

A Maraekakaho landscaping company would be employed and a Havelock North electrical company, he said.

The hall has previously received financial support from Hastings District Council but to Stockley's knowledge, this is the first time it has received direct, central government support.

Tabuteau said Hawke's Bay has been prioritised by the PGF because "of its enormous potential and natural resources".

"The PGF Whenua Māori investments will go to improving the productivity of Māori land including on the southern Hawke's Bay coast to support Māori economic development in a historically disadvantaged area.


"PGF support for fencing and planting along a significant stretch of the Tukituki River will protect the water quality of this important recreational waterway, and the Waipuka project will allow 123 hectares of farmland to be fenced to tackle erosion and future-proof the property against destructive major weather events."

The announcements follow the Government's PGF reset in May.