Government funding of $1.12 million has provided 25 Rotorua people with fixed-term jobs during a time of economic uncertainty.
Rotorua Lakes Council has worked with local contractors InfraCore Limited to redeploy the workers into a work programme that has so far included vegetation control on rural roads, culvert cleaning and tree removal, the council said in a statement.
Prior to beginning work, each recruit also had training including first aid and traffic controlling.
The objective of the programme is to enable locals to continue to work, providing a boost to the local economy, and carry out important work on community assets.
Council infrastructure group manager Stavros Michael said the opportunity was a win-win situation for everyone.
"Being able to keep locals in employment is important not just for our economy but also for the wellbeing of the community. We know that for most people having employment is not just about a steady pay cheque. It's mana enhancing, it's about learning new skills, giving back to the community and connecting with others."
The Government announced $1.12 million of support for Rotorua in May, as part of a wider funding package for regions hit hard by the economic impacts of Covid-19.
The funding aimed to keep New Zealand businesses going and workers in employment – outcomes that aligned with Rotorua's Build Back Better strategy.
"We assessed our work programmes and, working with InfraCore, we have opened up 25 positions for fixed-term roles. Being able to offer that and also carry out important work on our community assets is a big win for us."
The council contracted InfraCore to deliver the programme, and the contractor was responsible for the recruitment, training and operations.
InfraCore Limited chief executive Matthew Scott said the opportunity to work alongside the council and the Provincial Development Unit had meant everything to the business.
"Understandably we found that the recruits have been geared to looking toward the future. They are just glad to have the opportunity to get back into some mahi, even if it is for a fixed period.
"The crew have been at it for a few weeks now and the crew leads say the teams are working really well and making fantastic progress in such a short time. All the team members have a great work attitude.
"It means everything to InfraCore. An important part of our core purpose is to deliver positive social outcomes to the community in which we operate.
"It's great we've been able to assist people to get back on their feet post-Covid, being able to provide an opportunity to develop new skills and keep themselves buoyant and positive – that's the best outcome for us."
According to a video produced about the programme, people involved have come back from places including Western Australia, Hamilton and Balclutha.