Provincial Growth Fund money is to be spent on jobs growth for New Zealanders in the Hawke's Bay horticultural industry.

Part of a $1.1 million spend announced on Wednesday by Minister of Regional Economic Development minister Shane Jones, it will establish and support a horticulture and viticulture careers co-ordinator in Hawke's Bay for 12 months.

Such a position is already in place in his home region of Northland and the announcement effectively extends the project to Hawke's Bay, Bay of Plenty, Manawatu, the upper South Island and Otago.

"This person co-ordinates information about local labour demand and supply and maintains strong relationships with employers and local regional partners," Jones said.


"Horticulture is a priority sector for the Provincial Growth Fund," he said, "but there's no point trying to expand the prospects of this industry if we don't have people to fill the jobs we're creating.

"Through our investment we expect to see a marked improvement in the amount of sustainable employment opportunities for domestic workers to meet our goals of having a fit-for-purpose workforce that meets industry standards," he said.

Ironically, Jones, as Associate Minister of Immigration, launched the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme for imported labour more than 10 years ago.