$100m in government funding for climate change protections and infrastructure comes at a welcome time where shovel-ready projects are needed to help New Zealand bounce back against Covid-19 and create sustainable jobs for Kiwis, FIRST Union says
“Our members in the quarrying sector are very pleased to hear that funding has been granted to 29 projects across six regions, with the aim of protecting important areas from climate change-related threats like erosion and flooding,” says FIRST Union Organiser Justin Wallace.
As part of the Government’s $3 billion Covid-19 response and recovery fund, the initiative confirms:
- Canterbury will get $15.5m for six projects
- Tairawhiti will get $7.5m for one project
- Waikato will get $23.8m for 10 projects
- Hawke’s Bay will get $19.2m for four projects
- Manawatu-Whanganui will get $26.9m for five projects
- Wellington will get $10.8m for three projects
“This is a major step forward in terms of protecting our regions from the worst impacts of climate change, but also in satisfying the increased demand for aggregates and sand that will be required to support these projects,” says Wallace.
“It also provides a clear and realistic pathway for unemployed and underemployed New Zealanders to upskill and train for jobs that will endure beyond the short-term and benefit the regional economies where the work will take place.
“Quarrying business are crying out for more workers to carry out these projects, and we hope that anyone looking for work in these regions would consider quarrying as a resilient and important contributor to our well-being as a nation as well as a secure source of income.
“It also massively improves job security for existing workers in the quarrying sector and confirms that there’s a future for the extractive industries in fighting against climate change and ensuing that New Zealand is mitigating and adapting to its far-reaching effects.
“We commend the Government for following through on its promise to invest in infrastructure and provide secure jobs for New Zealanders,” says Wallace.