PGF boost for Wairoa businesses

CITRUS SUNSHINE: Busy at work in The Limery packhouse in Wairoa. File pictures
Paul Hyslop (pictured here with co-founder Dianne Downey) says the Provincial Growth Fund support for the business is outstanding.
QRS chief executive Nigel Pollock says the $60,000 funding from the Provincial Grolwth fund will be used for a feasibility study into a civil contracting training facility. Picture supplied

Provincial Growth Fund grants for two Wairoa businesses are expected to boost job opportunities for road and horticulture workers in the region and provide a “little ray of sunshine” for Wairoa’s prospects.

The Government this week announced it would provide $355,000 to fund expansion of The Limery, as well as provide $60,000 to roading and civil contracting company QRS towards growing employment opportunities and enhancing organisation capability.

After establishing a lime tree and juicing operation on Kopu Road in 2009, The Limery co-owner Paul Hyslop says the new funding will allow the business to “go to the next level”.

“As a grower, producer and manufacturer all on one site, we needed some additional support to allow us to invest in equipment and technology to take the business to the next level.”

Mr Hyslop says the expansion will create additional employment and also work in with an education programme with the local college, where students will learn science, economics and biology.

“On top of that we are also working with 11 other landowners in Wairoa, who have invested their money and time in land, and are planting our trees to use the plantings and fruit that come from that to put through our processing unit, so it’s all done locally in Wairoa.

“We have a hub here where we can minimise costs of transportation.”

Lime yields are expected to increase for the foreseeable future and the funding will ensure people can keep up with that demand.

“At the moment our orchard has 4000 trees planted on this property, in addition there are some 7000 to 9000 trees that have been, or will be planted by the growers over the next 12 to 18 months.

“Effectively, what we are trying to do is create a hub here in Wairoa, specialising in one particular citrus variety.”

Mr Hyslop was not aware of another operation in New Zealand that had all aspects of the operation — including a juicing facility — on one site.

“The other thing we are attracting now is other juice producers who want us to process fruit.

“The support we’ve had from the PGF has been outstanding, and we’ve been well supported by the local council and Mayor Craig Little.

“The townsfolk are also getting behind it now.

“Wairoa has been lacking new development and I think this is a little ray of sunshine, that along with the reopening of the rail line, offers a positive future for the town.”

Quality Roading and Services (QRS) plans to use the $60,000 for a feasibility study into a civil contracting training facility.

QRS chief executive Nigel Pollock says it is hoped the study will lead to the establishment of a bricks and mortar classroom.

“A local facility will provide a teaching and training base for people wanting to get into the civil contracting sector whether they be school leavers, currently unemployed, or people studying.”

Mr Pollock says new innovations, new technologies and a new generation are changing the way civil construction works.

“With New Zealand’s current need for road and infrastructure construction and maintenance it’s a very exciting industry to be in.”

The facility will also be used for upskilling people already in the industry.

Wairoa is the best place for such a hub, he says.

“It will make it easier for Wairoa people to take up work opportunities and follow a pathway to employment.

“It’s just one more way we may be able to reduce unemployment in the Wairoa district, particularly for Maori who have higher unemployment rates.”

Mr Pollock says if the feasibility study shows that such a facility is needed and could produce positive outcomes, he expects ongoing funding will be required to support it.

The project aligns with Hawke’s Bay’s Matariki Regional Economic Development Strategy and Wairoa District Council’s Economic Development Plan.

The study is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Provincial Growth Fund grants for two Wairoa businesses are expected to boost job opportunities for road and horticulture workers in the region and provide a “little ray of sunshine” for Wairoa’s prospects.

The Government this week announced it would provide $355,000 to fund expansion of The Limery, as well as provide $60,000 to roading and civil contracting company QRS towards growing employment opportunities and enhancing organisation capability.

After establishing a lime tree and juicing operation on Kopu Road in 2009, The Limery co-owner Paul Hyslop says the new funding will allow the business to “go to the next level”.

“As a grower, producer and manufacturer all on one site, we needed some additional support to allow us to invest in equipment and technology to take the business to the next level.”

Mr Hyslop says the expansion will create additional employment and also work in with an education programme with the local college, where students will learn science, economics and biology.

“On top of that we are also working with 11 other landowners in Wairoa, who have invested their money and time in land, and are planting our trees to use the plantings and fruit that come from that to put through our processing unit, so it’s all done locally in Wairoa.

“We have a hub here where we can minimise costs of transportation.”

Lime yields are expected to increase for the foreseeable future and the funding will ensure people can keep up with that demand.

“At the moment our orchard has 4000 trees planted on this property, in addition there are some 7000 to 9000 trees that have been, or will be planted by the growers over the next 12 to 18 months.

“Effectively, what we are trying to do is create a hub here in Wairoa, specialising in one particular citrus variety.”

Mr Hyslop was not aware of another operation in New Zealand that had all aspects of the operation — including a juicing facility — on one site.

“The other thing we are attracting now is other juice producers who want us to process fruit.

“The support we’ve had from the PGF has been outstanding, and we’ve been well supported by the local council and Mayor Craig Little.

“The townsfolk are also getting behind it now.

“Wairoa has been lacking new development and I think this is a little ray of sunshine, that along with the reopening of the rail line, offers a positive future for the town.”

Quality Roading and Services (QRS) plans to use the $60,000 for a feasibility study into a civil contracting training facility.

QRS chief executive Nigel Pollock says it is hoped the study will lead to the establishment of a bricks and mortar classroom.

“A local facility will provide a teaching and training base for people wanting to get into the civil contracting sector whether they be school leavers, currently unemployed, or people studying.”

Mr Pollock says new innovations, new technologies and a new generation are changing the way civil construction works.

“With New Zealand’s current need for road and infrastructure construction and maintenance it’s a very exciting industry to be in.”

The facility will also be used for upskilling people already in the industry.

Wairoa is the best place for such a hub, he says.

“It will make it easier for Wairoa people to take up work opportunities and follow a pathway to employment.

“It’s just one more way we may be able to reduce unemployment in the Wairoa district, particularly for Maori who have higher unemployment rates.”

Mr Pollock says if the feasibility study shows that such a facility is needed and could produce positive outcomes, he expects ongoing funding will be required to support it.

The project aligns with Hawke’s Bay’s Matariki Regional Economic Development Strategy and Wairoa District Council’s Economic Development Plan.

The study is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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