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Aerodrome Road upgrade brings our people home

12 May 2020

Aerodrome Road upgrade brings our people home

When Fulton Hogan disbanded its road surfacing team in 2015 due to lack of work, sprayer operator Jimmy Wanoa left Tairāwhiti and took his valuable skills and experience with him.

“When the news came in that the team was being brought back together, I jumped at the chance,” said Jimmy.

“It’s great to be back in Tairāwhiti, doing what I love and chasing some kaimoana. This opportunity means so much to me, being able to return to my home and family.”

Fulton Hogan’s road surfacing team has been reformed as a result of the investment from the Provincial Growth Fund, creating six new positions and valuable training opportunities for those new to the roading industry.

A partnership has been formed with local contractor Earthworks Solutions to deliver the $3.2m Aerodrome Road upgrade, which is now underway again after being on hold during lockdown.

Council Journeys capital manager Darren Cox said the social benefits outlined in their tender submission were exactly what Council was looking for.

“We’ve made changes to our contracting process to maximise the creation of new employment and training for local people. Not only does the reforming of the resurfacing team do this, but it also offers our region another important supplier of this type of work. It’s a win-win.”

Apryll Parata, Provincial Development Unit senior regional official for Tairāwhiti, says supporting and growing local business and people is a top priority for all infrastructure investments that government makes. “The PDU is delighted that the opportunities to do so through the Tairāwhiti local roading work are doing exactly that.”

The upgrade to Aerodrome Road is expected to take up to three months and includes a full surface upgrade, widening and drainage works.

Council has invested over $18m of Provincial Growth Funds into the local road network to date and up to 120 people are working on PGF projects at any one time.

For more information on the PGF investment into Tairāwhiti local roads, see the Council website.

Photo below (left to right): Surfacing operators Sione Ki-nuia, Vance Wanoa, Dean Taukamo (chip truck operator), Taui Wilson-Nepia (surfacing operator), Jimmy Wanoa (sprayer operator leading hand), Richard Haraki (surfacing foreman), Ettiene Coetzee (surfacing department manager).