The Provincial Growth Fund grants for two Wairoa businesses are expected to boost job opportunities for road and horticulture workers in the region and provide some hope for Wairoa’s prospects.
This week, the government 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.
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.”
“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.”