Less flooding, more jobs in Southland and Otago

 Less flooding, more jobs in Southland and Otago

New investment in flood protection measures in Southland and Otago will keep residents safer and boost their local economies, with funding of $30 million from central Government announced by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones today.

The funding forms part of the $210m for shovel-ready climate resilience and flood protection projects being delivered through the $3 billion tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure.

“Every year flooding costs regional economies many millions of dollars,” Shane Jones said.

“On top of that, there is the considerable stress of lost income and the cost of rebuilding and repairing the damage.

“Flooding impacts livelihoods and damages the infrastructure that people rely on to stay safe and to get around. Investing to mitigate these impacts makes sense for individuals and businesses.

“Projects proposed for funding in both regions include stopbanks and flood protection works in both Otago and Southland and the Outram flood remediation project.

“We want to work directly with regional councils to undertake a range of flood protection measures including upgrading stop banks, creating new stop banks, flood damage repairs, earthworks and flood management structures.

“And aside from the benefits of the infrastructure itself, this investment will provide immediate and much needed jobs during construction for an economy recovering from the impact of COVID-19. Most of those jobs will not require extensive training for new workers, so they are good to go.

“This funding will make a real difference to people living in Southland and Otago by not only making them safer from the impact of flooding but also providing new work opportunities,” Shane Jones said.

Media contact: Georgina Stylianou – 021 137 0630

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