A group of nine Māori from the Kāpiti Coast are entering into exciting career prospects on the Mackays to Peka Peka (M2PP) Expressway project, thanks to a successful employment partnership between the project’s main landscaping subcontractor Natural Habitats, and local iwi Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai.
The nine Kāpiti locals were welcomed onto the job with a pōwhiri and induction hui at Whakarongotai Marae today. M2PP Project Manager Alan Orange congratulated Natural Habitats for their commitment to employing local people.
“One of the big benefits of expressway projects is the jobs they create for local people. Providing employment opportunities through the relationship with local iwi has become a working policy for Natural Habitats, and this recent round of recruitment demonstrates the benefits of such a partnership,” Mr Orange says.
“We’re really proud to see a subcontractor on our project making a difference in our community.”
Natural Habitats Wellington Regional Manager Tim Broadbent says the new recruits will get to learn the ins and outs of the business, as well as receiving on-the-job training.
“With the majority starting at the beginning of July, they’ll initially be working for the maintenance part of the M2PP contract looking after the 1.3 million plants we’re putting in the ground,” Mr Broadbent says.
“We’re also going to train these new staff and some of them will start their progress towards a National certificate in Horticulture levels 2, 3 and 4.
“It’s fantastic to see how positively Te Atiawa have responded to the job opportunities and a clear path forward to develop skills through training. This latest intake of people are a welcome addition to our team, and will I’m sure add their own important dimension to the work we do,” Mr Broadbent says.
Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai Charitable Trust administrator Kristie Parata says the employment of this group flows from the Iwi choosing to seek the positive opportunities from the construction project.
“This is firstly about strengthening whānau, and also extending our role as kaitiaki of the natural environment in a new way. Te Atiawa ki Whakarongotai have led an engagement with Natural Habitats and M2PP who committed to the partnership and the employment opportunity,” Ms Parata says.
The Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway is a $630 million project to build 18km of four-lane expressway along the Kāpiti Coast, including 18 bridges. This is one of seven projects that make up the Wellington Northern Corridor, a four lane expressway stretching from Wellington Airport to just north of Levin. The Wellington Northern Corridor is one of the Government’s Roads of National Significance and will result in safer journeys, shorter and more reliable travel times and improved regional access to the nation’s capital.
The MacKays to Peka Peka Expressway is being delivered on behalf of the Government by the M2PP Alliance which is made up of the NZ Transport Agency, the Fletcher Construction Company Ltd, Beca Ltd and Higgins Contractors Ltd.