The project was a winner in the Martin Jenkins Excellence award in the best practice contribution to local economic development category.

Mayor Malcolm Campbell and Councillor Faylene Tunui were at a dinner held on Monday night as part of the annual LGNZ conference when the award was presented.

Seamless Boundaries is a collaborative project involving the Kawerau and Matamata-Piako district councils and the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs. It connects Kawerau people struggling to find work with jobs at Silver Fern Farms, a meat processing plant in the Matamata-Piako district.

In a video produced by LGNZ, Mr Campbell said the two districts had different needs.

“One, Kawerau, a highly deprived area with no jobs and [Matamata-Piako] a different story all together. We had visited Matamata-Piako and there was no unemployment, or very little.”

Mr Campbell said he was delighted with the win.

“Everyone involved in this initiative has worked really hard to make it a success. It’s made a big difference to a lot of Kawerau families and we’re proud to have the project recognised on a national stage.”

Mr Campbell said the programme helped 40 young people into well-paid jobs and certainly made a huge change for Kawerau.

The programme provided wrap-around support, which helped Kawerau people relocate to Te Aroha, where Silver Fern Farms was located.

This is the second year running that the Kawerau council has been nominated for an award; last year it was named runner-up in the community impact category for its Neighbourhoods of Healthy Homes project.

 

Source: Whakatane Beacon