A multi-million dollars infrastructure project will provide a much-needed economic boost for the struggling Franz Josef community.
The $12 million project will not only protect the town from being cut off in major flooding, it will also provide job opportunities.
It’s being funded by the Government and local council.
West Coasters have been lobbying for flood protection work to be done for 15 years.
The new stop bank project will mean around 30 new jobs for those struggling in the usually tourist rich region.
“That’s 35 guys eating and drinking beer, their families will come down so it’s a real positive, it’s not a silver bullet but it’s great,” Westland Mayor Bruce Smith says.
The town lost 25 per cent of its population and 60 per cent of its jobs due to Covid-19 halting the international tourists they rely on.
The stop bank work will take 18 months, making the town safer when wild weather strikes.