Infrastructure spending in New Zealand's big centres is leaving the provinces out in the cold - and Wanganui construction companies are feeling the chill.
Both Bullocks and Loaders have laid off staff.
Also affected by the lack of infrastructure construction is Inframax Construction Ltd, which has an office in Wanganui's Gilberd St.
Chief executive Chris Hayward said the company was going through a redundancy process with the 12 staff there, some of whom would be taking employment outside the region.
It was a fluid situation, he said, and the office may close on July 31.
"It's been a bloody tough year, and it's not good when you've got to lay off experienced people," said Jason Reid, general manager of B Bullock 2009 Ltd.
I D Loader Ltd sent a team of 10 off to work in Christchurch on Monday. It was either that or reduce staff to just 10 people, general manager Hayden Loader said.
Both men are seeing the Government concentrate infrastructure spending on Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch, with little left for the provinces.
The New Zealand Transport Agency has said there will be no major roading work in the Wanganui region for the next three years, and road maintenance will be pinned back to the 2010-11 level.
Wanganui District Council is also pulling back on spending and attempting to pay off some debt.
Both Bullocks and Loaders have had staff working on the council's wastewater scheme for the past 10 years - now that is all but finished. No other major infrastructural work is planned.
Mr Reid can remember when Bullocks had 50 staff. Now it is down to 34, having laid off six people last year.
"We have got graders and rollers sitting out the back that have got no work. There's a lot of money tied up in machinery that's not being used, and because of the recession there's really no market for it."
He has been feeling a little bit more upbeat since Christmas.
"At the moment we have got a few jobs on and a few jobs ahead of us."
Loaders' staff numbers have slipped from 60 down to 40, with four people laid off a month ago.
Faced with that, Mr Loader said sending a team of experienced drainage people to replace sewers in Christchurch was a no-brainer.
Loaders registered an interest in working there, was asked to price a job and won it. The employer agreed to the expense of living-away allowances for staff, renting two houses and flying the men home fortnightly.