The new $65 million biocontainment laboratory at Wallaceville, Upper Hutt, will employ between 100 to 150 contractors during the construction phase.
Primary Industries minister Nathan Guy said it would also employ four fulltime MPI staff during construction.
The 34 staff at present at Wallaceville would continue to work operating the new lab, while there is one additional position forecast for the new lab's operations.
Fletcher Construction, Naylor Love and a joint venture involving Leighs Construction of Christchurch and Cockram Construction of Australia, have been short- listed for the project, said MPI manager Mike Hannaway. Work on the main part of the Wallaceville project was expected to start in March next year and be completed in early 2018, said Hannaway.
The biocontainment laboratory, designed to deal with large- scale animal disease emergencies such as foot and mouth, anthrax, brucella and avian disease, will replace two older labs and will be built to the highest international standards.
Wallaceville had been home to New Zealand's animal disease diagnostics for a century, and was the site of the first veterinarian lab in the southern hemisphere.
- The Dominion Post