East coast forestry takes centre stage
Wednesday 7 Mar 2018The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest $9.2 million in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay to immediately boost tourism and forestry opportunities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says.
“Gisborne and the Hawke’s Bay have been very active in drumming up proposals since the Government agreed to establish a $1 billion per annum Provincial Growth Fund and we’ll continue to work in partnership with the regions to further develop these ideas,” Mr Jones says.
“I’m pleased to be in Gisborne today announcing the first tranche of projects for a region that has huge potential to grow its economy while creating high-value jobs and lifting its overall productivity potential.
“The PGF will provide support for a broad tourism package, including $2.3 million to redevelop Gisborne Inner Harbour and $1 million toward a programme to commemorate the first encounters between Maori and Europeans.
“We’re contributing $200,000 to kick-start the creation of a $20 million Wood Processing Centre of Excellence in Gisborne, which would create 167 jobs.
“We’re also providing up to $5 million to KiwiRail to reopen the Wairoa-Napier line for logging trains, taking more than 5,700 trucks off the road each year.
“We’ll be investing in planting manuka trees to support a recirculating wetland to filter water on 80 hectares of land next to the Whakaki Lake in the Wairoa district and contributing toward the Makauri Managed Aquifer Recharge trial to combat declining water levels.
“About 49 per cent of the population of Tairawhiti is Maori and there are opportunities to increase employment and enhance Maori development and social inclusion in the region.
“There’s more to come for these regions and officials are working to identify where further Government funding could be applied. I look forward to making many more announcements in the East Coast over the life-time of the PGF,” Mr Jones says.
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