THE Provincial Growth Fund will invest $2 million for the crucial first stage of a project that will create jobs, attract new businesses to Kawerau and help boost the productivity potential of the wider Bay of Plenty region, regional economic development minister Shane Jones has announced today.
Today’s announcement is the first stage of the Kawerau Putauaki Industrial development and will involve the construction of a right-hand turn bay off State Highway 34 and forms part of a multi-phase project to develop infrastructure around the development.
“Kawerau has always been an industry-based town and upgrading the transport and associated infrastructure will help attract new businesses and create the right environment for existing companies to invest and expand in the region,” Mr Jones said.
“The project is the result of more than a decade of planning work from Putauaki Trust, council and businesses, and is expected to create at least 150 jobs in Kawerau. It also has the potential to boost the economy of the entire Eastern Bay of Plenty.
“Future phases of the project include building additional road and rail infrastructure around the industrial subdivision and constructing the Kawerau container terminal that will service the whole Eastern Bay of Plenty.
“The Kawerau Putauaki Industrial Development is a good example of Government partnering with Māori, business and the community to seize unique opportunities for economic growth in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
“It is positive to see Putauaki Trust innovatively leveraging their assets to get improved returns for their people and the wider community and I look forward to seeing this project progress,” Mr Jones said.
Local Labour MP Kiri Allan expects it to be the first of several exciting announcements for Kawerau and the Eastern Bay.
“This community has shown leadership by working together, across region, to show the benefits of investment not just for the individual towns, but for the broader region. This has been a key strength to attracting investment and I am excited for future announcements to continue to support job growth and our region’s economy here in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.”
Waiariki MP Tamati Coffey said: “This initial $2 million investment speaks to the decade of hard mahi from local iwi, Council, industry and whānau that has gone into getting the Kawerau Pūtauaki Industrial development project to this point.
“Through this initiative attracting new businesses to our rohe and creating jobs, we can collectively help Kawerau hold the mantle of ‘New Zealand’s Top Town’.”
Applications for the other phases of the project are likely to be submitted once the final design and costings have been completed and will be individually assessed against the Provincial Growth Fund’s criteria.