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$6.1M from the Provincial Growth Fund announced for Wairoa

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The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.

The PGF is funding:

  • Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility
  • Up to $960,000 for the Wairoa Digital Employment Programme (funded through Te Ara Mahi, the PGF’s skills and training allocation)
  • $400,000 for the Wairoa Regional Digital Hub

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little described the funding injection as one of the most transformative changes the Wairoa community has seen in decades.

“We are incredibly appreciative of the confidence this coalition Government, through its Provincial Growth Fund, has shown to our district and rural communities in New Zealand.

“Minister of Regional Economic Development Shane Jones has visited Wairoa on a couple of occasions, he knows our community and he knows what we need and is helping us to achieve that.

“And it’s always great to host the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau here in Wairoa. He has previously announced PGF grants for Wairoa and has also visited us on occasion. The support we are receiving from our local MPs, Stuart Nash and Meka Whaitiri, and this Government, cannot be overstated.”

“These investments mark the beginning of an even stronger future for our community.”

“Through these projects we have attracted more than $6 million of additional Central Government funding into our community and I look forward to the opportunities that will be created as a result of the investment.”

Mr Little acknowledged that the initiatives are the result of a lot of hard work from the Council chief executive and high calibre staff and local people who want to grow our district.

“These initiatives are partnership solutions between the Wairoa District Council, Provincial Growth Fund, the Wairoa Community, Iwi, and education providers.

“The Te Wairoa E Whanake project will see a massive physical change to Wairoa’s CBD focussing on areas like the burnt-out buildings which people have been telling us for years needs to be remedied.

“A CBD revamp has been a dream of many Councils over the years and the provision has always been that any main street redevelopment must not be a burden on our ratepayers and would not go-ahead unless external funding could be sourced.

“It is very exciting to have finally achieved that.

“Te Wairoa E Whanake will see Wairoa rise up and grow by connecting community, whānau and students by building a robust, sustainable, culturally reflective and digitally connected town centre.

“The project will build on the foundations of infrastructure and skills which are increasingly being recognised as key enablers of regional development.

“This enterprise will lead to trade training, apprentice-based and employment pathways to deliver the regeneration of Wairoa’s CBD by directly addressing the need for business opportunities and employment.

“The Regional Digital Hub will expand on services offered by the Wairoa Library to provide access to digital connectivity for business development.

“The funding will assist with setting up the library as a community hub for shared resources to spark community innovation and creativity.

“I am also thrilled the Digital Employment Pathways initiative has received nearly $1 million in funding. Again, this project is the brainchild of a group of passionate local people who are working to create employment opportunities for our rangatahi.”

Hinerangi Edwards, Director of Korou Digital Agency which is the umbrella group of the Digital Employment Pathways initiative, said the support of the $960,000 PGF funding will create 52 digital jobs over the next two years.

“The jobs will focus on staff developing strong, industry-required 3D animation skills, and enable participating employees to work on real-world projects.

“They will have a portfolio at the end of the year and support to springboard into digital industries and careers.

“Korou is a grassroots community initiative, founded by local individuals and digital businesses to support Wairoa aspirations for the future.

“The employment programme will help whānau and the Wairoa community develop new businesses and opportunities for social and economic benefits beyond those directly involved.

“The programme will be run through the Korou Digital Agency Ltd, a subsidiary of Korou Digital Trust, and comprises all local residents, project manager, Andrew Hume and directors, Sheridan Beer, JJ Solomon, Zach Stark and myself.”

For more information contact Kitea Tipuna - Group Manager Community & Engagement.
+64 21 753 503


22 January 2020

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