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New Culinary Theme Park Planned

1 August 2005

New Culinary Theme Park Planned

Manukau City Council is investing in a new project to make Mangere a centre of food processing and development nationwide. The initiative is a culinary themed park close to Auckland International Airport which, in addition to becoming a centre of innovation in food and beverages, is expected to become an entertainment and tourist attraction that will add to Manukau’s growing list of visitor and heritage sites.

The “Food Bowl” project will be a cluster development of food and beverage businesses focussing on innovation and research and the total investment is projected to be over $100 million. The Food Bowl is a regional development initiative which is expected to attract many leading companies at the forefront of innovation and marketing, and will produce 1500 jobs long term.

Clusters of companies have high rates of innovation, create strong demand for specialised skills, and pay correspondingly high wages.

To kick start the project, Manukau City Council has purchased 3.2 hectares of land beside the Oruarangi Creek, next door to Villa Maria Estate.

The Council is now in discussion with a variety of businesses and other parties interested in becoming part of the Food Bowl, which will be just a five minute drive from Auckland Airport. The airport business zone is one of the fastest growing areas of Manukau, with its strategic location and availability of development land being prime attractions.

The Food Bowl will establish a food cluster built around Villa Maria, which recently opened a large new vineyard and production complex, the Jack Links site, the NZ Process Food Innovation Centre, and food research and production enterprises already established in the area.

The concept was originally developed by Ross McCallum, founder and former Managing Director of Kapiti Cheese. Manukau Mayor Sir Barry Curtis says Mr McCallum deserves praise for the idea.

“The Food Bowl will make a great contribution to the continued economic growth of the city and the region. It also has great potential for visitors and tourists, with cafes, restaurants and novel attractions planned.

Sir Barry says, “The area has great potential because visitors will be able to enjoy a trip the winery, walk along the newly restored Manukau Harbour foreshore, or enjoy the beaches, then choose from a smorgasbord of food and drink options at the Food Bowl. It’ll be where the new tastes and cuisine trends will be seen first.”

The Council will be building a bridge across the Oruarangi Stream and putting in further infrastructure needed to facilitate the project.

Sir Barry says,” There’ll be landscaping along the banks of the waterways to make a beautiful backdrop for the whole experience. It’ll be a great destination for everyone from Manurewa to Ponsonby, as well as international visitors.”

ENDS

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