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$20 million Invested in Growing Northland’s Economy


28 September 2016

$20 million Invested in Growing Northland’s Economy

Three years on from the inception of the Northland Regional Council’s (NRC) Investment and Growth Reserve (I&GR) important economic development projects have been catalysed by the fund.

Six million dollars invested by NRC has leveraged an extra $14M in partner funding bringing the total to $20M invested in valuable economic development projects for the region.

“Two projects to the value of $1.23M approved by the NRC last week provide good examples of the benefit that can be derived by using this fund as a catalyst for development” says Vaughan Cooper, Northland Inc’s GM Investment and Infrastructure.

Extension 350 is a $3.45M project, with partners the Ministry for Primary Industries, Dairy NZ and Beef and Lamb, designed to lift on farm performance through improving farm systems and profitability. This project is expected to provide an extra $5M in profit per annum into the primary sector. “Profitable farmers make good long term decisions for their farms and the environment” says farmer and project chair Ken Hames.

The Waitangi Mountain Bike Park is a $1.6M project expected to contribute $6M per annum into the economy and result in the creation of 50 new jobs in the tourism sector. “NRC’s investment of $400,000 allows us to complete a further 30km of new trails and provides a real confidence boost for the project which helps immensely with our other funding applications” says Focus Paihia chair Grant Harnish.

Other projects to receive funding from the I&GR include the Twin Coast Discovery revitalisation project, the Twin Coast Cycle Trail - Pou Herenga Tai, economic development opportunities from better water management, REL sawmill, The Orchard Collaborative workspace and increased regional promotions activity.

“The pipeline is also healthy as the fund has allowed us to qualify new projects through feasibility studies and business case development to ensure projects are robust before they look for investment” says Vaughan.

Dr David Wilson CEO of Northland Inc and Chair of EDANZ says “the I&GR has been a key tool in our economic development toolkit, and NRC have shown real foresight in setting it up. The fund is clearly working. Looking forward the process could be further refined and the fund could be increased, however, this puts real pressure on one organisation to continue to fund it. Central Government would do well to investigate this as a way to partner with regions in their regional growth agendas.”

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