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$6 million announcement for economic development

$6 million announcement for economic development in Whanganui welcomed

Manawatū-Whanganui regional leaders have welcomed Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jone’s announcement today of $6 million from government’s Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) towards the revitalisation of Whanganui Port and an upgrade of the Whanganui rail line.

Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall says it’s pleasing to have central government’s continued support and recognition of the Port development and the significant contribution it will make to economic growth in the region.

“The Whanganui Port Revitalisation Programme includes multiple partners focused on revitalising Whanganui’s river mouth port and is one of the key projects in the Accelerate 25 Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Economic Action Plan,” says Mr McDouall.

“In December 2016, following a government contribution of $500,000 towards a blueprint for developing the area, a port masterplan was developed which incorporated ideas from local iwi and businesses, the marine industry, recreational users of the river and coastal area and the wider community.

“We are well placed for finalising our business case and getting this project moving.

“We also welcome the investment in the city’s rail line, as this vital link with the Port and industry will assist with moving our region’s growing export volumes such as logs and dairy products.”

Accelerate25 lead team member Pahia Turia says today’s announcement is another positive step towards the helping the region realise its potential.

“This includes creating jobs, lifting incomes and contributing to New Zealand’s GDP,” says Mr Turia.

“It’s important to acknowledge the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment for making this commitment to our region.”

“The Port development will not only provide economic benefits to the region, the revitalisation will provide another place for locals and visitors to connect with Te Awa Tupua,” says Nga Tangata Tiaki o Whanganui chair Gerrard Albert.

“Together with the hapu with interests in the River mouth we look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure the project upholds the values of Te Awa Tupua.”

ENDS

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