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Health and ecology business park in Oamaru

Construction to start in October on International health and ecology business park in Oamaru

Construction on Waitaki’s International Health and Ecology Business Park in Oamaru will start in October, Japanese company Nikken Seil said today.

Work on the park will be completed by September next year, Nikken Seil general manager Yoshitaka Koshimura said at an announcement in Oamaru this morning.

The New Zealand health and ecology project will be driven by Nikken Seil, a subsidiary of the giant Nikken Group in Japan which last year announced general plans to develop a world centre for health and ecology in the Waitaki area.

The Japanese company will announce when construction will start and reveal more details about their Oamaru business park opposite the racecourse.

Nikken’s presence and investment is playing a part in a growing Waitaki economy.

Mr Koshimura said Japan was less than 40 percent self-sufficient in food and it needed New Zealand’s pure high added-value food products.

``The three pillars of our world health and ecology centre in the Waitaki are the international college of health and

ecology, organic farming which makes the best use of the land and the health & ecology business park – as an industrial cluster catalyst.

``We will develop new products and enhance New Zealand products to meet Japanese market requirements. We will start construction on the business park in October and expect to finish September 2005.

`` We do not know Oamaru will become the organics health food capital, but it will definitely become a very important place for the know-how of exporting organic food to Japan,’’ he said.

Waitaki Development Board general manger Susan Houston said the district would benefit from Nikken Seil’s investment in the region.

``It will mean extra jobs, extra work and a boost in our economy, not just in the Waitaki but for Otago and New Zealand. Irrigation will at some point play a big part in the development of the region.’’

Oamaru is becoming known as the organics centre of New Zealand. There is a strong organic grassroots movement in Oamaru, which is also home to the annual New Zealand Organic Wine and Food Festival.

Nikken Seil are also on course to open their International College of Health and Ecology in February 2006. The college would have been opened earlier but for a major fire at the ex-Teschemakers school site south of Oamaru in June last year.

Nikken owns more than 350ha of fertile farmland south of Oamaru for an organics venture, the third part of their involvement in the district.

Copyright 2004 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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