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Double vote of confidence for Marlborough

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today that the opening of Port Marlborough's new port facility at Shakespeare Bay, and the granting of $300,000 towards the restoration of the Edwin Fox , was a double vote of confidence in the Marlborough region's economic potential.

Helen Clark today officially opened the new deep-water export port at Shakespeare Bay. On Thursday the government announced a contribution of $300,000 towards restoration of Picton's historic sailing ship, Edwin Fox.

"The new export wharf at Shakespeare Bay is New Zealand's deepest such facility and is well positioned to take advantage of increased growth in the region's forestry industry.

"It is symbolic that this new port has been built near the ruins of an old freezing works, showing that Marlborough has been able to adapt to the decline of such 'old' industries and embrace new areas of development with a more secure economic future.

"The ongoing restoration of the historic Edwin Fox highlights the crucial role tourism now plays in the region's economic fortunes.

"The Edwin Fox is of huge historic significance to New Zealanders and when restored and presented has the potential to greatly enhance the attraction of Picton as a tourism destination.

"New Zealand is a nation of immigrants, and the hulk of the Edwin Fox is a living reminder of the epic journeys made by many of our ancestors from the old world to the new.

"The government's grant of $300,000 will ensure that a roof can be erected over the graving dock in which the ship now sits.

"Port Marlborough's new port facility and the completion of restoration of the Edwin Fox are important steps in securing the region's economic future," Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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