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Government working on Mataura solutions

13 July 2000 Media Statement

Government working on Mataura solutions

Out of the old comes the new.

The Government will work with Carter Holt to find innovative and constructive proposals for economic development in Mataura, Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton pledged today.

He has spoken to Carter Holt chief executive Chris Liddell today.

The pair hope to meet next week to discuss ways the Government and Carter Holt can work in partnership on economic development opportunities in Mataura.

"The mothballing of the paper mill at Mataura is sad, but not surprising. The plant is old, small and a long way from its raw material supply. The challenge is to build something positive and new to replace it," Jim Anderton said.

"Under the old hands-off approach of National and Act, the Government would have sat back and done nothing. This Government will pitch in and make a difference."

The Ministry of Economic Development has already identified opportunities for investment in the region.

Significant fibreboard plant investments have already been made and the Dunedin City Council is working on setting up a wood-processing industrial park near Allentown that is expected to create a thousand jobs by 2010.

"Carter Holt has indicated to me a willingness to invest in new business development in the area. The Government in return is committed to playing its part as well," Jim Anderton said.

"I intend to meet with Carter Holt as soon as possible to examine the opportunities for economic co-operation between central and local government as well as the private sector to enhance the prospect for jobs in the Southland region."


ENDS

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