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Anderton Announces Road, Port And Rail Review

"For Tairawhiti to prosper there needs to be a commitment to the future of the transport lifelines in and out of the region, I am providing that commitment," said Jim Anderton Deputy Prime Minister today as he launched the 44 page report of the groundbreaking Tairawhiti Development Taskforce.

"While clearly the people of Tairawhiti are committed to achieving the results they have created in the Tairawhiti Development Taskforce Report there are some things that central government needs to get right before regional economic revival can get going.

"I have instructed the Ministry of Economic Development to meet with the now locally led Tairawhiti Taskforce, regional and local authorities, the Ministry of Transport, Transfund, and Transit and determine what needs to be done about transport infrastructure in the region when," said Jim Anderton.

"The major industry in the region is forestry and in 15 years time the volume of harvest will have doubled.

"Tairawhiti people and companies must have the security and opportunity to get the full economic benefit from this resource, and this requires ways to get both processed and unprocessed wood out of the region.

"Governments have known about this issue for years but none have acted until now," said Jim Anderton.

Achievements of the Taskforce which will be implemented in the months to come include:
 Contains the Taskforce with local leadership including all the key players in the region, and a commitment from them to continue working together.
 Providing 2000 computers for schools in the region (Project Rorohiko).
 $2.3 million from Education, Maori Affairs and Ministry of Economic Development for installing the computers providing software and training support to get them running.
 Establishment of thirteen regional computer hubs in the Tairawhiti region.
 Young people from the region being recruited to the Army's Limited Service Volunteer training scheme.
 A calendar of events and activities for the region so that regional support could be provided to activities that are underway.
 $240,000 over three years by the Ministry of Agriculture for an advisory service to improve productive use of Maori land in the Tairawhiti region.
 A home safety advertising campaign on local radio stations.
 A commitment to work toward processing 60 per cent of logs in the region.

The Tairawhiti Development Taskforce has been meeting since May 2000. The Mayors of Wairoa and Gisborne invited Jim Anderton, Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Parekura Horomia and Janet Mackey MP to help improve prospects for jobs and businesses in the Tairawhiti region.

The public meetings today where the full report was to be released were at 10.30 am at the Wairoa Community Centre, Marine Parade; and 2.30 pm at the Army Hall corner of Fitzherbert & Stout Streets, Gisborne.

Ends

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