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BUDGET 2001: Development work in Northland

Hon Jim Anderton
Minister for Economic Development

Hon Dover Samuels MP
Under-Secretary for Economic Development

Pre-Budget announcement, embargoed till 11am 21 May 2001

New initiatives accelerate development work in Northland

Regional development initiatives announced today totalling $700,000, will go a considerable way to helping Northland people make the most of their region’s potential.

The initiatives, announced by Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton and Parliamentary Under Secretary for Economic Development, Dover Samuels, are a series of one-off grants for projects ranging from research projects into aquaculture and climate and land use, to funding for developing new training courses in the boat building industry.

Jim Anderton and Dover Samuels said the projects reflected the experience and knowledge of industry and regional needs gained by Industry New Zealand and the Ministry of Economic Development over the past nine months.

The funding is by way of special grants and the work, largely identified by local communities, will be carried out by local communities in partnership with government agencies.

“Northland is a region where there is tremendous potential alongside some serious economic development issues,” said Jim Anderton.

“These projects can help local people in partnership with government in a range of ways from providing information that can guide future economic development through to addressing skills shortages," said Jim Anderton.

“I know Northland will welcome this opportunity and make the most of it," said Under-Secretary for Economic Development Dover Samuels.

"Northland people are committed to making their economy work, and this is an excellent boost for them," said Dover Samuels.

Jim Anderton said the projects complemented the region’s strategic planning work under the Regional Partnership Programme.


The projects are:

Soil/climate study - $200,000 to Kaipara and Far North District Councils. This funding will provide research into the regions soils and climate and an assessment of suitable agricultural opportunities. The work will be coordinated by NIWA and in time will help ensure that land use decisions are made with the best available information.

One-off grant of $100,000 to Kaipara District Council to kick start the opening up of local waterways. The project will help open up access to the Kaipara harbour to facilitate development of the area’s marine resources.

Integrated transport study: $100,000 to build on and bring together transport studies underway in the area. This is the second such study initiated by Government, the first being in Tairawhiti. In both regions the transport infrastructure has been identified as a barrier to development – the issue has become particularly important given the maturing forests in the area and the wall of wood.

Aquaculture research: A $100,000 contribution towards the development of a sustainable scallop fishery in Northland, based on the successful programme in Tasman Bay. The funding will be primarily used to develop a comprehensive management plan for the fishery.

Skills training Northland will also benefit from a Budget 2001 investment in skills training where $200,000 will be used to address the shortage of skilled tradespeople in the boat building industry. The work will focus initially on identifying and prioritising needed skills. That will be followed by the development of courses for people from related trade areas and further development of industry qualification specifications.

Substantial employment growth is projected for this industry in the Northland area. The work will also benefit the boat building industry in other regions.

ENDS


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