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Three-Pronged Boost For South Waikato

19 April 2002

Assistance for economic development in the South Waikato is being boosted following the Carter Holt Harvey's proposal to cut up to 400 jobs from the Kinleith Mill.

Economic development minister Jim Anderton visited Tokoroa today.

He said Industry New Zealand and the Ministry of Economic Development would increase support for the region to help establish successful new businesses and development in South Waikato.

"The Regional Partnership steering group has a proposal to help to identify new entrepreneurs and develop their ideas in the region. This proposal will be supported with a $50,000 grant through the Regional Initiatives Fund. It will help any staff who lose their job at Kinleith to get started in their own business, and it will also have wider application to the region.

"Industry New Zealand is considering additional funding under the Regional Partnership Programme to help develop a vision for the South Waikato, which will help to build consensus around a strategy for the region's development and strengthen the local community.

"I will also be asking the Wood Processing steering group, which I chair to focus on the development of the industry in the South Waikato. The steering group is working directly with major companies to make wood processing viable in the regions of New Zealand.

"The wood processing steering group, is looking to develop competitive solutions in transport, infrastructure, skills and energy in the region.

"The Kinleith announcement will have a serious effect on the region, which has had more than its fair share of hard times.

"The government is committed to working in partnership with the region, and we will work with industry and the local community to develop high-value, job-rich and lasting new industries," Jim Anderton said.

Ends

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