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New Wine Research Centre Boosts Marlborough

9 May 2002

Marlborough’s reputation as a premier wine-producing region is set to be enhanced with the establishment of a wine industry research centre in Blenheim.

Industry and regional development minister Jim Anderton today announced $2 million in funding from Industry New Zealand’s Regional Partnerships Programme to construct and equip the facility.

“Today’s announcement shows the value of Industry New Zealand and its commitment to developing the regions of New Zealand by working in partnership with regions to build on their strengths,” Jim Anderton said.

The Wine Research Centre of Excellence is an initiative of the Marlborough Economic Development Trust and the Marlborough District Council. The Centre is to be established on the Blenheim campus of the Nelson-Marlborough Institute of Technology.

Operational costs of the centre will be met by the wine industry.

“Industry New Zealand’s funding will help to create a partnership between industry, research and education. It will generate economic and social benefits for the whole Marlborough region. Half our wine exports come from Marlborough,” Jim Anderton said.

“The Centre will open up more opportunities to pursue graduate studies and post-graduate research, and knowledge gained will go back into the region’s wine industry.

“Local iwi have been consulted and support the centre. Wakatu Incorporation and Ngai Tahu have significant investments in the Marlborough wine industry. Benefits in training and employment will further enhance Maori economic development in the region.

“New Zealand cannot have a strong national economy unless we have strong regional economies. This significant boost to developing the Marlborough economy shows the government’s commitment to growing stronger regions,” Jim Anderton said.

The Marlborough Wine Research Centre of Excellence is a collaborative partnership between the established Marlborough Centre, the University of Auckland, Lincoln University, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, Eastern Institute of Technology, and HortResearch, with the support of the Marlborough District Council and substantial on-going operational funding from the wine industry.

About Industry New Zealand’s Regional Partnerships Programme

Industry New Zealand’s Regional Partnerships Programme aims to help regions to realise their potential. The Programme is not about grants for one-off initiatives. Funding goes to proposals developed by "communities of interest", working together for long-term sustainable growth for their region.

Successful proposals will involve a cross section of agencies and organisations such as business groups, local government, iwi, economic development agencies and community groups, implementing an agreed strategy.

Co-operation rather than competition is the key - between region stakeholders and the government.

The Programme provides funding for:

- Up to $100,000 per region for strategic planning

- Up to $100,000 each year for building the necessary capability to implement strategic plans

- Up to $2 million for Major Regional Initiatives.

Regions are also required to contribute to funding, and progression to the next stage is not automatic or guaranteed.

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