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$100,000 for Marine Farm Development In Opotiki

12 July 2002

Regional Initiatives Funding of $100,000 for Marine Farm Development In Opotiki

Opotiki will receive funding to investigate widening its harbour mouth to support marine farm development, Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton, announced today.

“The Eastern Bay of Plenty region has identified aquaculture as a potential growth area in their regional strategic plan,” said Jim Anderton. However, work carried out by the Opotiki District and the Eastern Bay of Plenty Regional Partnership over the past few months has identified that the Opotiki harbour mouth, which is currently not suitable for use in all seasons, requires development to support potential marine farming activity in the region.

$100,000 (GST inclusive) is to be provided from the Ministry of Economic Development's Regional Initiatives Fund to part-fund work by the Opotiki District Council to investigate, and cost, options for improving access through the harbour mouth. The grant will enable the Council to bring forward work that would otherwise not have been carried out this financial year. This work is important now because the Bay of Plenty Regional Council recently granted consent for a large marine farm to be developed off the coast of Opotiki with up to 500 new jobs potentially available if all the processing can be done in Opotiki.

Jim Anderton said the funding will serve as a catalyst to build on work already being done regionally and to work towards the infrastructure that is essential to underpin economic development in the region.

“It will also help Opotiki to capitalise on national and international market interest in aquaculture”.

Note to Editors:
The Regional Initiatives Fund was established as part of the 2001 Budget Economic Development Package.

Funding is available for regional development projects which are consistent with the Government’s key goals and which have the potential to leverage economic growth as well as meet government objectives for economic, social and environmental development.

The fund is aimed at assisting regions to develop capability and to respond to opportunities. Eligible projects must show broad support within the region. Funding is available as a contribution towards the project’s costs and is assessed on a case by case basis.

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