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Waikato aviation sector gets Govt. investment

Wednesday 13 April 2005 Media release

Waikato aviation sector gets significant government investment

A boost to Waikato’s aviation capability is expected to increase exports and help secure future training, research and investment in New Zealand’s burgeoning aviation industry, says Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton.

Aviation Waikato, owned by Waikato’s lead economic development agency, The Katolyst Group, will receive up to $2 million from NZ Trade and Enterprise’s regional partnership programme for a Major Regional lnitiative (MRI) to establish an Aviation Park at Hamilton International Airport. Participants will manufacture light aircraft and train pilots for the global market.

An associated Aviation Centre will develop and manage a cluster of companies that aim to sell replacement parts for fleets of light aircraft around the world.

Aviation Waikato will also work with training providers, Waikato University, Wintec and others to develop programmes to support engineering and manufacturing skills training for the aviation industry.

Jim Anderton said that the aviation industry provides a global showcase for New Zealand’s innovation and talent in the specialised manufacturing sector.

“On the back of a highly talented workforce and extensive experience in servicing some of the world’s leading firms - our international maintenance, repair and overhaul services are expanding.

"Innovation is also leading to a growth in aircraft manufacture, using new technology to design and create world-class aircraft to suit customers’ needs worldwide,” the Progressive leader said.

An economic impact report prepared for NZTE estimates that the Waikato aviation industry currently generates $50million a year in revenues. The establishment of Aviation Waikato is expected to increase yearly revenues by $7 million- $15million a year.

Katolyst Group chief executive, Graham Smith, says the MRI forms part of a major thrust for economic growth within the Waikato region.

“NZTE’s investment will be a catalyst for a vibrant and growing aviation industry that will enhance exports of value-added manufactured products and provide skills training for future growth,” Mr Smith said.


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